By Scott Smith Kokomo Tribune
---- — Newark, Calif. information technology firm Systems in Motion has acquired Kokomo-based Zuna Infotech, setting the table for a potential local business expansion.
Systems CEO Neeraj Gupta, said the San Francisco-area firm’s expansion model is looking for Midwestern opportunities, and said Zuna fit the bill.
“Zuna has two or three specific areas of capability,” Gupta said. “They do a lot of work with firms that build software and sell software, and that helps us expand in those areas.”
The hope for Kokomo is that SIM selects it as the site for a 300 to 500 employee Midwestern hub, something Gupta said he hopes to see happen sometime within the next three to five years.
Zuna, which also has an office in Carmel, specializes in technology business management, data management and integration services. With the acquisition, SIM will have six locations outside of its California headquarters , including Ann Arbor and Lansing Michigan, Minneapolis and St. Louis.
“This acquisition directly aligns with our vision of building a highly scalable and effective US-based IT service delivery capability,” Gupta said. “SIM continues to lead the market in bringing together solution frameworks, agile software development models, and exceptional technology talent, giving our customers a real alternative to their global outsourcing initiatives.”
The SIM cost model is to move away from employees based on the coasts, to lower-cost environments like the Midwest.
“There’s a good education system in Indiana, with good access to universities, and we feel like Indiana’s a good location for us to ultimately build a large-scale center,” Gupta said.
“Interest in US Domestic IT services is increasing, as offshore outsourcing challenges continue. By joining forces with SIM, we can accelerate service delivery to customers and strengthen our ability to rapidly scale teams in response to growing market demand” said Anju Bajaj, Founder and CEO of Zuna Technologies, said in a statement.
Gupta said it’s still early in the planning process for the Midwestern expansion, and said “there are probably 20 or 30 cities where we could do it,” but said Kokomo is definitely in the running. He said he expects there to be some expansion of the Kokomo workforce in the near term, but didn’t offer specifics.
To bring Zuna to Kokomo in the depth of the recession in 2009, Howard County and the city of Kokomo teamed up to offer at least $200,000 in local incentives — mainly forgivable loans — and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered up to $1.16 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $145,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans.
Scott Smith is on Twitter, @JasonSSmith1, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.