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Infosys picks Brier Creek for 2,000-worker tech hub

Global technology consulting giant Infosys has chosen an office still under construction in Brier Creek as a site that could employ 2,000 workers within five years.

The company announced the Raleigh site Tuesday morning amid an assemblage of dignitaries that included Gov. Roy Cooper and local officials. Infosys is starting out by leasing half the building’s 121,000 square feet, enough space to accommodate its first 500 employees, many of them expected to be freshly graduated from Triangle universities.

Infosys will spend the next several months preparing and outfitting the building. It expects employees to move in sometime in early 2018, said Infosys president Ravi Kumar. Over the next two years, the company will assess whether it will hire all 2,000 workers for the Legacy at Brier Creek site, develop multiple work sites in the city or consolidate its Raleigh workforce at another site, Kumar said.

The Raleigh City Council has already approved a $1 million financial incentive package for Infosys that was contingent on the company selecting Raleigh over other Wake County cities for its technology hub. Kumar said Raleigh was a first choice from the beginning, because of the city’s proximity to technology talent and to an international airport. The company’s top three preferred sites were all in Raleigh, Kumar said.

“This is a center we almost decided right on Day One,” Kumar said of Raleigh.

The company’s planned Technology and Innovation Hub will house Infosys workers paid $72,146 on average, nearly $20,000 a year more than the Wake average wage. The positions it will hire for include software developers, analysts and digital architects. But the firm also hires people with backgrounds in the humanities to develop the optimum “client experience” for its technological applications.

The tech firm is already hiring in Raleigh and has hired about 1,200 in the United States since announcing in May that it plans to hire 10,000 in this country at four Technology and Innovation Hubs. The hubs will advise corporate clients in the financial services, insurance, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries.

Kumar described its global clients as business planners who are hyper-vigilant about the next trend and “paranoid about technology being a disruptor to their business model.” At its Raleigh hub, Infosys will serve clients from the entire United States, not just from North Carolina, Kumar said. The Raleigh hub will likely specialize in data analytics, he said, because N.C. State University offers a master’s degree in that field and could supply needed talent.

Kumar said Raleigh’s $1 million incentive package was an “important consideration” but not the deciding factor. The company will invest $8.7 million in equipment and real-estate improvements for its technology hub.

The company has two foundations that train teachers in technology and invest in local startups. Infosys executives promised both foundations will be active in the company’s newest home in the Triangle.

Infosys, which opened its first U.S. office in Boston in 1992, employs more than 200,000 people in 40 countries, including about 25,000 in the United States and about 1,200 in Raleigh, Charlotte and other parts of North Carolina. The North Carolina workers are embedded with clients throughout the state.

The average age of an Infosys employee is 27 and the company has hired 350 of the 1,200 recent U.S. hires directly from universities, said company CFO Ranganath Mavinakere.

John Murawski: 919-829-8932, @johnmurawski

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