Why now is the perfect time to invest in AI for GBS?

Six Dead-or-Alive Questions

Pavan Pamidimarri
Pavan Pamidimarri
SVP, Finance Operations & Sourcing
Senior Vice President Finance Operations and Sourcing at Levi Strauss & Company Pavan is a business leader with over 20 years of experience in working for top companies like AT Kearney and ADP.
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.

View The Podcast Summary

Dead-or-Alive Question #1: In 10 years, do you think BPOs for outsourcing will be dead or alive?
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Key Points
  • Why do BPOs still exist?
    • Some business processes are not part of the company’s core competency or competitive advantage.
    • This eventually requires a lot of manual effort.
    • And this is when BPOs come into the picture.
  • Companies rely on providers that drive scale and value production from those competitive activities.
  • The first part of the rationale will continue to be true many years ahead.
  • The face of industry will change because of the continuous automation and reduction of manual effort that is driving the industry now.
  • So that’s why the BPO industry will be alive but will look different.

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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Key Points
  • The concept of large work centers or offices where people work together is dead.
  • The real question is how long it will take for large service centers to die and the emergence of the new normal?
  • The current reality is that there is a war for talent going on.
  • Levi’s and other reliable strategic partners which get the work done are going through the same dynamic.
  • Everyone worked virtually over the past two years, and it’s going to be hard to revert it to the old days.
  • Also, the ODC (Off-Shore Development Centres) model will disappear.

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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Key Points
  • RPA in GBS should be dead in the next ten years
  • However, in today’s GBS, almost every function relies on modern technology.
  • If companies don’t automate it in the coming decade, it will be unfavorable.
  • The right economics should make sense for companies to achieve complete automation.
  • Hopefully, in 10 years, RPA companies should focus on developing new capabilities to look different from now.

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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Key Points
  • AI in GBS is going to be very much alive.
  • Companies have invested a significant focus on AI over the last few years.
  • However, they haven’t yet invested much in AI around GBS functionalities.
  • That’s why there are many possibilities of AI waiting to happen with its current capabilities.
  • The cost curve continues to come down in deploying use cases in business.
  • It would be a great time to invest in AI in the next ten years, especially in the GBS space.

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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Key Points
  • India will no longer be the number one option.
  • This is primarily due to wage inflation, talent retention, and people moving out rapidly.
  • Companies have started to look for alternative locations to source global talent as these trends continue.
  • No other countries produce the number of graduates who can serve the Global Companies compared to India.
  • No country can replace India as the top choice, but the competitive advantage in the GBS space is eroding fast.

Dead-or-Alive Question #6: Would GBS be dead or alive as an organization?
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Key Points
  • In 10 years, the GBS organization will be very much alive.
  • Organizations need to keep up with the change of technology to evolve continuously.
  • RPA’s Example:
    • All businesses need to implement RPA capabilities, not just GBS.
    • GBS companies can become the engines within any company.
  • Levi’s approach:
    • Some product design steps are more inclined to RPA automation.
    • The merchandising team takes over and helps them to automate those steps.
  • GBS organizations can stay relevant and can continue to create value for companies.

Pavan’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
  • We should keep up to date with the capabilities of technology coming at us.
  • Whether it’s AI, Blockchain, or any other technology, a leader should understand its technical capabilities.
  • They should energize their team to pursue them and deploy them correctly.
  • Make sure to know the art of the process to find the right people in the teams.
  • Engage the team in building out and taking advantage of those technologies.

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The GBS Masterminds

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