Navigating GCC's Complex Terrain: A Global Call to Action

Navigating GCC's Complex Terrain: A Global Call to Action

By: Sheenam Ohrie, Managing Director, Broadridge India

Sheenam Ohrie is a versatile and strategic leader with a proven record of conceptualizing and delivering technology solutions for her customers. She brings over three decades of rich experience in crafting business solutions and delighting customers.

In a conversation with the Women Entrepreneur Magazine, Sheenam shares her insights on how Global Capability Centres (GCC) contributes to job creation and skill development in India and various other aspects surrounding it.

Over the last decade or so, India has successfully made its way to becoming a hub for innovation and R&D. With its long-standing, established credentials as an outsourcing or offshoring hub, especially in the technology sector, more and more global companies are tapping into India to extend their global footprint. Thereby, Global Capability Centres have emerged as key nodes for transformation, helping organizations to be agile in a highly dynamic environment. Today, India is home to more than 1,800 global capability centers, which employ over 1.3 million people. With the services sector rapidly evolving and driving the country to the forefront of tech-driven innovation, these centers are playing a bigger role in India's business landscape and the global economy. Unlike their earlier goal to offshore back-office processes, today these centers are multifaceted, and they handle more complex and business-related opportunities across the organization’s value chain. They have become centers of operational excellence, product development, and innovation hubs.

What is the transformation of GCCs into Innovation Hubs in India?

The transformation of GCCs (Global Capability Centres) into Innovation Hubs in India is a multidimensional process that involves various factors and strategies. GCCs have erstwhile been centers established by multinational companies to leverage India's talent pool and cost-effectiveness for various shared services functions and business functions like IT services, research and development, engineering, and more. However, GCCs have widely evolved over the last two decades or so, in India.

Primarily recognized as an operations hub during the 1991-2000 era, India has made its way to becoming a development hub by employing numerous people through the GCC umbrella. There are several factors augmenting an organization’s will to expand in India; prominent among them being the country’s large pool of English-speaking talented and skilled professionals, cost-effectiveness, supportive government policies, large domestic market, and its proximity to other growing markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East. Together, these factors have made India the preferred destination for several innovation hubs.

India has the largest English-speaking talent pool with close to 20, 00,000 engineering students graduating every year; of which almost 20 percent can be hired in technology. This translates into 4, 00,000 engineering students per annum! The country’s massive technology talent pool is hungry and more than ready to create and deliver customer impact – and this is turning India into an innovation hub. The country has become the third largest startup hub, estimated to witness a 2.6% surge in tech startups between 2023 and 2030. This then provides a unique opportunity for collaboration of GCCs and domain-specific startups that can then contribute in a unified manner to their mutual success and the growth story of India.

How are GCCs Contributing to Job Creation and Skill Development in India?

Global Capability Centers (GCCs), also known as Global In-house Centers (GICs), have been instrumental in providing employment opportunities to a large number of skilled professionals in India. These centers serve as extensions of multinational companies, setting up their operations in India to leverage the local talent pool.

As per a recent forecast, around 2400 GCCs will be set up in India by 2030, with a market size of about US $110 billion. It is also predicted that 100+ new GCCs will be set up every year, employing 4.5 million people in India.

The presence of GCCs often stimulates the growth of the local ecosystem also, leading to job creation in support industries such as real estate, transportation, and hospitality. Furthermore, as GCCs increasingly engage with academia, a surge in the supply of skilled professionals is also taking shape. To ensure their workforce remains competitive, these GCCs invest heavily in professional development initiatives, providing training in technical skills, domain-specific knowledge, leadership, and soft skills. These programs enhance employees' skill sets, making them more valuable in the job market and contributing to India's overall skill development.

Lastly, GCCs are funneling the entrepreneurial culture in India. Skilled and passionate professionals with gained knowledge and experience from GCCs often venture into entrepreneurial roles, launching their ventures in India. This contributes to the growth of the startup ecosystem, leading to further job creation and innovation.

What is the success of GCCs in India across Sectors?

While setting up a GCC, corporates look at four parameters: the cost of doing business, the ease of doing business, the software engineering ecosystem maturity, and talent availability. Undoubtedly India has a significant advantage across all these parameters.

Over the years, India has invested in developing infrastructure and providing government support to attract foreign investment, making it easier for companies to establish and operate GCCs. Today, India hosts GCCs across various industries, including IT services, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing. This diverse presence demonstrates the adaptability of the GCC model to different sectors. Many GCCs in India have grown to become significant centers of innovation and excellence, showcasing their capabilities in research, development, and innovation. This success has inspired other companies to replicate the model.

Tell us about the Diversity & Inclusion in the Success of GCCs.

Being Inclusive and embracing diverse talent is now an established business imperative. India is a diverse country with a rich mix of cultures, languages, and ethnic backgrounds. Leveraging this diversity within GCCs can provide access to a wide talent pool with varied perspectives and skills. This diversity can be harnessed to drive innovation and problem-solving, enhancing the GCC's overall effectiveness.

Companies can further foster diversity by implementing inclusive hiring practices, providing ongoing diversity training, establishing mentorship programs, and creating a workplace culture that values and respects differences. By doing so, they can harness the full potential of their diverse workforce, leading to improved innovation, better employee engagement, and ultimately, greater business success. Moreover, exploring the untapped potential of women in the workforce to create transformational journeys is something that is going to help India advance in all aspects, build a strong talent pool, and create role models for the next generations to come.