Sep 16, 2015

Going global: Are we there yet?

Today, everybody is talking about being or going global. There are global cultures, global villages, global ideas, and global businesses.

But what does global truly mean? What exactly is a globally diverse company? And what differentiates a multi-national company from a global company? Is it just about generating sales and revenues from other countries, and having an employee base that is distributed across the world? Is that good enough?

My view is that that is no longer good enough. A truly global company is one that manages to go beyond those 2 indicators and additionally create a global balance of power by expanding the ownership structure of the company beyond the home country, and by having its management team based in multiple countries. All four of these indicators of a globally diverse company (2 from the 20th century and 2 from the 21st century) are measurable. Research of diversity has typically highlighted that the tipping point on balance on any diversity parameter (including these 4) is after you cross the 40% mark. Are we there yet?

Like many companies, we at Genpact have had the traditional trans-national parameters in place for a while. For example, we have offices in 25 countries, service over 800 clients, and employ more than 70,000 people, who speak in 30 different languages. But we realized that this was still not enough to be a truly global company of the 21st century, and since 2011, we have made a focused effort to move beyond being an India + multi-national. Let's take a look at how we've moved globally since 2011.

  • Being in a global services industry, a substantial majority of our revenues has always originated outside India
  • We now have more than 30% of our employees based outside India
  • A majority of our shareholding is now also outside of India
  • And over 60% of our management team is outside India, up from under 30%.

So, other than % of employees, where we are still below 40%, we are over 40% outside home country on the other 3 critical parameters. This makes Genpact one of the few truly global large employers in the world (companies with over 50,000 employees). So it looks like we're getting there!

And we are continuing to build on that. Global participation in our 2 signature Hi-Potential leadership programs for mid-management has risen to over 30%, from under 15% just a few years ago. And do you know what? We have eliminated the concept of a 'head office' – Genpact does not have a head office anymore! Power is now truly globally dispersed, and that power can be brought to bear on the functioning of the company, in order to benefit our clients and our employees - where they need us, when they need us, anywhere in the world.

This is a journey – an incredibly exciting journey - and we will continue to strive to make Genpact even more global than it is today. Because going global is truly where the future lies.

About the author

Amit Aggarwal

Amit Aggarwal

Senior Vice President, Training

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