Naukri’s Niraj Seth on How GCCs Are Harnessing the Power of Technology in India
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Naukri’s Niraj Seth on How GCCs Are Harnessing the Power of Technology in India

, EVP, Naukri
employer branding
Niraj Seth, EVP, Naukri

GCCs (Global Capability Centers) have transitioned significantly, evolving from cost centres into thriving profit-driven enterprises. Niraj Seth, Executive Vice President at Naukri, illuminates the pivotal role played by top-tier talent and the swift integration of cutting-edge digital technologies in propelling this remarkable transformation. 

GCCs have undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving into dynamic technological powerhouses that now employ a staggering 1.9 million individuals in India. It proudly hosts nearly half of the world’s GCC units, making this growth story profoundly impactful.

In the 1990s, these centres primarily catered to back-office operations, call centres, software solutions, and related services. Fast forward to today, and they stand as some of the most rapidly expanding business units, with an increasing number of organizations seeking to establish their presence in India.

Even in the face of global economic challenges prompting budget constraints for many organizations, India stands on solid ground. This stability has presented GCCs with a unique opportunity to transform into centres of excellence, driving digital growth within the nation.

According to the collaborative report by NASSCOM and Deloitte titled “GCC Value Proposition for India,” India dominates half of the global GCC market. The acceleration of digital transformation due to the pandemic has resulted in a surge of GCCs within India.

Also read: Application of Generative AI Shouldn’t be to Predetermine Hiring Decisions: Mino Thomas, Adobe

The report projects an expansion potential of 1.5 to 3 times, which could potentially boost the market size by US$ 20-30 billion within the forthcoming 5 to 6 years, subject to appropriate ecosystem support and incentivization from the government.

GCC Market Potential and Key Players:

The GCC industry in India exhibits a remarkable growth trajectory, with the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) expected to ascend from 11% (2019-2023) to 14% (2023-2030). This growth is fuelled by software exports, a pool of skilled workforce, extension into Tier-2 cities, favourable government policies, and infrastructural improvements. It’s projected that by 2030, the country will house around 2400-2500 GCCs, indicative of India’s strategic importance as the preferred destination for multinational corporations seeking to establish or expand their operations.

Key players spearheading the GCC wave include tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Accenture, and IBM, who have established significant GCCs in India. However, the footprint of GCCs isn’t limited to the tech sector alone. Traditional corporations across varied industries such as Ford in the automotive sector and GSK in pharmaceuticals have set up robust GCCs in India, contributing to the sector’s diverse landscape.

GCCs are increasingly seeking talent with expertise in digital technologies like AI, Cybersecurity, Web and mobile Development, and emerging technologies such as Web3. This requires a focus on developing domain expertise.

As per an EY report, four critical trends can be observed in this transformative journey:

  • Centers of Excellence (CoE): The creation of CoEs to fast-track product development and innovation in niche areas such as AI, cloud, engineering, data analytics, and cybersecurity is gaining momentum.
  • Expansion of Function: GCCs are venturing beyond traditional IT and back-office services into functions like legal, marketing, and procurement, thereby widening their service offerings.
  • Revision of Employee Value Proposition (EVP): GCCs are putting a heightened focus on enhancing their EVP to attract and retain talent. This includes focusing on building a conducive organizational culture, providing growth-oriented roles, and offering competitive rewards and compensation.
  • Start-up Collaboration: GCCs are increasingly collaborating with start-ups to expedite innovation. These partnerships offer mutual benefits – start-ups gain market access and mentoring, while GCCs get access to innovative technologies and solutions.

While Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi NCR continue to be the preferred locations for GCC setups in India, there’s a notable shift in the industry. Tier-II cities like Visakhapatnam, Jaipur, Vadodara, Kochi, and Chandigarh are gaining prominence due to improved infrastructure, favourable state policies, and lower operational costs. Additionally, cities like Coimbatore are emerging as potential future GCC hubs with recent infrastructural developments.

This shift in location preferences reflects the evolving landscape of the GCC (Global Capability Centers) industry in India. However, amidst this transformation, the industry is also witnessing changes in salary and hiring trends, driven by global economic uncertainty.

  • In light of the economic scenario, a growing number of employees are prioritizing job security over aggressive salary increments. This emphasis on job stability is contributing to the overall steady growth of GCCs.
  • While companies rolled out frenzied salary hikes to combat the great resignation in H1-2022, there are signs of normalization as businesses focus on controlling wage bills, reducing retention costs, and improving resource utilization in the face of global economic uncertainty.
  • In response to uncertain economic conditions, there’s a heightened focus on upskilling, cross-skilling, and reskilling to optimize existing resources and reduce costs.
  • GCCs are increasingly seeking talent with expertise in digital technologies like AI, Cybersecurity, Web and mobile Development, and emerging technologies such as Web3. This requires a focus on developing domain expertise.
  • Teams with niche skill requirements will continue to hire aggressively in 2023, as there is a rising demand for specialized skills across industries.
  • A significant portion of new GCCs entering India in 2022 encompass ER&D, IT, and BPM functional areas.

Also read: DXC Technology’s Lokendra Sethi Explains Why India Dominates as the Top Choice for GCCs

Expansion & Demand:

The Indian GCC (Global Capability Centers) industry is on track to employ more than  4.5 million professionals by 2030. This substantial workforce growth underscores the industry’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, aligning with the surging demand for digital expertise.

In this narrative of transformation, India stands at the forefront, primed to shape the future of global business operations. The country’s talent landscape is swiftly adapting to cater to the evolving demands of the GCC industry.

For the upcoming fiscal year, GCCs are actively scouting for top-tier talent in critical domains:

  • GCCs are expected to create 3.64 lakh jobs in India this year. An expected 20-25% surge in recruitment will be witnessed in the Financial Services and Manufacturing.
  • Data Analytics is another hotspot, with a projected 15-20% uptick in openings, especially within Healthcare and Financial Services.
  • Cybersecurity anticipates a 15-20% increase in demand, notably in the Telecom and Financial Services sectors.
  • Cloud Computing is experiencing a similar growth trajectory in job opportunities, predominantly within IT/ITES and Retail sectors.

In conclusion, witnessing the evolution of India’s GCC industry has been nothing short of remarkable. The pandemic served as a catalyst, propelling this sector to new heights. The adoption of flexible work models made GCCs a beacon for job seekers pursuing stability and growth. Their adeptness in managing distributed workforces allowed them to stay ahead of the curve, making them a preferred choice. It’s an exciting journey ahead as we continue to witness the rise of GCCs in India’s dynamic business landscape.

About the Author: Niraj Seth is a business leader with three decades of experience, including 14 years in CXO roles. He brings a wealth of experience working with companies like Naukri, Intuit, Cleartrip, Monster and Bharat Petroleum.


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