Pankaj Phatarphod, managing director & country head of services, RBS India, talks to Oommen A. Ninan on what has helped global captives or Global In-house Centres (GICs), which give back-end systems support to their parent companies, stay afloat among big players such as Infosys, TCS and Wipro. India is home to more than 1, 000 GICs with combined export revenue in excess of $19 billion in 2015.
How has the journey been for GICs from being supporters of back-office software projects to being strategic business functions?
Three key elements have characterized this journey, a deepening of the relationship between the GICs and the parent organisation, based on trust, senior executive support and a demonstration of consistent delivery and innovation by the GIC, a shared goal constantly reiterated — for example in our case to be the number one in customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020 in the markets we operate — enabling the GIC to steer beyond a mere ‘delivery of service level KPIs’ to being an integral part of the customer journey, focussed on business outcomes.
Having the right tools and frameworks in place for quality, right from the early stages of the GIC set up and an evolved model to attract, retain and develop talent at all levels has stood us in good stead.
While most IT companies are reworking their business model to survive automation and protectionist tendencies in major markets, how do the GICs stay relevant?
Every industry has its set of challenges and so do GICs in this complex environment. GICs will continue to play a key role if we stay obsessed with our customer, foster non-linear thinking, develop our people and leaders in vital skills that drive change, interpret data and create a digital mindset. More importantly, it’s never a ‘them (parent) versus us (GIC)’ environment. We need to look globally to resolve the challenges an organisation may face, best-shore as a location strategy and not necessarily limited to a cost benefit, our ability to collaborate, unlock employee creativity and bring a sense of urgency to all that we do, will make us deliver great value to our customers.