Over the years, Genpact has evolved from a traditional BPO to a global player providing artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. In an interview, Sanjay Srivastava, chief digital officer, Genpact, talks about the company’s transition, its AI platform, and the changing dynamics of the industry, among others. Edited excerpts:
How has Genpact transitioned from being a traditional BPO company to a global player in providing AI capabilities?
We continually evolve our business to help our clients meet the ever-changing market demands. As a leader in the BPM (business process management) market, where we have deep domain and process expertise, we have invested in digital technologies to help clients re-imagine their end-to-end operations. Our strategy focuses on the integral combination of Intelligent Operations, which is designing, transforming, and running operations with digital and analytics, with our Transformation Services which drives digitally-led innovation and solutions with domain and process expertise. We believe that the fusion of experience innovation and process innovation will become ‘table-stakes’ in the next two years. For enterprises to compete effectively, they must understand and embrace the balance between human and machine. AI and data analytics can bring possible solutions at amazing speed, but “the last mile," the actual decision, still belongs to humans. Data alone doesn’t lead directly to insights.
It's been more than 2 years since you launched your AI platform Genpact Cora. What has been the impact so far?
Genpact Cora is our digital business platform that helps enterprises accelerate digital transformation at scale. The platform has hundreds of customers, with millions of users processing billions of transactions. We recently launched enhancements to Genpact Cora, with Cora pre-trained AI accelerators that help companies more easily and quickly adopt AI to drive business impact across the enterprise. The engines combine AI technology, specialised data on detailed sub-processes, and industry domain expertise to define a modular strategy for enterprise-wide impact. It addresses specific scenarios and helps businesses accelerate the pace and impact of AI implementations and intelligent automation.
You have done a series of acquisitions lately; the most recent one being that of Rightpoint. What's your acquisition strategy?
We continue to invest in our sharply defined and chosen service lines and specific industries where we have deep domain and process knowledge. This strategy has helped us win more deals and accelerate our larger digital transformation engagements. For example, the acquisition with Rightpoint augments our industry-leading capabilities and investments in experience, which builds on the 2017 acquisition of TandemSeven. Similarly, the acquisitions of Barkawi Management Consultants and riskCanvas expanded our capabilities in the large addressable market of supply chain services and financial crimes risk services in banking.
What about the AI talent you need? Do you train them in-house?
We have immense value for “bilinguals" – those who have in-depth understanding of their industry and have learnt how to harness digital. These larger shifts across industries, which are driven by digital technologies, mean that the skills people need in the workforce also need to evolve. We recently launched a learning framework known as ‘Genome’ which delivers customised reskilling paths for tens of thousands of employees. The learning modules run across professional skills such as agile, design thinking, storytelling, and others; digital skills such as automation, AI, and analytics, etc.; and domain (industry, service lines, and specific processes). We are transforming learning and development from educating each person to reskilling groups of people who work together—and increasing their collective, not individual intelligence.
What does the demand environment look like for the next few quarters?
Market forces and consumer demand have elevated the role of experience from a front-end design function, to a strategic lever that can impact the entire organisation, connecting the front, middle, and back office. At the same time, AI is changing the future of work and reinventing business models for enterprises. With digital transformation moving beyond the CIO, value is being created by driving true experience-led journeys that reimagine siloed organisations as seamless end-to-end enterprises. We also believe that Transformation-as-a-Service will be key to transform operations at scale.