Jan 30, 2007

Center of gravity shifting

The Accenture CEO announces in Bangalore that Accenture India will soon overtake the US as the place with the largest employee headcount.

Does this mean that the center of gravity is actually shifting to the east?

In certain matters, yes. The centralised HR policies and processes of large MNC firms that have a huge delivery population in India (like IBM, HP, Oracle, Microsoft) would need to be either changed or aligned to geographical considerations.

The big difference is that the Indian headcount of these firms are not spread out over a large number of cities, as in the case of US, but concentrated in four/five cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi.

That is a key difference. So while a delivery centre in India might support 3-4 different business divisions for the mother firm, the collaboration possible between these units is something lacking in the US. That's because even junior level employees converse with each other even when they work in separate divisions, because they either travel in the same transport or eat in the same cafeteria.

I foresee the actual center of innovation shifting to India in these firms, as these collaborative relationships come to fruition in the future.