Genpact: Long Live the King - Patrick Cogny and Iris Bossert

In times of recession, many companies hand over processes to an offshore provider to make costs savings from labour arbitrage. Genpact’s Patrick Cogny and Iris Bossert explain that these savings are just the tip of the iceberg and the real value lies in the outsourcing relationship itself.

The business process outsourcing (BPO) market is swarming with competition which is good news for customers. For a BPO player to survive in the game they not only have to provide the expected cost savings that come with labour arbitrage, they now have to be a cash generator for their clients too.

‘The short-term aim of every company that outsources work to an offshore provider is to generate cost efficiencies in their organisation. But they are also embarking on something more strategic for the long term, which will take them to a much better place,’ says Patrick Cogny, CEO Genpact Europe. ‘Once you have built a platform you have gained a partner who will then be able to help you with initiatives such as Genpact’s Cash is King programme, where Genpact share experiences garnered from a variety of clients that outsource similar processes.’

Cash is King

Genpact’s Cash is King programme aims to unlock the cash-making potential that is hidden behind the business processes themselves. Genpact executives partner with clients to identify and re-engineer not only the processes that are leaking profit, but also the processes that need to be employed to grow revenues.

The concept of Cash is King can be illustrated by two examples from clients that have outsourced direct procurement processes to Genpact.In both cases, warranty management processes were given a new lease of life and as a result generated cash for the client.

Clients that have participated in the programme truly see the value that outsourcing can bring when it is done as a business partnership. These customers also serve as useful allies in Genpact’s new business development strategy.

‘Reference calls to existing Genpact clients are essential when choosing an outsourcing partner. Initiatives like Cash is King strengthen Genpact’s position as an industry leader, as these are very powerful and impact the customer directly,’ says Iris Bossert, business development lead for Central Europe. ‘As we make a paradigm shift in value creation for our customers’ business, Cash is King enhances our reputation and works as a game changer.’

Cogny adds: ‘Companies need to look at the way the provider works with its other clients. The provider needs to be able to demonstrate flexibility, a desire to satisfy you beyond the exact terms of the contract. Checking these attributes is important.’

That said, Cogny believes that no outsourcing contract should be written in stone.

‘I hate to talk about contracts because that is not the way I think it should be looked at. The relationshipis based on continuous improvement clauses. It is based on gain-sharing for mutually-driven improvements. Our relationships with clients are on extremely flexible and transparent terms. Those relationships grow all the time, which is a huge incentive for us to keep satisfying the customer.’

Underlying talent and infrastructure

Whilst Cash is King is the icing on the cake for clients, this sort of service can’t be delivered unless the underlying global operational delivery model of the globalisation partner and the talent of the staff are of the highest callibre, explains Bossert, who herself is based in Frankfurt. Genpact has 30 operations centres in nine countries. In Europe, the company has operations in Hungary, Romania, Spain and the Netherlands as well as established satellite centres in Poland and the Baltics to handle niche languages or regulatory requirements.

Every Genpact centre operates within the same integrated framework with all staff working off the same dashboard on their screens. The structure, says Cogny, is seamless so that Genpact is the local provider of an international product for each client.

‘For example, every day, 70% of the work undertaken by our European offices is actually being handled in India. Our global service delivery, therefore, runs 24/7 and provides follow-the-sun delivery.’

It has grown this network both to meet the demands of its clients to be in the same geographies in which they operate, as well as to source talented staff at advantageous cost. Which means, says Bossert, Genpact will typically establish operations centres in second or third tier cities with universities and a resource of well educated young people.

Not only does Genpact have global reach and a rich pool of talent, it is Genpact’s depth and breadth of experience in managing processes across multiple industries that enable companies to drive business outcomes that really impact the bottom line in a big way. This experience comes from Genpact’s strong GE heritage as its erstwhile captive arm (Genpact was formerly GE Capital International Services).

The Cash is King message is clear: being a globalisation partner to a company like Genpact involves a slight mindset adjustment. It is not about the initial cost savings associated with someone else doing exactly the same work for less money, but more about Genpact’s desire to help examine and improve a client’s processes resulting in a leaner, cash-rich and more competitive business.

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Patrick Cogny, CEO Genpact Europe.
Iris Bossert, business development lead for Central Europe.
Genpact’s ‘Cash is King’ programme delivers superior returns from an outsourcing partnership compared with the traditional cost-saving model.