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Global tech services provider NTT makes Singapore its Asia-Pacific HQ

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Global tech services provider aims to hire in automation and cyber security

A newly formed global technology services provider is making Singapore its Asia-Pacific head office, with plans to hire here in the areas of automation and cyber security.

NTT, the international arm of the US$105 billion (S$142 billion) tech giant NTT Group, brings together 28 of its units from 57 countries into a single business.

The consolidation, announced yesterday, will help NTT, which counts Japanese multinational Daikin and European tech giant Alcatel-Lucent among its clients, focus on taking its services to market more effectively.

There are no planned redundancies with the consolidation, said Mr John Lombard, chief executive of NTT's business in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan and Australia.

The move comes as the company places greater emphasis on its managed services business over the next five years, he added.

Managed services refer to handling of processes and functions outsourced by other companies - such as security and network infrastructure.

Mr Lombard, who is based in Singapore, told The Straits Times that the aim is to have the managed services business represent 50 per cent of NTT's portfolio by 2023.

Of about 12,000 employees in the Asia-Pacific region, about 2,000 currently work for NTT entities in Singapore.

About 80 per cent are working in IT-related roles such as network engineers, said Mr Lombard, adding that it recruits in Singapore to capitalise on the country's talent pool.

While he did not commit to future hiring numbers, he said the company currently hires up to 300 staff here in a year and is looking for talent in the areas of robotic process automation and cyber security.

Mr Lombard noted that Singapore and the other Asean states are important markets: "We are seeing a lot of investment coming into this region. We certainly expect that to continue, with analyst forecasts suggesting that this will be one of the fastest-growing regions."

The firm has been growing at "double-digit plus" levels in the Asia-Pacific region in recent years, he added.

Mr Lombard is unfazed by global challenges, noting that "the breadth of services that we can bring to market buffers us somewhat from" trade tensions. Brexit is unlikely to hit the firm either, despite its head office being in London, with NTT's revenue being generated in a range of markets.

As for the move to consolidate, Mr Lombard said a "joint pursuit team" in Singapore that co-located staff from different companies, such as NTT Communications, showed consolidation can serve customers better.

The team started in April last year and the firm is looking for the efforts to lead to the process of dealing with clients to be around 20 per cent more efficient.