IBM, sensitive to allegations that it is moving jobs overseas to cut costs, described as "grossly exaggerated" a report that it plans to recruit thousands of staff in the Indian city of Calcutta.
The company does plan to expand its operations in India, but recruitment there will be "modest", according to Fred McNeese, IBM's director of media relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
While the practice of moving manufacturing jobs to low-cost countries is commonplace, "offshoring" has only recently begun to affect the technology industry. IBM, and in particular its Global Services outsourcing arm, has been the focus of concern in the U.S. that many skilled technology jobs are being moved overseas.
According to a report in the online edition of The Wall Street Journal on Friday, city authorities in Calcutta say IBM plans to increase staff numbers in the city to 4,000. IBM employs 1,800 people in Calcutta today, mostly in its Global Services division, the report said.
IBM disputed the report.
"The estimates for the current population (of employees) and hiring plans are both grossly exaggerated," McNeese said. "While we plan growth in India, it's both modest and nowhere close to what is being reported by The Wall Street Journal."
However, he would not say how many employees the company has in Calcutta, or what he meant by modest plans. "We're not going to comment on specific numbers of employees in an area of the country or on plans to hire," McNeese said.