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Capgemini has more staff in India than at HQ

Published & Updated as on - 2010-12-05

It has become common place to hear from global technology companies that their India employee strength is the largest outside that in their home country. Now, Capgemini, the French IT consulting, services and business process outsourcing major, says it has more employees in India than it does in France.

India became No.1 for Capgemini this year, when it hired around 10,000 people to take the total strength in the country to 30,000. Till January this year, it's home country was the largest with 20,000 people, and that number today remains almost at the same level.

Capgemini has a little over 1,00,000 employees globally, which means that India constitutes almost a third of its total strength. Early this year, Capgemini CEO Paul Hermelin had indicated that the company would be hiring aggressively in India. He had said the company was changing its hiring pattern towards having more freshers, a strategy that Indian IT companies had perfected with great benefits to margins. Hermelin had noted that the European IT services market had profit margins of 5-10 %, compared to the over 20% enjoyed by Indian IT companies.

The company had grown its offshore ratio from 28% to 32% in 2009, and Hermelin was looking at raising it further to 36% by end of 2010. Capgemini was relatively dormant for the first five years of their presence in India, but that changed dramatically in 2006. From 10,000 employees in 2006,the company doubled its strength to 20,000 by the end of last year, and grew that figure by 50% this year.

The rapid increase was partly on account of acquisitions, including those of Unilever India Shared Services and Kanbay International in 2006. Kanbay had a big India presence with large facility in Hyderabad.

Capgemini is expected to report another talent-milestone from India in the BPO space in the next 18 months when more than half of its BPO employees will be here. Its global BPO strength is expected to be 12,000 in the next one year, of which around 6,000 will be in India. Currently, Capgemini India has 4,300 people in BPO and the number is expected to go up by 1,700 in a year. Hubert Giraud, CEO of Capgemini BPO, who was in Bangalore on Thursday to announce the acquisition of more office space in India, said, India is no more a back-office destination, it is an end-to-end solutions provider.

These BPO, KPO, LPO kind of bifurcations are going away as the industry is maturing, he said. Capgemini BPO India currently supports 9 of the 40 Fortune 500 clients of the French company. It has centres in Hyderabad, Gurgaon (supply chain), Mumbai (reference data management, research), Bangalore (finance & accounting), Kolkata (payroll ), Chennai (procurement) and Salem (finance & accounting), servicing clients like Nokia Siemens, Unilever, Dell, Zurich Financial, Coca Cola, and Capgemini itself. We are scaling up in the country. We are able to find enough quality people in tier II and III locations. For instance, we are happy with the finance & accounting talent that we find in Salem, said B L Narayan, head of Capgemini BPO India. Source: Exclventures / TOI 3/12/10

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