Why did Capgemini acquire social impact agency Purpose?

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on February 25, 2020 Published on February 24, 2020

Capgemini Invent CEO Cyril Garcia

Purpose operates in a space where the tech major sees high demand and growth, says Capgemini Invent CEO Cyril Garcia

Tech major Capgemini’s acquisition, earlier this month, of Purpose, a social impact agency, has underscored how cause marketing has made the leap from an occasionally used approach to the cornerstone of many organisation’s corporate strategies.

Brands are doubling down on purpose, as consumers progress beyond product selection or price and keenly assess what a company says, does and stands for. By investing more of their marketing spends on purposeful communication, corporates are backing up their cause communications with authentic actions.

Headquartered in New York with many outlets including in India, Purpose’s strategists will look to combine with Capgemini Invent, the digital innovation brand of the group, and help transform businesses for impact. The India office of Purpose serves as a hub for air pollution and clean energy transition campaigns such as Help Delhi Breathe, #MyRightToBreathe, 100 per cent Uttar Pradesh, and 100 per cent Bihar. The agency also essays campaigns on women’s access to healthcare with dignity, electric mobility and countering hate speech on social media platforms.

BusinessLine reached out, via email, to Cyril Garcia, CEO, Capgemini Invent, to understand how this particular acquisition embraces the brand purpose. Excerpts:

Why is a technology-driven company keen to solve issues of global scale?

As a technology and digital leader, we have the responsibility, the ambition and the means to contribute to solving major societal questions that are shaping our future world. The Capgemini ‘Invent for Society’ initiative will be further developed thanks to the high number of credentials that Purpose has in terms of social impact expertise.

Purpose is a social impact-based agency that has spent the last decade collaborating with non-profits, philanthropists and companies, helping them to put purpose and participation at the centre of what they do. Purpose operates in a space where we see high demand and growth.

We share a number of global brands as clients along with common skillsets in design, data science, brand consultancy and project management. It will help us to shape our clients’ purpose-driven marketing approaches, and in delivering creative, impactful programmes that will enable them to be truly responsible contributors to society. It adds a critical dimension to the business transformation support we are able to provide our global clients with.

What is the philosophy behind this particular transaction?

This deal reinforces Capgemini’s ambition to grow its consulting and business transformation services, adding specific social impact expertise that will be key to helping companies change their business models, to overcome the massive disruptions that digital and climate change are bringing to life.

How does this alignment make the Capgemini brand more relevant to the customer?

Heightened demands from stakeholders have driven a major shift towards building businesses with purpose. For many large companies, this has evolved beyond corporate social responsibility to business transformation and the need for a redefinition of business models, practices and culture.

Placing a positive contribution to society at the core of what they do, rethinking their commitment to Sustainable Development Goals, and committing to act on climate change, are the new imperatives for a sustainable business. Purpose will bring a new depth of skills to Capgemini Invent’s teams, including experts in movement-building and how to move people to take action.

Purpose brings to Capgemini Invent credibility. These credentials augment the current practice that is well established in Europe, where Purpose also has an office and experience working on a range of social and environmental issues.

How does Purpose drive profitability and growth at the tech firm and how is it relevant to the company’s clients?

In terms of our customer experience and innovation strategy, Purpose is keen to bring Capgemini Invent’s expertise to the non-profit and philanthropic sector, where they could add real value; for example, via the ‘design sprints’ approach (a proven methodology for solving problems through designing, prototyping and testing ideas with users).

Purpose will be able to place Capgemini’s deep data science and tech expertise at the heart of their campaigns to drive even greater actionable insights. Beyond access to global clients, Capgemini is particularly well-placed to help Purpose expand its operations in key markets such as India, where Purpose already has an office, and continental Europe, where Purpose and Capgemini together have an opportunity to be a true first-mover in this space.

Published on February 24, 2020
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