Cargill Inc, one of the world’s biggest privately held organizations that clocked revenues of $134.9 billion in 2014, opened its largest captive business services centre with 650 seats in Bengaluru on Friday.

The Bengaluru centre is one of the 6 multi-function, business services centres that have been built over the last 12 months, since Cargill announced its Business Services organization a year ago. The centres will be Cargill-staffed and provide high-quality, efficient back-end services across 5 functions including IT, HR, Finance, Cargill Transportation & Logistics and Cargill Strategic Sourcing & Procurement. The 65,000 sq ft centre has 120 employees with 130 more to join shortly and will close this December with a full capacity of 650 employees.

“Cargill has nearly 70 Business Units (BU) around the globe and most of what we do in terms of our end-to-end processes in a number of functional areas is actually done in each and every BU and often done very differently in each BU. This was recognized as a huge opportunity for the company to improve service delivery and modernize end-to-end processes across functions. Bengaluru is a Global Centre but also serves Asia and is our largest centre, which we plan to ramp up to 1,000 employees over the next few years” Kathy Fortmann, Cargill Business Services Leader, told Business Line. Access to talent at reasonable cost is the reason why this is our largest centre where over 50 per cent of the work done will cater to our global business units, added Fortmann. The five other business services centres are located in Bulgaria, Costa Rica, China, Argentina and Brazil.

Asked why the company is resorting to shared services so late in the day, Fortmann said “Shared services is not new to Cargill and we have been doing it in about 100 locations globally. These internal successes indicate that it is time to leverage the size and capabilities of Cargill to drive further quality and productivity improvements by centrally managing routine tasks that are not unique to a particular BU. The Bengaluru Centre will start generating savings for the company from June 1st, and the target is to save $250 million for the company annually in five years.”

On how many employees will be laid off as a result of the shared services strategy, she said “There are bound to be layoffs globally, but, we will be ramping up the team to 650 in Bengaluru by December. While 10 per cent of the 650 will be in-house talent, 90 per cent will be hired” The company will hire a combination of freshers and laterals with 0-12 years of experience. “We have built a capacity of 1,600 seats across our 6 business services centres globally and by the end of May we will be a 1,200 strong team; today we are less than half of that” said Fortmann.