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EPAM Systems bets big on India, to ramp up hiring as more clients set up GCCs

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The Hindu – by N. Ravi Kumar

EPAM Systems bets big on India, to ramp up hiring as more clients set up GCCs

Digital transformation services and product engineering solutions provider EPAM Systems is upbeat on its India operations and its contributions as an increasing number of clients as well as leading firms chose to set up global capability centres and move their business functions to the country.

“India is becoming more and more of a focused area for us to do business development too,” President of EU and APAC Markets at EPAM Balazs Fejes said. “If business stakeholders no longer [are] in the U.S. or Western Europe, but in India [including] budget holders then you need to focus and try to sell to them going forward,” he added.

For the NYSE-listed EPAM that reported $4.69 billion in revenues for 2023, India already is its second-largest delivery centre globally with centres of excellence located in major cities, with their focus on financial services, healthcare, life sciences, retail and media servicing.

Describing the trend of GCCs and business functions being moved to the country as “very interesting change and [poised to] change dynamics overall,” Mr. Fejes, who was here recently, said India has already been important for EPAM from a talent availability perspective. The company employs more than 53,000 people globally.

EPAM India managing director Srinivas Reddy, present during the interaction, said “our headcount in India is 7,300 engineers with half of them based out of Hyderabad and the rest in Pune, Bangalore, Gurgaon, and Chennai.”

“The plan is to increase the headcount in India to more than 10,000 people by 2025,” Mr. Fejes said, seeking to highlight how the company with development centres and customers spread across the world takes clients through their digital transformation process, one from design, ideation, advisory consultancy to actually create the actual software product.

On competition in the digital transformation space, he said it indeed is crowded but EPAM has been growing with its emphasis on Forbes Global 2000 companies and organizations disrupted by technology or up and coming startups as well as a focus on different markets and different geographies.

“Last year, we saw strong growth in Europe... this year, it’s changing a little bit. [Also] started to focus heavily last year on Middle East, which drove some of the growth. This year, U.S. looks [better] with the economy probably strengthening. It's a very dynamic environment and very little visibility out there, which brings the need to cope with, you need to be very agile and very dynamic in your responses,” he said, seeing a major play for Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“We believe that it is a paradigm shift... going to change fundamentally how we develop software, optimize processes and consume services. It is going to impact not just our services or competitors, but also our clients. Some of our clients are going to see tremendous optimisation, upward potential, speeding up process, making it more cost effective, requiring less humans to execute automation around the process,” he said to queries on AI.

On what this would mean in terms of skill sets, Mr. Fejes said “software coding is going to be challenged. We believe engineering will remain but coding will be very much impacted, the manual, the hands-on activity of taking ideas and creating the software code that might be very much impacted by AI. Over next couple of years will be automated as much as possible. But actual engineering capability, how you engineer a solution, how you architect, that’s going to remain,” he said, pointing to the significance of training people.

Original article here.

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