Majority Global Capability Centres (GCC) leverage start-ups to augment their capabilities and propel innovation, a report by consulting firm ANSR said. 

The report shows there are four engagement models to foster innovation that GCCs leverage, namely, start-up-led innovation program, academia partnerships, intrapreneurship, acquisitions/acqui-hiring. 

Accelerators and incubators bring GCCs and start-ups together. To work with start-ups, GCCs use various accelerator programme approaches. They engage in either a cohort-based program or scouting led by the GCCs. According to the report, most GCCs prefer to connect with start-ups through cohort-based programmes, and scouting is most common among GCCs that have launched corporate innovation programs in the recent two to three years.

Explaining how start-ups benefit from this engagement, Vikram Ahuja, Co-founder, Talent500 by ANSR said, “the accelerator program provides start-ups a platform to acquire a very large customer base and access to multiple resources and also bring in market leadership. Accelerators set up by GCCs also bring a structured and focused approach towards solving a particular problem.”

Through academia partnerships, GCCs engage with research students and faculties to conduct research on emerging technologies. In India, most partnerships are with IITs and government-sponsored technical colleges.

The intrapreneurship programmes are mostly run by GCCs. To make these programmes successful, GCCs have built a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among employees, the report said. 

The report also showed that majority GCCs face cultural resistance to risk-taking and change from the enterprise while running a corporate innovation program. Some of the other challenges faced in moving towards corporate innovation are lack of clear innovation responsibilities and processes, limited budget, lack of time for developing new ideas, lack of technical skills and internal objection to external innovation.