India to be Capgemini's epicentre, says chair Hermelin

With 50 percent of its work force already based in India, French software major Capgemini Tuesday said it plans to make the country the epicentre of its execution and will focus on building capabilities around innovation, client experience and leadership.

PTI| Updated: Apr 05, 2016, 19:37 PM IST

Mumbai: With 50 percent of its work force already based in India, French software major Capgemini Tuesday said it plans to make the country the epicentre of its execution and will focus on building capabilities around innovation, client experience and leadership.

"For me, India is the backbone of our group, it is what holds everything together. We are very close to having 50 percent head count from India. We have 90,000 employees here and the group employs 1,80,000. A few more days and then we will have 1,00,000," Capgemini chairman and chief executive Paul Hermelin told reporters here.

He attributed the iGate acquisition as the real reason behind the increased role India plays in the group.

"The iGate acquisition forced us to think of the role of India in the group. The group had 60,000 employees in India then, with iGate it became 85,000 and now we have added 5,000 organically," he said.

At a gross level, the company plans to hire around 25,000 (rpt) 25,000 people here this year, while the attrition rate at present is 15 percent.

Capgemini launched a new campus at Airoli, Navi Mumbai which can seat 30,000. Built at an investment cost of Rs 1,800 crore, the campus is spread across 50 acres with a built-up area of 3 million sqft.

The first phase of the campus with a built-up area of 1 million sqft and a seating capacity of about 13,000 is operational, while the second phase is expected to be completed by early 2018, Hermelin said.

"We will leave Vikhroli campus, and will regroup people here. We will progress rapidly and will have 26,000 people (on the Airoli campus) and we aim to have 30,000 people which will make us the biggest in single location," he said.

He said Capgemini will create an innovation centre at Airoli which will form part of the network of applied innovation and exchange, launched at the end of last year.

The Capgemini group has 40 innovation centres, out of which nine are group innovation centres, and one of such centres will come up in Airoli," the chairman said. 

On the integration of iGate, which Capgemini bought

last year for USD 4 billion, he said, "The financial markets want to see the integration by the end of the first half...I am sure to complete integration by the end of the year."

Explaining the delays facing the integration, Hermelin said the market wants the iGate clientele fully protected, which we have been able to do so far. The second issue is retention of key people. So far we haven't lost anybody and the third point would be demonstrating that we deliver the synergies.

"My view is the market will expect a clear demonstration at the end of July with the first half results and at the end of the year," he said.

The US-based iGate was an applications network and business process outsourcing specialist and drew almost 35 percent of its income from the US and Canada, while Capgemini offers software services to infrastructure companies, healthcare providers, retailer and manufacturers.

Hermelin said iGate brought in volume in workforce and 277 new clients, which did not lead to overlapping of clients.

"iGate had focus on 280 clients, out of them Capgemini had only three. So there were 277 additional clients. The common client was GE and this is a big account for us. Together we are probably the largest provider to GE. They spend a total of USD 5 billion on IT and we sell USD 250 billion...So we haven't seen any danger in overlap," said Hermelin.