"The software giant is now promoting cricket."
To see the Microsoft Cricket Club emblem:Seattle, Sept 16: The Microsoft Incorporation has found a unique way of luring Indian software engineers in a bid to increase its influence in the Indian market and to benefit from IndiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s growing prowess in the field of science and technology.
The software giant is now promoting cricket and inviting more and more Indian employees to join Microsoft Cricket Club. Under the MicrosoftÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cricket programme, four teams compete against other local teams.
The firmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cricket campaign provides a unique tool to thousands of Indian employed at Seattle to beat stress and recreate. In a way, the scheme is also helping Microsoft in keeping the company`s largest minority group- Indians, which make up about 15 percent of Microsoft`s 35,000 workers at its headquarter in Seattle, happy.
According to the industry insiders, the global computer giant is facing a stiff competition from leading Indian software firms, which are offering fat salaries and quick promotional packages to capture the exceptionally talented Indian engineers.
"The chance to play so much cricket surprised me," said Prabhu, a senior programme manager at Microsoft Corp`s automotive business. "There is someone in almost every business team at Microsoft that I`ve played cricket with."
During the Cricket World Cup in March and April, Microsoft ensured that tournament matches from the Caribbean Islands were broadcast via closed circuit for its staff.
Despite being a male-dominated sport, the popularity of cricket knows no limit among Microsoft`s female Indian employees. This could be understood by the fact that a local women`s cricket league has more than 100 members and around three quarters of those players are from Microsoft.
"Most of us never really had the opportunity to play cricket back home. There are probably more women playing cricket here than in all of India," said Sangita Jayaraman, a program manager at Microsoft.