Indian firm to create 200 call centre jobs in Scotland

Image caption,
Alex Salmond will be in Delhi until Thursday

An Indian call centre company is to create 200 new jobs in Scotland, it has been announced.

HEROtsc will base the posts at locations in Larbert, near Falkirk, and in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, following government support of £850,000.

The firm already employs more than 1,600 staff at seven call centres across the country.

The announcement was made by First Minister Alex Salmond during a visit to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Mr Salmond confirmed the news following a meeting with HERO Group management.

He said: "This announcement demonstrates the skills and expertise of the workforce in Scotland which will enable HEROtsc to significantly extend its reach across European markets.

"I was hugely impressed by the staff I met when I visited HEROtsc's Scottish headquarters in Larbert earlier this year and I am sure that the business can continue to build on its current success and reputation for high quality service."

The £850,000 awarded to HERO is in the form of Regional Selective Assistance grants made through Scottish Enterprise.

Earlier, Mr Salmond spoke of Scotland's strong links with Asia and his aim of developing closer economic links.

"We have one of the most thriving Asian communities in the world - food, the arts, business and religious tolerance and diversification have all benefited enormously from the 35,000 Indian people who call Scotland home," he said.

"As an emerging global economic power, India is an essential partner for Scotland."

The first minister said 11 Indian companies had made investments of £700m in Scotland during the past five years, employing more than 3,200 people.

An estimated 4,000 Indian students also study at Scottish colleges and universities.

It was also announced on Monday that a new business partnership was being set up to help Scottish companies expand into India.

Athletes visit

The Scotland India Business Organisation will provide practical and administrative support to firms who spot development opportunities.

Mr Salmond's trip will run until Thursday's closing ceremony for the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, during which the official handover to Glasgow will take place.

The city is due to host the next Games in 2014.

During a visit to Team Scotland on Monday, Mr Salmond met newly-crowned gold medallists Jocelyn Rae, Jennifer McIntosh and Kay Copeland, as well as bronze medallist David Millar, the women's hockey team and wrestlers Donna and Fiona Robertson.

He said: "I've had a fantastic time at the athletes' village, the medals for Team Scotland are coming thick and fast and our athletes are getting a heroes' reception wherever they go.

"Morale is extremely high, the atmosphere is great and the athletes are really enjoying themselves representing their country.

"They are making Scotland extremely proud and I wish them continued success for the remainder of the Games."

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