NEW DELHI : Global Capability Centres (GCCs) will continue to hire in India, creating around 364,000 new jobs over the next 12 months, a 38% rise from last year, showed a report issued on Wednesday by staffing firm NLB Services.

According to the report, more than 57% of GCCs are looking to ramp up their workforce by a quarter or even doubling them during the period. Also, 200 new GCCs are expected to open in India in the next 12-18 months in banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), telecom, IT consulting, healthcare, pharma, travel, and hospitality sectors, resulting in more hiring.

GCCs are centres of excellence set up by large multinational firms to provide specialized tech services, R&D, engineering, IT support, and business process outsourcing. They are typically located in emerging markets such as India and are meant to develop innovative solutions and business practices that can be implemented by the parent company.

Varun Sachdeva, APAC recruitment and business leader at NLB Services, attributed the growth in hiring activity to a “spurt in service demand” from key global markets. He said 34% of the GCCs have an optimistic hiring outlook, while 8% believe their workforce will double in the next 12 months.

India is home to more than 1,500 GCCs across sectors such as BFSI, software, automotive, pharmaceuticals, retail, and oil and gas. A November report by Nasscom and Zinnov pegged the size of the Indian GCC market at $36 billion and that it is expanding at a 10.5% compound annual growth rate.

NLB’s Sachdeva said the top job roles that GCCs are eyeing include big data analytics manager, with an annual salary of 20 lakh, followed by IT manager and full stack developers, with an annual salary of 15 lakh and 14 lakh respectively. He added that GCCs surveyed by his firm have rated data science, data analytics, data engineering, statistical analysis, and UI/UX design as the most critical and in-demand skills.

Though hiring in GCCs holds steam, for now, many believe that they are not totally resilient to the global economic slowdown.

“While hiring by GCCs remains strong as compared to IT services firms and startups, it is subject to the influence of global slowdown on parent MNCs having captive centres in the country in the coming months,” said Prasadh M.S, head of workforce research and analytics at specialist staffing firm Xpheno. Xpheno’s data showed that the total GCC headcount is expected to reach 1.5-1.6 million this fiscal year and net addition of jobs is expected at 120,000-150,000 this fiscal.

Other hiring firms also agree that in case of a slowdown, hiring by GCCs will also get affected if their parent entities get impacted. “Due to the prevailing market condition, we have witnessed a drop of 40% QoQ (quarter-on-quarter) in the current hiring at GCCs in India,” said Siva Prasad Nanduri, Chief Business Officer at TeamLease Digital, a staffing firm.

That said, Kashyap Kompella, CEO at industry analyst firm RPA2AI Research, noted that despite a cautionary outlook, specialized skills, domain knowledge, and talent, especially mid-level talent with 5-10 years of experience will continue to be in demand for the next 12 months.

Closing the talent gap is yet another challenge. Arjun Ramaraju, CEO, Conneqt Digital, a digital IT services firm, believes that even though a few large GCCs in India have succeeded, small and mid-range GCCs still struggle to find the right talent. “With the emergence of Web3 technologies, these centers will need to develop new domain expertise, which will require talent with specific skills,” he said.

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