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Goldman Sachs' Bengaluru centre focuses on cross regional collaboration, supporting innovation, automation, and digitization of functions globally. (REUTERS)
Goldman Sachs' Bengaluru centre focuses on cross regional collaboration, supporting innovation, automation, and digitization of functions globally. (REUTERS)

Bengaluru emerges as key innovation hub for Goldman Sachs

  • Since last year, the Bengaluru centre has been home to the second highest number of engineers globally after its headquarters in New York

Bengaluru: Goldman Sachs’ Bengaluru office, which serves as a global in-house centre (GIC), has emerged as a key technology and innovation hub for the American investment bank, a top executive said.

The Bengaluru centre that began operations in 2004 with just 291 professionals has since grown in both “size and sophistication of work", said Gunjan Samtani, head of Goldman Sachs Services in India. It currently has over 6,000 employees and about half of them are engineers.

Since last year, the Bengaluru centre has been home to the second highest number of engineers globally after its headquarters in New York.

GICs, traditionally referred to as captives or contact centres, are typically offshore units of large multinational corporations that perform designated operations, mostly related to technology. Over the years, India has emerged as a hotbed for GICs due to the talent availability and cost advantages.

According to a Nasscom report, as of FY18, GICs in India employed around 900,000 direct employees as against 745,000 in FY15. Almost 40% of the talent pool in these GICs are based in Bengaluru because of its mature and diverse ecosystem.

Goldman Sachs' Bengaluru centre focuses on cross regional collaboration, supporting innovation, automation, and digitization of functions globally. “Teams are set up ‘front-to-back’, which means that business teams, engineering and operations are co-located to drive collaboration," said Samtani.

The GIC has moved up the value chain from being a support centre to include leadership roles. The engineers in the Bengaluru GIC play a key role in supporting the company’s global business using technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics.

The engineering team is a combination of people with traditional technology capabilities and strategists who leverage advanced quantitative skills to drive complex mathematical calculations for the bank. Samtani said. “We have over 500 strats (strategists) in Bengaluru, a population that has doubled since 2015."

The Bengaluru team has been instrumental in building Marcus, an online platform offering loans and savings accounts to retail customers in the US and UK. “We have data scientists, product design managers, and technologists, who work with the global teams across the product suite of Marcus to help develop customer-facing, product feature functionalities," Samtani said.

The US government’s H1-B visa restrictions have led several American multinational companies to shift high-skilled jobs to countries such as India by setting up their own GICs and expanding their existing centres.

Asked how the visa restrictions have impacted hiring, Samtani said regardless of any regulatory changes, the firm remains committed to the talent in India and “we continue to recruit per our people strategy."

Currently, over 99% of the Bengaluru staff is working from home from across 180 locations in India. “There has been no dip in the quality of work delivered or the overall productivity throughout this pandemic," Samtani said.

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