Start-ups have limitations in traditional business, says Capgemini India CEO

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Srinivas Kandula, chief executive officer of Capgemini India, and Patrick Nicolet, member of the Capgemini group management board, spoke about the integration of iGate’s business with Capgemini, future areas of focus for the India unit and the challenge from start-ups, on the sidelines of the Nasscom Leadership Forum in Mumbai. Edited excerpts from an interview:

Can you update us regarding the integration of iGate and the plans for the India unit?

Srinivas Kandula: With iGate integration, we are 88,000-strong now in India. iGate no longer exists as a brand now. We are done with the first phase of the integration. There are certain core processes, which have to be integrated and that work is on right now.

Also, we are driving transformation, which is closely linked to the competitiveness agenda that the firm is driving. Globally, Capgemini will go through a certain transformation and since India is almost 50% of the workforce, we are beginning the drive with India.

Patrick Nicolet: India is the backbone of the group and half of our headcount is in India. Capgemini has a multicultural approach to business and we want to provide the same to all our colleagues here in India.

We are trying to build capabilities around innovation, client experience and leadership.

If our colleagues here are not connected to the clients, then we miss the point that is driving change for customers in the markets; so it’s absolutely necessary that our employees are connected to the clients; otherwise, they will miss out on these trends in the market.

On the client experience side, today, we are organized in India by business lines. We are now working on the model of One India, projecting the group and not just the particular business line that the client is dealing with. We must make sure that they have a Capgemini Group experience and not just Capgemini banking or insurance experience.

Will there be more focus on digital going ahead, especially with iGate integration?

Srinivas Kandula: Capgemini has a strong focus since beginning on analytics, digital or cloud. With the integration of iGate, there is strong product in ITOPS which is cutting across industries whether it’s banking, retail etc. Given the muscle of Capgemini in terms of market reach, those solutions will be better utilized and monetized in the coming days.

Are you looking at hiring more people this year and what skills would you be looking at?

Srinivas Kandula: We are looking at both traditional skills as well as the emerging technologies. There is a competitiveness and transformation agenda that the company is working on, so the profile of skills will undergo some change. We are looking at the numbers and we will have clarity in the coming weeks, but we will definitely grow this year.

Are you facing disruption from start-ups and are you looking at collaborating with start-ups for innovations in digital?

Srinivas Kandula: Start-ups can disrupt on the product side but in the traditional business, I see a great limitation for start-ups, because you need to have a certain scale, project management maturity etc. You cannot have one fine idea that can drive the entire IT services industry, it is a comprehensive model and comprises of various parts.

On the big data, analytics, cloud side, we have our own startup culture, where we encourage ideas. We have an innovation exchange within the company and people do collaborate with startups.

Recently, the US government hiked visa fee, which is expected to hurt Indian IT companies. Are you seeing any impact of the move?

Srinivas Kandula: In the overall scheme of things, there is not too much of an impact. But it is cause of concern, the frequent changes to the immigration policy. We have requested Nasscom to take this up with the US government.

Whenever you have new process, new fee structure, you have to alter everything. We do business assuming certain level of consistency in policy. Also, there is the financial impact when you revise upwards the fee. The intent of fee raise is not to earn revenues for the government but to discourage.