Pace at which India adapts has all the time amazed me: Capgemini CEO

BENGALURU: Aiman Ezzat took over as CEO of Capgemini a few yr in the past. He’s had a detailed relationship with India. He says he’s made a minimum of a 100 journeys right here since his first brush with the nation some 20 years in the past.
Ezzat even labored in India for a number of years with IT providers agency Headstrong.
The €16 billion Capgemini in the present day has 1.2 lakh staff in India, greater than half of the French IT providers firm’s world energy.
In an unique interplay with TOI, Ezzat stated India isn’t just Capgemini’s largest supply engine, but in addition a key innovation hub. Excerpts:
Do you suppose Capgemini has come out stronger from the pandemic? You beforehand stated that for the reason that world monetary disaster (GFC), you’ve got actually constructed your resilience. What are a few of the takeaways?
Capgemini in the present day and what it was through the GFC are two various things. Enterprise was far more centralised within the monetary disaster. It’s extra globalised now. We’ve a extra numerous sector base. One of many assessments for the disaster is the extent of resilience and agility of Capgemini.
Buyers had been each. And we got here good on each. Final yr our margin fell simply 40 bps. We built-in with Altran through the pandemic. We went to 97% work at home fairly rapidly, and the shoppers had been proud of what we have now delivered. Individuals had been involved about work at home, however the degree of engagement and intimacy has gone up.
Capgemini expects to develop at 7%-9% in fixed foreign money in 2021 with 450 bps coming from the Altran buyout. The natural progress forecast is between 2.5% to 4.5%. Nevertheless, Indian IT companies have made a robust restoration and are double-digit progress from the lows of final yr.
That is a median for the yr. We anticipate Q1 to be barely unfavourable, with the tempo accelerating beginning in Q2. We’re focusing on to get to our mid-term natural progress steering of 5% to 7% by the yr finish.
Following the regular market restoration and with promising market dynamics, the Group is able to create extra worth in 2021. We’re extraordinarily properly positioned on what’s driving demand – cloud, knowledge & AI, connectivity, software program and cybersecurity.
The India-based IT providers gamers have been doing higher than a lot of their MNC friends over time. Their progress charges, their margins are higher. How do you see that?
In the event you have a look at it from a monetary numbers standpoint, they have a tendency to have higher progress and higher margins. A few of it’s linked to the mannequin and enterprise combine. Whenever you run administration consulting companies, they don’t ship 25% margins.
The necessary factor for us is our relationship with our shoppers and the way we’re positioned with them and what we do. We is not going to ship the form of margin that you simply see coming from these with a excessive offshore leverage. The truth that we have now 100,000 folks in Europe has an influence on the mannequin.
Within the coming years, we are going to see some acceleration of the topline. It’s a journey and we’re reworking the enterprise that existed for 50 years. The Indian IT companies jumped on the wagon beginning 20 years in the past, and it’s a more moderen enterprise in a sure method.
Digital and cloud type 65% of your online business. With Altran, engineering providers has emerged as doubtlessly a 3rd engine of progress. How do you see this altering the enterprise velocity?
Engineering and R&D is about 50,000 folks and 20% of the group. The explanation that we do that’s not as a result of engineering and R&D is an efficient enterprise as a service line.
For us, it’s due to the digital transformation that’s occurring on the operations facet. And never solely in what folks name as 4.0, which is concentrated on manufacturing and provide chain. It’s throughout all industries. It’s about making all of them clever. These are industries which have electronics, however no software program.
How is your India supply engine geared in direction of embracing a digital-first playbook?
I bear in mind once I began operating monetary providers in 2008, my staff was primarily based in India and inside 18 months we needed to change to 90% Java. The velocity at which we will make modifications in India, the velocity at which individuals right here can adapt, has all the time amazed me.
But it surely’s not a lot about skilling as about scalability, and we’re going by a robust part of demand in India and our problem right here is to draw and retain expertise. I believe what the India management has completed when it comes to expertise will repay in the long term.
What are your new expectations from India? Will the proportion of India in your general worker base go up additional?
It might. There’s nonetheless lots of demand for India expertise, however we’re additionally working extra effectively. India will not be a few supply centre – that was ten years in the past. India for us is innovation, and we have now launched the idea of India account leaders.
We’ve many India account leaders who will likely be groomed to grow to be world account executives. As we give attention to industries, we’re creating centres of excellence round particular industries in India. India is a spot the place we all know the work we do throughout our shoppers.
Somebody working for an auto shopper in France doesn’t essentially know what work we’re doing in China or within the US for different shoppers. However in India, they know every little thing. So the India account leaders will be proactive in developing with propositions for our shoppers.

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