Confident that the right kind of finance and accounting talent can be found to support its growth, Genpact is pushing forward with plans to expand its operations in Guatemala City. The company currently employs about 1,000 people but that number will likely climb dramatically with the expansion.
Nitin Bhat, Vice President & Country Manager at Genpact in Guatemala, outlined expansion plans with Nearshore Americas last week which include opening a second facility within the city in the near term. Although Bhat did not specify how many people will be hired, local sources say the company could potentially double the size of its labor force.
Genpact’s positive experiences in Guatemala City appear to be similar to that of Capgemini, another major BPO and global sourcing player which also performs F and A functions. The expansion by Genpact naturally raises the question of how quickly the firm can hire and train associates to perform processes like general accounting and procurement tasks. Bhat admits that Guatemala City does not have a lot of history to fall back on in nurturing a global services ecosystem, where college graduates would automatically be aware of some of the career options available.
“The industry is not as established.. it has not been here a long time. People may not be looking at this as a long term career option,” said Bhat, who adds that Genpact tries hard to change that perception by stressing the career opportunities available with Genpact.
Originally, the firm’s facility provided exclusively call center services, but as the company contracted more clients from the U.S. seeking finance and accounting, Bhat said recruitment efforts uncovered “plentiful F/A talent.” At the current time, the company delivers more F/A services to Latin American clients than those based in the US.
Don’t expect Genpact to put all of its bets on Guatemala alone. “We are actively considering opening other Nearshore operations,” he said, singling out Brazil and Colombia as being “on the radar.” He said the organization considers both the inherent attractiveness of a particular country along with “customer appetite.”
Colombia continues to appear on the short list of many global sourcing and BPO providers. A recent decision by HP to open a delivery center in Medellin may well turn out to be a bellweather moment in the transformation of Colombia, once considered an “off limits” destination for global delivery. Colombia country representatives have done their part to curry interest also. The vice president of the country recently traveled to India and visited Infosys, among other organizations, sources say. But the same sources say Infosys simply will not set up shop in Colombia because of the lingering stigma the country carries in the eyes of U.S. based customers. Rival TCS however has already established a small operation in the country.
As for Genpact, the provider undoubtedly has to seriously be examining destinations beyond Guatemala and the two facilities it operates in Mexico – Juarez and Caborca.