The secret to continuously evolve your GBS!

Six Dead-or-Alive Questions

Pavan Pamidimarri
Manoj Kalra
SVP, Head of Group Business Services
Manoj is a business leader with over 20 years of experience in adding strategic business value in organizations like Lehman Brothers, Reuters, Agilent Technologies, Crompton Greeves, and ITI. Currently serving as the SVP & Head of GBS at DSM.
Caroline Basyn
Sashi Narahari
Founder and CEO
Founder & CEO of HighRadius, a fintech enterprise SaaS leader that provides Autonomous Software for Order to Cash, Treasury & Record to Report. Sashi’s leadership has secured the trust of 200+ Global 2000 companies.

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Dead-or-Alive Question #1: In 10 years, do you think BPOs for outsourcing will be dead or alive?
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Answer First: Alive
  • BPOs have started to evolve from the new ‘Hybrid’ mode of working.
  • They can provide benefits like scale and unique skillsets simultaneously.
  • That eventually takes a lot of time if we talk about in-house functions.
  • Ten years ago, BPOs would offer a changed value proposition and would co-exist to help build a larger GBS organization.
  • Dead-or-Alive Question #2: In 10 years, will large, centralized service centers be dead or alive? Especially given the Covid effect of Work From Anywhere?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • One will need a workplace to identify themselves.
    • TAn office is crucial to feeling associated with the responsibilities given.
    • However, working from the office will look a lot different.
    • It would be fragmented into smaller workspaces allowing room to-
      • Ideate
      • Innovate
      • Collaborate
    • Ten years down the line, much like the value proposition of BPOs, the service center framework would evolve too.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #3: In the next ten years, do you think RPA in the current form ‘AS IS screen flow automation’ will be dead or alive?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • Automation in GBS is always going to exist.
    • Since RPA can only automate to a certain extent, your business’s mostly rule-based and repetitive functions.
    • So to achieve growth in the future, RPA needs to push themselves to survive in the GBS space.
    • RPA in its current state will be dead. However, it will evolve and probably personate a new avatar in the next ten years.
    • Sooner or later, human intelligence will come into the picture.
    • The aim is to create new rules and change the way of working.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #4: What are your thoughts on AI in GBS. In 10 years, will AI be dead or alive?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • Especially in GBS, there are two types of customers-
      • Internal Customers
      • External Customers
    • Internal Customers-
      • AI will play a more significant role in solving problems for internal customers.
      • There are abundant opportunities of using this technology.
    • External Customers-
      • AI determines how one can serve external customers.
      • To leverage this technology, it might be necessary to spread the tech and the talent internally.
    • AI in GBS is only going to expand in the next ten years.
    • It’s already in the DNA of GBS, and we need to stop treating this as an exception but make it.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #5: In 10 years, given the consistent wage inflation, will India be a top choice for service centers?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • India is the only country that can supply talents at the desired scale.
    • India will continue to thrive in the talent market given all the educational institutions and the English-speaking capabilities.
    • The salaries are going up along with the demand for talent.
    • With the increase in demand comes a steeper pyramid.
    • And the bottom of the pyramid is the entry-level talent, which helps the businesses balance the cost.
    • Organizations need to manage the pyramid optimally to keep the costs in check.
    • Here the companies are found with new skill sets which were not a part of the GBS earlier.
    • That includes technologies like data analytics, AI, etc., which are in more demand in the GBS space.
    • Yes, the cost and the salaries will be higher, but the base level salaries will help manage it all.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #6: Would GBS be dead or alive as an organization?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • GBS was only a shared service center managing only transactions at least six levels below CEO ten years ago.
    • Organizations need to keep up with the change of technology to evolve continuously.
    • Today, GBS has evolved and acts as a strategic asset of any organization.
    • GBS is desired to evolve and play a more prominent role as an engine and support the whole organization.
    • GBS has earned its respect in the last 10-15 years, and it’s going to evolve its position and enable the organizations to do a lot in less time.

    Manoj’s advice to you: What’s your advice to other GBS leaders? What’s most important for them to keep their eyes on for success?
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    Key Points
    • GBS is a career that enables new talent to come and thrive.
    • We as GBS leaders have to take it to the next level of evolution, majorly helping in:
      • Driving top-line growth.
      • Sourcing talent and speed.
      • Making organizations more efficient.
    • Ten years down the line post the pandemic, an era led with digitalization, holds a lot of scope for GBS.
    • Thus companies should try and leverage GBS to the best of their potential.

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