‘COVID-19 may have enhanced India’s attractiveness as a GCC destination

February 02, 2021 09:34 pm | Updated 09:34 pm IST - Bengaluru

COVID-19 seems to have prompted a large number of global businesses, irrespective of their size and domain, to set up Global Capability Centres (GCCs), an offshore infrastructure that supports the overall functioning of an enterprise, in India.

As a result, a slew of global companies is in different levels of talks with various state governments and authorities to set up GCCs in the country. Every week at least one new GCC is starting operations in India as this trend is increasingly becoming mainstream after the pandemic, as per industry observers.

The country currently has over 1,700 GCCs or GICs (global in-house centres) and most of these are large enterprises from North America. However, in the last 10 months, after the pandemic disrupted global marketplaces, even mid-sized companies from multiple geographies are joining the GCC bandwagon.

Lalit Ahuja, MD and founder, ANSR, a firm that helps global enterprises build and operate GCCs overseas, told The Hindu that: “There was a time a company had to be at least three to five billion dollars in revenues to justify setting up captive centres overseas but now even a $100 million revenue firm can go for GCC and still justify it.”

A lot of companies from the EU, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Indonesia and the Middle East are taking advantage of the GCC opportunities in India. There is also an increase in the number of U.K. firms exploring the GCC route, especially after BREXIT.

“If you’re a large company you can go to a service provider like TCS or IBM but if you’re a smaller firm the only choice is to build your own team at an advantageous location,’’ Ahuja added whose firm is instrumental in setting up GCCs for over 60 companies in last 10 years creating about 70,000 jobs.

K. S. Viswanathan, Vice President (Industry Initiatives), NASSCOM, said, “GICs that started as back office operations some two decades ago are now rapidly broad basing and becoming an integral part of global business operations of their companies. Even during pandemic days, we have received 25 new such ventures including Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra of Australia, All these only suggest that the model is getting broad-based and becoming mainstream.’’

In addition to the pandemic-driven global trends, what is fuelling the GCC growth in India is the availability of suitable talent.

“You can find exceptional talent here, in large numbers and you can find them with domain expertise. So, if you’re a retailer, an airline, bank or whatever business you are in, India becomes a preferred destination,’’ added Mr. Viswanathan.

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