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BENGALURU : Global in-house centres (GICs) in India are hiring specialized talent to grow capabilities in emerging digital technologies.

GICs, also known as global capability centres (GCCs) or captives, emerged in the early 1990s as offshore units of large multinationals such as General Electric, Texas Instruments Inc., Citigroup Inc. and American Express Co., performing various technology operations.

The pandemic has spurred the growth of GICs as companies accelerated investments in digital transformation, data analytics and other emerging technologies.

“Post pandemic, the work being undertaken at GCCs is significantly more core, strategic, impactful and aimed at future-proofing the enterprise workforce. Covid has also highlighted the importance of distributed, collaborative teams thereby validating the GCC model," said Lalit Ahuja, founder and CEO of ANSR, a GIC consulting firm.

According to ANSR research, over 100 GICs are expected to open in India this year compared to only about 40 in 2020. Also, in the next three years, more than 200 new GICs are likely to be set up in the country. New GICs and expansions by existing ones are expected to create additional 300,000-350,000 jobs.

The key growth segments are banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), retail/consumer packaged goods (CPG), manufacturing, healthcare and technology product companies.

Since March last year, Target India, which serves as the GIC for American retailer Target Corp., has hired 583 people to take its total headcount to more than 3,400 in Bengaluru.

Half of the new hires were for latest capabilities in areas such as vision computing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), vendor security and platform engineering.

“Our Target India technology team works on some of our most important strategies such as building tech for the future, pricing, enabling digital business, computer-generated imagery and others," said Gorur Shrinivas, vice president, data sciences, Target in India.

The India team at Target has built Kelsa, a data pipeline framework that enables the development of certified data sets in a standardized and easily accessible manner. “Before Kelsa was built, developing clean data sets out of volumes of data was time-consuming. The platform accelerates the development of certified data sets by eliminating silos… Kelsa was built in-house and from the ground up by Target in India’s engineers," said Shrinivas.

Sun Life Asia Service Centre (ASC) India, the GIC of Canadian financial services company Sun Life, expects its workforce to grow 40% by 2022.

“Digital skills will continue to lead the hiring numbers as banking and insurance captives have seen a growing trend owing to a business transformational push and virtual ways of doing business. One can anticipate that skills like full stack, DevOps, integration, cloud, AI/ML, and information security will remain in high demand," said Rajeev Bhardwaj, chief human resources officer, Sun Life ASC.

Goldman Sachs’ GIC in Bengaluru which employs the highest number of engineers after its New York headquarters, has onboarded over 1,700 employees in India so far this year, of which nearly 60% are for engineering functions.

“The engineering skill sets we are currently focused on include full-stack, platforms, DevOps, quantitative engineering and product/UX design," said Deepika Banerjee, co-head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs Services in India.

Uber India is hiring close to 250 engineers this year for its Hyderabad and Bengaluru technology centres as it continues to expand operations for its engineering and product work in the country. Currently, Uber India has a team of more than 750 engineers.

“We are looking for top notch engineers who can build large scale systems, mobile, and web experiences. We are also looking for engineers who have experience building AI applications using natural language processing (NLP), automated speech recognition, and ML to solve some of the impactful problems for our customers," said Jayaram Valliyur, senior director, Engineering, Uber.

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