Big Bazar shops at Cognizant — Future group inks outsourcing deal

Future Group, the biggest and the most prominent large-format retail chain in India, has chosen India’s third biggest IT services firm Cognizant for its IT needs for the next five years, the companies said in a statement.

Future group is estimated to have or have served around 220 million customers — higher than the total population of nearly all the countries in the world, save a handful.

Cognizant is the fastest growing large IT services firm based in India and had recently overtaken Wipro to become the third biggest, just behind Infosys Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

The estimated revenue from the deal was not disclosed.

The contract covers more than 1,000 Future Group stores—including those of Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Central, Home Town, and eZone, in 85 towns and cities in India, and the new stores Future will open in the future.

The categories of work involves providing service desk support, data center management, and network services support.

The win is seen as a major coup for the aggressive IT services company listed on the Nasdaq and based in Chennai. Many of India’s large outsourcing contracts have gone to the U.S. major IBM — the world’s largest IT services firm.

Cognizant will also deliver the mission-critical, last-mile IT infrastructure services support to Future Group’s ever growing network of stores, warehouses, offices, and data centers.

“Cognizant will set up a Point-of-Sale lab to develop and deploy next-generation IT solutions to provide best-in-class consumer experience in stores, and also to co-innovate around the future of the store, leveraging mobile and kiosk technologies,” the statement said.

“We were impressed with Cognizant’s strong consulting-led approach, process and technology maturity, innovation focus, and most importantly, a sound understanding of our business vision,” said Rakesh Biyani, Chief Executive Officer of Retail Business.

The Indian modern retail segment, only about a decade old, is the subject of much discussion in light of the recent move by the government to allow foreign companies enter the segment. The decision, partially rolled back after protests, is seen as a long term given as India pushed its liberalization moves.