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Capgemini looks at life beyond outsourcing

    Vinay Kamath
    T.E. Raja Simhan
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Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini India. — Bijoy Ghosh
Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini India. — Bijoy Ghosh

Paris-headquartered firm wants to be involved in end-to-end projects

Aruna Jayanthi has a clear agenda on her hands. The Indian CEO of consulting and outsourcing multinational, the Paris-headquartered Capgemini, wants to transform the Indian affiliate to be more of an end-to-end business solutions provider from being a backroom player.

“What I want to do is drive the change from being a delivery centre for the Capgemini group to something that is at the heart of the group,” she declares.

So far the company has been working on projects outsourced to it from customers in the US or Europe. But, now the CEO, who has been at the helm for two-and-a-half years, wants the Indian operations to generate more value-added business by getting involved in a project right from the conception and bidding stage to the implementation, delivery and maintenance.

Focus areas

Capgemini, she says, has set up 12 centres of excellence across cities that the organisation can tap into in the areas of CRM, supply chain management to retail and analytics.

“We want to focus on a value-add model in terms of business, technology and innovation. And, we want more people from India taking up global roles,” she said in an interview to Business Line. Aruna Jayanthi was in Chennai to speak at the Nasscom HR Summit.

“Today, you can’t really grow India and be only a back office; we have had to change the game. For businesses whom 90 per cent of the work is done out of India, it starts to become core,” she says.

In the time she has been at the helm, Capgemini, which was the second largest recruiter from the premium B-schools last year, has grown in numbers – from 30,000 to over 40,000 now, constituting almost 36 per cent of the global work force of the French company. “We will grow to 70,000 by 2015; that could be an addition of 25,000 net. We are on track, but it also depends on market conditions,” she says.

Europe slowdown

The slowdown in Europe, she says, is causing conflicting trends. Corporates that outsource a lot of their work are forcing a consolidation of a fragmented staff sourcing market. “Rather than work with 100 guys, they are saying we will work with 5 to 6 strategic suppliers,” she explains.

The second trend, which is diametrically opposite, is that people are saying they don’t want one supplier, but want more multi-sourcing. “These are opposing trends; one level there is consolidation, but there is also a multi-vendor environment. But, there is business to be had out there.”

Capgemini forayed into the finance and accounting outsourcing area with the acquisition of Indigo in 2006, which was Unilever’s captive BPO for finance and accounting related processing across 45 countries. “We didn’t have any F&A business then and had to acquire a platform to grow. It was 600 to 700 people then and now we have 4,500,” says Jayanthi.

However, its Indian business is still under 10 per cent, defined as the number of people employed on Indian contracts. “India as a market is picking up, but still a little bit shy of what we expected it to be,” she adds. The difficult economic conditions in European markets will drive offshoring, she says, even though the volume or size of the deals will shrink.

(This article was published on July 25, 2013)
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