RPA is as easy as training human beings, then why spend money on that?

Six Dead-or-Alive Questions

Puneet Uppal
Puneet Uppal
Head of GBS, Diageo
Puneet Uppal is a business leader with over 30+ years of experience across some of the world-class organizations like Mondelez, Genpact, and PwC. Puneet is currently responsible for leading the Business Operations for Diageo as their head of GBS.
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
  • It would be alive and assisting.
  • The demand is subject to the value BPOs can provide to their customers at the end of business processes.
  • The primary focus would be on what it offers to companies to meet the market trends and demands in the long run.
  • The BPOs must focus on service realization and increasing the efficiency of the process.
  • 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
    • Big central locations would be alive but would be doing different things.
    • In many companies the focus remains on preserving the culture, driving collaboration, and creating value for internal and external stakeholders.
    • These factors would enable the large service centers to be in demand for assistance.
    • Over time, certain improvisations like the scale of operations can help multiply its demand in the market space.

    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: Dead
    • RPA is probably dead due to the obsolete mechanism.
    • The lack of intelligence part costs it to perish.
    • The benefits of RPA die out quickly as whenever a user wants to customize 2-3 parameters as per the requirement, RPA fails to deliver the results.
    • There is always a need for an army of humans to maintain and keep the model running, that ultimately defeats the sole purpose of investing in RPA.
    • If it evolves shortly, it might be helpful, but it is already a void in its current form.

    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 investments are one of the most crucial front-end investments for a company.
    • Companies in the CPG world, including Diageo, focus on incorporating the Protective mode compared to the Reactive mode.
    • Companies want an AI engine that picks up existing trends from the market.
    • Predicting measures to be taken to get the desired output.
    • Ultimately helps drive the expected growth.

    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
    • It is going to be alive.
    • However, it needs to maintain its skill in the game.
    • India is a hub of skill sets and scale that helps it be at pace with the market.
    • Inflation, Shortage of employees are factors even common across global countries like the USA and the UK, but the essence of what it needs to work on is the relevance of skill set.
    • If the skillset is in sync with what the business stakeholders want, they would also be willing to pay higher wages.
    • It is also crucial to manage attrition better with AI, Automation, and Standardization in place doing their jobs.

    Dead-or-Alive Question #6: Would GBS be dead or alive as an organization?
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    Answer First: Alive
    • Market-facing resources like commercial teams, sales teams, and innovation teams want to get closer to the customers and consumers.
    • Organizations like CPG or finance companies, for instance, are the ones that provide valuable services.
    • Like analytics, faster decision making, driving standards, and maintaining ease with which suppliers and customers can engage.
    • In the long run, GBS is an essential component to drive all these parameters effectively and generate results.

    Gavin’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
    • Talent acquisition should be the priority for any business leader to focus on.
    • A very crucial equation: Performance = Potential – Interference.
    • Emphasis should be on getting the best talent on board, working closely with business stakeholders, and understanding what goals need to be accomplished.
    • We set the goals in a structured format and ensure a robust governance mechanism.
    • A perfect balance between all these helps to effectively increase the pace of growth.

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