Flashback to the early 2000s – A spinoff of General Electric and formerly GE Capital International Services, Genpact was best known as a traditional BPO services provider primarily delivering finance and accounting (F&A) services.
Fast forward to today – Genpact is globally recognized as an industry leader delivering digital transformation for its clients.
As president and CEO, Tiger Tyagarajan is credited as one of the industry leaders who pioneered a new global business model and reengineered Genpact for success in the digital era while staying true to its BPO roots. Tyagarajan will be recognized for his accomplishments by his colleagues and peers at OWS18 with his induction into the IAOP Leadership Hall of Fame.
By staying curious and taking risks, Tyagarajan led the company’s metamorphosis over the past seven years. He envisioned a company that integrated digital technologies and analytics with BPO solutions to ensure that customer needs were addressed in the context of total transformation.
Realizing early on many digital transformation journeys fell short of expectations (approx. $400 billion wasted each year) because they focused too heavily on the front office, and neglected the middle and back, Genpact developed a new “Lean Digital” approach that attacks transformation projects from end-to-end, including many business processes that companies choose to outsource, such as customer service, finance and accounting, and claims processing.
During his tenure, he has also shifted the company’s focus to growth in the developed markets, where the majority of Genpact clients are based. Tyagarajan incorporated digital into Genpact operations as well as integrated a number of key digital technologies to its services portfolio, such as intelligent automation, natural language processing, cognitive computing, machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), and more.
In the past few years Tyagarajan has spearheaded more than six key strategic acquisitions that have added deep expertise, talent, and digital and domain-led capabilities to Genpact’s portfolio. Genpact’s acquired Rage Frameworks in March 2017, adding significant artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to Genpact’s entire portfolio. Soon after, Genpact launched Genpact Cora, the first of its kind artificial intelligence-based platform that accelerates digital transformation for enterprises.
With the company at the forefront of innovative technologies, Genpact is poised to maintain this incredible momentum in the years to come.
Tell me about some of your personal highlights in your outsourcing career.
There have been too many to name in full, but one memory that sticks out in particular was last November when I had the privilege of ringing The Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) along with several members of our senior management team. It was a historic moment for the company, marking 10 years since our public listing. This was a great time for the company to celebrate how far we’ve come during this period, nearly tripling our revenues and expanding our global client relationships from 55 clients to 265 today. I credit this continued success to our ability to reinvent Genpact into a digital-first company while staying true to our BPO heritage.
How has outsourcing changed since you entered the profession?
The world of outsourcing has changed significantly since I first entered the space. We were just beginning to think about digital technologies when I first started, and now we lead with a digital-first approach. Our customers can no longer afford to look for outsourcing services that simply reduce costs piecemeal. Today you must integrate BPO services with digital technologies and analytics if you want to deliver real impact. Outsourcing, as a service, has become part of a larger package aimed at addressing client needs in the context of total transformation.
What is your outlook for outsourcing in the future?
I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of outsourcing. New technologies – especially AI, robotics, automation, the cloud, etc. – are paving the way for a new era of digital-led innovation and digital-enabled intelligent operations for companies. This will change how the industry operates, and that’s a good thing. The cost of labor will be reduced as technology takes over repetitive, time-consuming tasks, and current outsourcing professionals will find themselves taking on higher-paid, higher-skilled roles that will inevitably emerge as technology creates new opportunities.
What trends have and will have the biggest impact on outsourcing?
Without a doubt, digital technology has had the single greatest impact on the outsourcing industry. By integrating digital technologies and analytics with traditional BPO solutions, companies can now address customer needs in the context of total transformation.
What are some of the key lessons you’ve learned and best practices you have to share with others?
I think the most important lesson for any business leader in this age of rapid technological evolution is to stay curious and take risks. To put it simply: if you’re not curious, you’re dead. By staying curious, we learn not to fear change but to embrace it early on and constantly stay nimble. This allows us to experiment and take risks that could lead to incredible innovation or could end up costing the company in some way. Likewise, transforming and preparing your company for long-term success in a volatile, rapidly-evolving business landscape will inevitability involve a few missteps. The key is to not be afraid of failure – if you are willing to take the risk and fail fast, you can learn quickly from this attempt and pivot your plans accordingly.
What are you most proud of in your professional career?
I’m very proud of the progress that Genpact has achieved as a company. When I assumed the role of President and CEO of Genpact in 2011, the company was best known as a traditional BPO services provider primarily delivering finance and accounting (F&A) services. Since then, we have reinvented ourselves from being a traditional BPO company to a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation, now serving a quarter of the Global Fortune 500 companies and operating in more than 20 countries. Along the way, we’ve also been able to make a difference in the lives of our more than 70,000 employees and their predecessors. In particular, improving gender diversity has always been a passion of mine, and at Genpact we have launched programs that help bring women into the workforce, mentor them throughout their careers, and ensure that they get a fair shot at leadership positions. I’m proud to say 40 percent of Genpact employees are women, far exceeding the industry average of 30 percent, and that we are still pushing our programs with the goal of reaching true gender equality in the workplace.
What does this honor mean to you?
To me, this is an honor for Genpact as a company, not just me as an individual. Genpact has a deep legacy in the outsourcing industry, so it’s incredibly meaningful to be recognized by our peers for our contributions, innovation and growth. It also reinforces all our hard work over the years and inspires us to keep up the incredible momentum.