Aruna Jayanthi probably has a great role in this era of de-globalisation and automation. The former India head of European IT services giant Capgemini grew the headcount in the country from 32,000 to 85,000 between 2011 and 2015. The narrative on people has changed since.
In 2016, Jayanthi took over as the Head of Business Services, a "new strategic business unit" created to provide BPO and Platform (integrated technology and operations) services. It's a global position. Globally, the business employs 26,000. However, about a fourth of the business is run with just 600 people. "Few people, high revenue. That's the model," says Jayanthi, who is driving this at Capgemini, widely referred to as the "non-linear" model.
For years, people growth mimicked revenue growth in the IT services industry, but that has changed over the last few years because of automation and less favourable sentiment on outsourcing. "You will recruit people, but with a slightly different profile, because you automate the lower-end tasks," says Jayanthi.
"This year, at least 30 per cent people we have hired are of a different profile - they are high-end." The high-end profiles are required because of the strategic nature of business Jayanthi's business now caters to. "This group is strategic because you work with the COO, the CFO, the chief supply chain head of a business as opposed to the Chief Information Officer," she says. "You are directly impacting the business value of a customer. The change I have brought about in the last one year is to start shifting the business to newer areas." For instance, she pressed the accelerator on supply-chain services. Jayanthi also launched new financial services, and started a consulting business around automation, and pushed growth in emerging markets.