Genpact’s Impressive Success in China

I am not surprised at all by Genpact’s success in China. I am quite impressed though that they have been able not only to penetrate the Chinese marketplace but create a successful growth story out of it. China skeptics will almost always argue away the success stating that most work done by Genpact out of their Dalian center is to serve Japanese clients given their existing global relationships with them (and Dalian’s penchant for the Japanese language and culture).

On the other hand, Genpact has been able to successfully serve all of its clients on the business end by leveraging their legacy strengths created while it was still GECIS. Such experiences are hard to replicate. I always wondered when they would embed technology competencies into their fold and become true business service providers.

Their acquisition of Headstrong was exactly aimed at transforming them from a “back-office” provider to a “value provider”. Personally I am also impressed by the fact that Genpact chose to leverage China not for another offshore delivery center but as a market. I believe their foray into China was always driven by a desire to serve the domestic and regional markets first, as opposed to other Indian-owned providers who chose to locate in China either on the back of a western client’s request, or preemptively with a view on Japan (which is only now opening up to outsourcing as a tangible business model).

Genpact’s clear and present emphasis on localizing competencies is laudable, reflected in their entire Chinese management derived from the local marketplace. Other Indian providers have always had issues with employing local management to drive delivery and growth out of their China centers, which culturally creates a host of longer-term problems.

While cost-oriented goals drive most providers, Genpact’s clarity with its China foray is clearly to create a sustainable revenue model in a fast-growing market with increasing domestic consumption and sophistry. It is also important to understand that Genpact’s experience is quite wide and varied across a host of sectors (again thanks to their GE legacy of serving the larger conglomerate’s global and variegated businesses for over two decades).

Most pure-play BPO providers or even ITO providers cannot boast of the “breadth of vertical experience” that Genpact brings to the table. This will only augur well for Genpact going forward, but also provides a showcase model on how to successfully do business in China. Hope the other Indian providers are listening and learning.

Bobby Varanasi is CEO of Matryzel Consulting, and is one of the top 25 Global Powerhouse leaders in the sourcing space. He is also Global Ambassador and Strategic Advisory Board member of IAOP.