An old mariner’s caution goes, “A ship in port is safe, but that’s not why ships are built.” This ruled the Age of Discovery when European explorers traveled for silk, spices, and ideas. Now centuries later, businessmen are still traveling across oceans for resources, reaping the benefits of globalization. Visionary leaders, much like Renaissance merchants, have their fingers on the pulse, scanning the horizon for talent, infrastructure, and innovation capabilities.
To aid these new-age explorers in their globalization journey, our CMO Nitika Goel sat down with KS Viswanathan (KSV), Vice President of Industry Initiatives at nasscom, in a recent episode of Zinnov Podcast. In this article, we summarize the key advice KSV shared for leaders planning their growth strategies for GCCs (Global Capability Center) in 2024:
The advent of Generative AI and other emerging technologies has initially sparked fears of job losses. Contrary to these concerns, the current scenario suggests a more optimistic outcome. AI and automation are set to boost productivity, create new types of jobs, and enhance overall capabilities. Reflecting this positive trend, several leading Enterprise Automation Platforms have already incorporated Generative AI to significantly enhance their products.
The one thing hindering embracing this productivity booster is acceptance. The fear of AI is holding the workforce back from embracing it. KSV suggests that leadership should help take the fear out of the equation by reassuring their teams that new technologies aim not to eliminate jobs but rather enhance uniquely human strengths. This could involve communicating transparent reskilling paths or simply exhibiting empathy during transitions. Leaders need to view AI’s promise through a human-centric lens of opportunity.
For instance, Walmart’s Live Better U offers tailored reskilling programs with Springboard. This equips employees with data and tech skills. Walmart covers 100% of the Springboard tuition for enrolled associates. This enables workers to obtain in-demand future-proof skills. Ultimately, initiatives like this will allow workforces to transition smoothly and harness the power of AI.
Earlier the India GCC units were seen more as an extension of the global enterprise. Now, the conversation has shifted to just “one global organization” with seamless cross-country collaboration, according to KSV. Geographic boundaries are blurring within companies, with integrated operations, processes, and teams spread worldwide. So instead of working in siloes, GCC leaders should demonstrate peer-to-peer collaboration. Share knowledge and learnings, to grow as an ecosystem to unlock true value from India to the world.
GCCs are moving up the value chain from back-office support to front-office, directly contributing to revenue generation and business growth.
Indeed, this shift towards more central and strategic roles within GCCs is further reflected in the significant increase in global roles based in Indian centers, earning India the Leadership Arbitrage title. From 115+ global leaders in 2015 to 5000+ leaders currently across various business functions, the growth in global roles from India is evident. By 2030, this number is projected to grow 4X. But we are still at the beginning of the S curve of maturity of leadership. If GCC leaders see leadership as a debt they owe to the next generation and keep investing in leadership development, in the next two to three years’ time, we’ll be leadership-ready, talent-ready, and have 5X the impact we already have on the GCC ecosystem, according to KSV.
Hence, the north star for planning for 2024, according to KSV, is “Leadership is the decider for the future. Invest, invest, invest in leadership.”
He also adds that to drive leadership from India, leaders should try to develop qualities like:
The bottom line is that India with these key growth strategies for GCCs of 2024 is poised to be at the forefront of the next wave of globalization. KSV’s extensive experience suggests that by embracing AI’s productivity promise, developing strong leadership, and peer-to-peer collaboration within the GCC ecosystem, India can unlock immense value for enterprises worldwide.