Global Webinar: Global Business Services Set Up and Scale

Throughout 2023 we saw a significant focus on the HR function being ‘fit for purpose’ and there is an expectation that this will continu...

Throughout 2023 we saw a significant focus on the HR function being ‘fit for purpose’ and there is an expectation that this will continue and grow further in 2024. With cost efficiency being a key driver, global business services and HR operations are being offshored and outsourced to lower cost regions, with India identified as the top location for this.

On 18th January we held our first Global Webinar hosted by our CEO, Stuart Elliott who was joined by an esteemed panel of speakers; Gaurav YadavGaurav Bhalla, Amitabh Mukherjee and Kyle Davis. The panellists shared their own local expertise, experiences and challenges of setting up global capability centres from tender, set up and implementation through to scaling.


Key Takeaways: 

Career and Industry growth and transformation: 

After a brief overview of each speakers’ backgrounds and connections to Shared Services, the conversation began by touching on the growth and evolution of the outsourcing industry over the past 25 years, particularly the Global Business Services concept. Speakers, Amitabh and Kyle both expressed surprise at the rapid growth and opportunities within the industry since its early days. Amitabh discussed his experience in leading transformation projects, highlighting the shift towards cost-effectiveness, efficiency and technology adoption. 

The Benefits of setting up Global Capability Centres (GCCs): 

The concept of delivering work from Global Capability Centres was discussed and the benefits of setting these up. Some of the advantages included diverse talent pools, efficiency gains, improved quality as well as global standardisation of processes, highlighted as particularly beneficial by Kyle Davis.

The Evolution of Transformation Centres: 

The discussion was then veered towards transformation centres and their evolution, citing examples of centres set up globally in locations such as; Mexico, Malaysia, Poland and India. Some common threads seen in all of these set ups included capital advantage, innovation through centres of excellence and capability extensions through partnerships with start-ups. 

Hiring in India: 

The next topic considered was that of recruitment in India and the challenges that are often posed during this process. One of the key pieces of advice when dealing with this was to over-offer, in anticipation of potential dropouts. Another key point was importance of engagement with possible hires during the notice period as the employee experience begins during the recruitment process. Furthermore, the panellists shared their advice on leadership hiring and how to find the best fit culturally.

Advice for Setting up Global Capability Centres in India: 

The speakers rounded off the conversation by talking through the process of setting up an effective Global Capability Centre and the importance of clear, concise communication and consistent instructions in order to do so. Other key tips were to utilise psychometric assessments, have multiple interview rounds and references to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of candidates. They also commented on the rapid change that is being undertaken in the form of investment in emerging locations, thus reflecting the dynamic nature of India’s current business landscape.  

Thank you to all of our speakers for sharing their experiences of setting up Global Capability Centres. The webinar delivered great insights and provided invaluable advice for those wishing to set up a GCC. This was a great opportunity for HR leaders and functional specialists to come together to share insight and ask questions to our panel of experts. 

You can watch the full webinar above. 

Key Timestamps:

- 02:44: Introducing the panel

- 10:37: How the GBS space has changed and grown over the years

- 18:10: The main business reason for companies to set up a GBS function and how things improved over the years

- 21:26: The difficult cultural challenges to navigate when setting up a GBS function in India as a Western organisation

- 24:15: What the talent looks like in the GBS space

- 27:54: How AI will affect GBS functions

- 30:02: What the timeframe looks like for those wanting to set up a GBS function

- 38:31: The sustainability of a GBS function

- 42:24: Mitigating the risk when hiring lower level staff in India

- 47:32: Winning trust between business leaders and GBS staff

- 53:34: Assessing the potential gaps of cultural communication during the selection process

- 57:31: GBS standardisation