German sports footwear and apparel company Adidas has signed a lease deal for its first Global Capability Centre in India, taking up around 45,000 sq ft of space in Chennai. This is also the first centre by the company in Asia outside China.

The company has taken up 700-seater space at flex operator Smartworks’ facility in Olympia Pinnacle, paying a starting monthly rent of ₹65 per square foot, sources said. The deal has been signed recently.

The office is located on the Old Mamallapuram Road, which is the largest IT corridor in the southern suburbs of the city.

Adidas confirmed in an email that the company had taken up space but did not provide or clarify the other details. “We can confirm that we have recently rented a new office space in Chennai, India,” the email from its corporate communications team said.

Smartworks did not respond to an email sent seeking clarification on the Adidas deal.

Earlier this year, there were reports of Adidas’ intent to establish its first GCC in India that would be a hub for functions such as planning and analysis, invoice-to-cash, record-to-report, and source-to-pay. The centre is being led by Akhil Kapoor, who is vice president of GBS Global Procurement and Head of GBS in India. In fact, according to a post on LinkedIn by Kapoor, the GBS Chennai hub has moved to the Smartworks office.

Calling it a state-of-the-art office, Kapoor’s post said, “This move signifies a significant upgrade in infrastructure, facilities, and accessibility, reinforcing our position as the global GBS powerhouse at adidas.”

Smartworks itself leased 2 lakh square ft of space in Olympia Pinnacle last year, its largest centre in the region.

The establishment of a GCC by Adidas is part of the attraction that India offers, not only in terms of cost efficiencies but also the available skills and talent pool in the country. Global multinationals are increasingly using GCCs in India for high-tech capabilities and cutting-edge innovations that drive their operations worldwide. There were around 2740 GCCs in India as of FY23, CBRE India data showed.

While Bengaluru has attracted the lion’s share of GCCs, Chennai has around 9 per cent of the total GCCs in the country, according to data provided by CBRE India. In FY24, total GCC leasing in Chennai was 3.5 million square ft, compared to Bengaluru’s over 9 msf and over 5 msf in Hyderabad.

In December last year, Bank of America leased 1.1 msf of space in Chennai’s OMR zone, one of the bank’s largest captive centres outside the US.