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BENGALURU : Large multinationals led by the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector are expanding their global in-house centres (GICs) in India by hiring in large numbers and moving new critical roles such as strategy and planning into the country.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, one of the latest GICs in India, recently added about 1,000 people to its technology centre in Bengaluru. Similarly, one of the largest banks in America is planning to hire 15,000 people in India in the next 2 years, a person familiar with the development said. Likewise, American investment bank Goldman Sachs, which operates as a GIC out of India, aims to hire about 2,500 people by 2023, as it expands operations in Hyderabad.

Since Goldman Sachs set up its first office in Bengaluru in 2004, the centre has grown to become its second largest technology hub globally with about 7,000 professionals. The Hyderabad centre is part of Goldman Sach’s commitment to expand its GIC for engineering and business innovation in India. “The Hyderabad centre will be a centre of excellence for consumer banking services, business analytics and platform engineering, including application of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to augment our businesses," said Gunjan Samtani, head of Goldman Sachs in India.

Sun Life Asia Service Centre (ASC) India, the GIC of Canadian financial services company Sun Life, has significant expansion plans for 2021-22 and expects its hiring numbers to grow at 40%. “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, artificial intelligence/machine learning, and information security will remain in high demand," said Rajeev Bhardwaj, chief human resources officer, Sun Life ASC.

“The pandemic has enabled people to work from anywhere, so multinationals are leveraging locations like India where skilled talent is available at a lower cost," said Harish Pillai, director and country head, Randstad Sourceright. As a result of the pandemic-induced lockdowns, many banking GICs are setting up offices in multiple locations to offset risk. “Many of the banks prefer to have their captives in multiple locations such as South America, Eastern Europe, and India so that in case of situations like lockdowns, business is not disrupted," Pillai added.  

GICs, also known as global capability centres or captives, emerged in the early 1990s as offshore units of large multinationals such as General Electric, Texas Instruments, Citigroup, and American Express, to perform designated technology operations. India is currently home to more than 1,200 GICs employing close to 10 lakh people, according to Nasscom. 

According to consulting firm ANSR, over 100 GICs are expected to be established in India this year compared to nearly 40 in 2020. Also, in the next three years, more than 200 new GICs are likely to be set up in India with an additional creation of 3-3.5 lakh jobs due to expansion of existing GICs and setting up of new ones.  

Digital transformation is also leading these banks to expand their operations in India. “Most banks are enhancing their capabilities in digital as a result of which they are expanding in India as the talent is readily available," said Pillai. 

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