Money & Banking

‘NatWest to expand its India workforce by 15% this year’

K.R. Srivats | | Updated on: May 26, 2022

| Photo Credit: Chris J. Ratcliffe

Chief Administrative Officer sees dramatic increase in need for data scientists, software engineers

NatWest, UK’s largest commercial bank, plans to expand its India headcount by 15 per cent this year, and is looking to hire more data scientists and software engineers, said its Group Chief Administrative Officer, Simon McNamara.

NatWest Group, which has its largest base of employees outside the UK in India, currently has a workforce in India of over 13,800 people, most of whom have been focussed on developing tech-based solutions and services to cater to the fast-changing expectations of NatWest Group’s 19 million customers in the UK.

“India has got high-quality engineering talent. We are now seeing dramatic increase in need for data scientists — people who can understand data, get intelligence from data and use that to personalise and empathise services we provide to customers. Our purpose is delivery of emotionally intelligent services through digital means in majority and complement them by our branches. What we are seeing now is growth in emotional engagement through these digital channels beyond transactional services and giving intelligence insights to customers...insights a lot of which we delivered through out the pandemic leveraging our teams in India,” McNamara told BusinessLine. McNamara, who is part of the Executive Leadership at NatWest Group, is currently visiting India to get a sense of the opportunities for partnerships with Indian fintechs. He is also focussed on measures needed to enhance the skill sets in existing Indian workforce to meet the business objectives. He ruled out expanding NatWest operations beyond the existing cities of Gurugram, Bengaluru and Chennai, while noting that the existing talent in in these locations will be definitely upskilled to meet the current day requirements. 

“One of the purpose of this trip to me here in India is to get a better understanding of what is available to us [likely fintech partnerships]. I expect our Indian team, led by Punit Sood, to also scout in other locations looking for high-quality solutions that we can partner with, potentially acquire. We had earlier worked with companies here that provide data science skills that applied to financial services. I expect to see more of that. 

“We will certainly look for partnerships. If we thought something would make sense for us, I would not say no. We will look to capability that complements what we do already. I see no reason why we couldn’t find that in India. Acquisitions are a possibility. Partnerships are definite probability,” said McNamara. 

He said NatWest’s Indian organisation, which accounts for a quarter of its overall workforce, is very much integral to its overall growth agenda. McNamara also highlighted the increasing trend of strategic inputs coming to the bank’s management from the senior leadership team in India.

Published on May 26, 2022
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