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Dec 30, 2010, 11.03 AM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

How has recession hit Think 3 India and its employees?

Most Indian companies have shaken off the recession dust and are shuffling to their feet, but not the Indian subsidiary of 30-year old, US-based IT product company Think-3 Inc.

Most Indian companies have shaken off the recession dust and are shuffling to their feet, but not the Indian subsidiary of 30-year old, US-based IT product company Think-3 Inc. CNBC-TV18 learns that think 3 Inc has not been paying its Indian subsidiary Think 3 India, and has even withdrawn management support, leaving employees out on a limb. CNBC-TV18s Vineetha Athrey reports.

Last year, this office used to bustle with 100-odd employees developing the latest CAD products, but now there are only vacant chairs and desks with a thick crop of dust, and printers and coffee machines that don't work. This is the office of Think 3 India, a 100% subsidiary of 30-year old US-based IT product company, Think 3 Inc.

The tough times began in 2009, when the slowdown-hit parent company stopped paying its subsidiary for products that the Indian arm had co-developed, and shared intellectual property rights on. 

CNBC-TV18 learns that starting October 2009, salaries to Indian employees were delayed and since April this year, not one of the 87 employees have been paid. The total outstanding is Rs 3 crore. Some hope came in September this year, when Think 3 Inc merged with ESW Capital.

Employees in India, CNBC-TV18 learns, were promised salaries and statutory clearances. But sources say that after the merger, the new management stopped assigning work to the Indian team. Now, the Board of Directors in India have quit leaving crumbling infrastructure and rudderless employees behind. Legal notices sent by the employees to ESW Capital have not helped either.

There are questions about the merger as well. The merger document sent to the shareholders claims that Think 3 Inc merged with ESW Capital. However, CNBC-TV18 learns that the new management's press releases and customer-presentations associate it with Versata. So, where does Versata fit in? CNBC-TV18 has not received any response to queries made to Versata or ESW Capital.

That leaves the employees in no-man's land. They plan to file a case against Think 3 India, but are worried that the absence of clear laws for MNC operations in India won't help their cause. And they don't have enough funds to seek legal recourse against the parent company in the US.

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