Work from home model works, says Capgemini Group CEO

K V Kurmanath | Updated on: Feb 24, 2022
Aiman Ezzat, the Group CEO of Capgemini

Aiman Ezzat, the Group CEO of Capgemini

Aiman Ezzat says Cloud, data driving the IT industry post pandemic

Aiman Ezzat, Group CEO of Capgemini, holds that the concept of ‘work from home’ indeed works. “It has been 18 months. We grew. In India, we probably did 60,000 recruitments in 2021, and have over 1.50 lakh employees,” he told BusinessLine. In an interview during his recent visit to the country, Aiman also shared his views on the ‘Intelligent Industry’, how the post-pandemic business landscape and work dynamics have been evolving, and also on the shortage of manpower in niche skills. Excerpts.

How is the business environment for the IT services industry now, post-pandemic?

We are there in a very positive environment for the IT services industry. There is a lot of growth in India and elsewhere. Technology is being leveraged a lot more across the value chain of the company. Traditionally, we were a lot focussed in terms of the Chief Information Officer and helping companies run more efficiently. But over the years, our footprint has expanded to work with a lot of the executives, including Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Sales, Head of Engineering and Head of R&D.

We have conceived new products, built new eco-systems, and so, we are not constrained any more to helping a company only be more efficient. We are into helping them innovate, preparing their future, running manufacturing more efficiently, helping develop new product lines and change their business model.

How is the industry landscape changing?

You have two major factors that are driving growth. Everything is moving to the cloud. You cannot have autonomous cars running without a cloud platform. You cannot have some of the customer value proposition with virtual reality, retail without technology. Because people were locked in during the pandemic, they (companies) realised how important it is to be on a cloud platform to enable access to services digitally. All this has created a huge acceleration in terms of the move to the cloud. This is creating a lot of opportunities.

The second factor is data. You get massive amount of data as you move to the cloud. The question is how do you leverage it to make decisions. A lot of things get automated in terms of decision making. You need to have a lot of data managed to, say, make autonomous cars work. This has led to a significant increase in terms of demand for technology skills.

Does the industry have enough people with skills to take care of these tasks?

There is a clear balance between the supply and demand of technology skills. Everybody now needs some of the same technology skills. We are talking about digital, cloud-related and data-related skills. There is a shortage when compared to what the demand is. It is true for us and our clients. Everybody is tapping the same pool of resources and trying to be able to deliver.

The pandemic has increased the pace of digital transformation. Companies and organisations are forced to do it faster in order to make their clients go digital. How are you geared up for this opportunity? 

We see our market around three areas. The traditional area where we have been working with the CIOs to help them run the company more efficiently. This area is big, it is increasing and moving to the cloud and getting digitally enabled with a lot more AI. Then there is the relationship between our clients and their customers. People call it to be digital marketing. It is not just that but also about having a digital relationship.

The third area is ‘Intelligent Industry’. It is basically where you bring together all the engineering world to create new products and services which have digital content in them. You need to be connected to the cloud to be able to do that and make it safe and secure.

What are the important changes that have come up in delivery of IT services and solutions?

There are two big levers that have happened over the last few years — automation and agile delivery. All the agile development has been a big change in terms of how we deliver work for clients. But it goes beyond delivering work. It is not just about delivering technology projects but also about how the company starts to operate in an agile way.

You are hiring in big numbers. What is the mix?

The first thing is to realise that it (work from home) works. It has been 18 months. We grew. In India we probably did 60,000 recruitments in 2021 and have over 1.50 lakh employees.

We are developing talent everywhere, grabbing talent in many countries. We are onboarding people and training them. We are in an environment where the acceptability by clients of having young talents on projects is much higher. This is because there is a lack of talent. We are able to absorb and put to work a lot of young talent.

We are not only growing in India, we are growing on-shore in France, in Germany, and in the US as well. There is massive recruitment.

How is your company getting ready for a post-pandemic work environment?

We resumed working in May 2020, two months into the pandemic. We worked on processes for delivery, sales, HR, and finance. We have also worked on how we change our managerial model, how to deal with people working remotely, and keeping them engaged.

This is the reality. If you consider that work can be done from home, then somebody in Sweden can work on a project. We can put anyone anywhere and we are developing that model and the platform.

Published on February 23, 2022

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