Press release

22 Feb 2022

3 out of 4 India based GCCs are acting as Global Hubs for digital skills & delivery - EY GCC Pulse Survey 2021

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EY India

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Bengaluru, 22 February 2022:
According to EY’s GCC (Global Capability Center) Pulse Survey 2021, 74% of participants are acting as global hubs for digital skills and delivery. Most GCCs see themselves as an incubation engine with structured ideation processes where 68% of GCCs are operationalizing their parent organization’s digital strategies by providing scale.

The EY study incorporates the first-hand perspective of 57 GCC leaders in India to highlight current trends and industry priorities including their strategies around digital adoption, expansion of existing service portfolios, the future of work, talent management, return-to-work strategy, enterprise & cyber risk.

Arindam Sen, Partner, GCC Sector Lead - Non-FS, EY India,We are increasingly seeing product-based innovation, use of technologies like artificial intelligence and analytics to drive process efficiency and enhanced service portfolio becoming key business drivers. With the abundant skilled digital talent in India and keeping future of work central to their strategy, GCCs can deliver on their digital transformation agenda.

Key insights from the survey include:

The ‘war for talent’

As GCCs continue to focus on transformation and innovation, the requirement for talent with niche skills in the areas of artificial intelligence/machine learning, cloud and open stack development, business intelligence, and cyber security continues to increase. 76% of GCC leaders believe they need to improve their ability to attract and retain talent. While all the GCCs agreed that niche skill sets were critical for their digital transformation agenda, currently only 10% of GCCs mentioned campus hires as a significant source of talent and 67% prefer to source their talent through lateral hiring from other GCCs, Indian organizations and service providers.

The rise of digital skills

In the last 18 months, the demand for niche digital skills has grown exponentially leading to a shortage of qualified candidates. One out of five GCCs identified automation as a continued area for investment, reflecting a coming of age of automation. 76% of the respondents indicated an intent to move up the maturity curve by building a center of excellence and driving adoption, among others.

The ‘future of work’

In the past, employees were integrated into the organizational culture through in-person trainings, interactions and on the job learning. With most employees now remote, GCCs recognize the challenges associated with sustaining a culture that defines a company. 51% of the respondents found having a digital mindset as a key focus area for cultural change followed by diversity and inclusion, innovation and workplace flexibility. The ‘future of work’ clearly emerged as Hybrid’, with 50% of survey participants believing that half of their workforce will work remotely for the next 12 months. GCCs realized the need to enhance their overall Employee Value Proposition (EVP), where 64% will redefine their EVP to make it more employee centric.

Subir Mehra, Partner, GCC Sector Lead – FS, EY India, Upskilling and reskilling employees with niche and next-gen technology skills remains the need of the hour to augment the talent pipeline. In the long-term, collaboration with start-ups, industry bodies and educational institutions will also play a key role to build a business-deployable pool of resources. These steps will help GCCs continue to act as an innovation engine and drive new ideas across their organization.”

Real estate strategy

Most of the participants in the survey have spent time reimagining their offices to facilitate an operating model that is a mix of a remote working and a physical workplace, that promotes collaboration and ideation, rather than rows of cubicles and offices. The growth of headcount in the past months has not led to a proportionate increase in real estate. Over 80% of the respondents believe that their real estate investments have remained flat or have been optimized.

Risk and cyber security

With more and more employees working remotely, GCCs believe there is an elevated risk associated with data leakage. Over half of the survey participants believe that a major risk to their current operations is their inability to deliver transformation programs at a desired pace. 58% of GCC leaders, feel that there is an increased risk of a data breach due to increased remote working, while 73% feel there is a risk to confidential information due to increased cyber-attacks. 43% of the survey participants currently have cyber teams, while 33% have centers of excellence in other locations. Further, GCC leaders were fairly confident about their ability to manage endpoint security with 60% GCCs believing that risks associated with a high turnover of employees or access management were well managed. 

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About the study

The survey is designed to assess the key trends that are shaping the GCC sector in India. The questions for the survey were structured around the four pillars of Strategy, Digital, Talent and Cyber Security. We conducted the study in two parts – the first part focused on one-on-one interactions with GCC leaders and gaining their perspective on the emerging trends, followed by focusing on deriving insights based on extensive data analysis coupled with EY’s points of view. The survey was digitally conducted during the period October - December 2021.

The participation list for this survey included 57 companies representing various industries. All the companies represented have GCCs in India as well as other locations with an average employee count of 3500. The average revenue for the companies was over $5B.