Moving work to GBS isn’t enough to excite companies anymore

Six Dead-or-Alive Questions

Mattijs Backx
Mattijs Backx
SVP & Head of Global Business Services
Mattijs Backx is a business leader with over 20+ years of experience working with global brands such as Lufthansa, Office Depot, and Japanese tobacco. Currently, Mattijs is leading the Global Business Services at PepsiCo as their Head of GBS.
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: Dead
  • BPOs would be dead in their current form.
  • The whole conventional offerings model would be obsolete a decade from now.
  • Companies want to discuss value, digital products, improvements, and user experiences.
  • Thus the current BPOs need to reinvent their ways to bring about the value and ensure a way to reflect the same in commercial relationships.
  • In general, executives and business leaders are used to the digital transformation around them and want BPOs to provide a better experience and cost.
  • Ultimately, aligning BPOs to what makes the businesses grow and thrive is still an untapped area that needs to be explored.
  • 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
    • Post-pandemic, everyone thought the concept was dead.
    • But it is going to be much alive and thriving.
    • We need to innovate, create, collaborate, and celebrate, which isn’t possible via zoom.
    • GBS ultimately is beyond labor play and cost play.
    • The main aim is to bring the people together across companies, geographies, boundaries, and functions.
    • To achieve this goal better and innovate, we have large service centers.
    • Zoom meetings can function but restrict the plane at a certain altitude.
    • If we want to surpass that altitude level, we need a component of physical interaction amongst people where they co-create and co-innovate.
    • The idea of the hybrid model is a great strategy, but togetherness and collaboration symbolize GBS.
    • Thus it is needed the most to innovate processes and capabilities.

    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
    • RPA will be alive and has to be thriving.
    • Unless Salesforce and SAP are into solving all world problems, RPA will be there.

    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
    • AI is required to provide a digitized end-to-end employee experience.
    • We need to focus on leveraging AI to know operations’ visibility in the long run.
    • AI helps users to get an enriching experience and opens doors to new possibilities when integrated with multiple tools like RPA, ML, Chatbots, etc.
    • The new challenge is dealing with content and utilizing your data to make all the difference.
    • mCore ERP systems might be there, but AI will be the front-runner to deep dive and innovate.

    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 as a Shared Services Location will be alive.
    • It is essential to understand that GBS is not just cost play.
    • Cost play may be a factor that may excite the companies.
    • But they won’t add to the relevance factor in the long run.
    • India has done well in the past and has a rich talent ecosystem.
    • The cost will surely go up due to inflation.
    • But that also means talent needs to automate more often and create a value addition across different areas.
    • The talent pool available here will be an incremental value added to the level of innovation that companies seem to look out for in the next decade.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #6: Would GBS be dead or alive as an organization?
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    Answer First: Dead
    • The notion of moving work to GBS isn’t sufficient enough to excite companies.
    • Instead, the brainstorming should go into thinking about how to truly become a part of the company’s fabric that holds greater importance.
    • The goal should be to create a GBS organization, set up a process, and integrate it with the business requirements in an end-to-end manner.
    • The focus should be more on fostering partnerships so that GBS becomes an integral part of the company itself.
    • The idea of positioning GBS as a service provider in the appendix is obsolete and a losing strategy.
    • The blueprint should be to build a digital ecosystem, foster relationships with businesses, understand the real problems, and ultimately solve them.
    • The ability to provide solutions and disrupt the capability space is the real USP that will excite the companies to invest.

    What’s your advice to other GBS leaders?What’s most vital for them to keep their eyes on for success?
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    Key Points
    • First and foremost, it is essential to understand that GBS is a talent play.
    • It is crucial not to lose human centricity in the workflow as they are at the core of giving GBS its true meaning.
    • It is crucial to decode the DNA of the company and the way you would like to drive GBS.
    • It is highly beneficial in maintaining relevance in the market space.
    • Leaders should focus on coaching teams and acting more as a guide rather than the sole owner to help young minds grow and become better visionaries who can address their problems independently.

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    The GBS Masterminds

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