The India Global Capability Centres (GCCs), in the last 20 years, has played a critical role in the overall growth of Verizon, a $130-billion US-based telecom carrier, said Sowmyanarayan Sampath, CEO, Verizon Consumer Group. He denied Verizon is buying Vodafone Idea Ltd.

“For us, India GCC is not about cost arbitrage now. It is about capabilities, innovation and access to talent that we cannot have anywhere else in the world,” he told newspersons on his first visit to Chennai after taking over in March as CEO of the Verizon Consumer Group, which in 2022 contributed $105 billion in revenue to the company’s overall revenue of $136 billion.

“We have come a very long way in India and we are the largest telco GCC today here,” he said. With around 7,000 people located in Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, the GCC is a critical part of the company’s overall growth plans. In addition to the team in India contributing to Verizon global innovation, they are also instrumental in coming up with patent ideas, he added.

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Sampath said employee strength in the GCC grew 15 per cent last year. The GCC works on customer experience, generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), use of AI and and large data models. “This is not a cost play for us, but capability play for us,” he said on the GCC. As Verizon rolls out 5G across the US, many of its products will have to get redeveloped to do that. Whether it is a broadband product, a phone product or IoT product, a lot of the development happens in the GCC, he added.

Verizon in the US offers voice, data and video services and solutions on its networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control. It was the world’s first company to launch commercial 5G for mobility, fixed wireless and mobile edge computing. Verizon’s Consumer Group in the US has 114.1 million wireless retail connections; 92.5 million wireless retail postpaid connections and 8.5 million broadband connections, including 6.9 million Fios Internet connections, said Sampath. “The opportunity in the US is so huge. We will not look at the India market for now,” he replied when asked on the company’s plans in India.

Denies rumour

Sampath denied rumours that Verizon is buying Vodafone. “No, we are not buying Vodafone. I do not know how rumours start, but I can end the rumour for you. We are not interested. This is not something we are spending time on,” he said.

HCL deal

On the recent deal of Verizon Business forming a global partnership with HCL Tech For Managed Network Services, Sampath said, “I don’t know how big a deal is for them. But it is a very big deal for us. We have partnered with them on managed services, we are going through that right now.”

To a question if the deal with HCL will impact jobs at Verizon, Sampath said, “There will be a small portion of our teams in India that will move over to HCL and they will continue the work there.”