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ibm: Tier-­2 growth in India integral to IBM’s strategy, says senior VP John Granger

IBM Consulting has a third of its 160,000 strong headcount based in India, a country that continues to be strategic to the growth plans of the global organisation, senior vice president John Granger told ET in an exclusive interview.

He said IBM Consulting is doubling down on the India market as it has seen strong growth over the past two years.

“We have a significant reliance on our teams in India, especially our global innovation centres. India has never been a labour arbitrage play, it has always been a talent play,” said Granger.

IBM Consulting contributed to a third of IBM’s $60 billion revenue in 2022. This segment was rebranded from IBM Global Business Services in 2021 prior to IBM’s split with Kyndryl. The offering competes with consulting solutions from IT services majors like Accenture and TCS for large enterprise deals, according to analysts.

The company has doubled down on its talent sourcing by setting up centres in tier-2 cities like Kochi, Coimbatore and Bhubaneswar to drive this strategy. As a market, the company is focusing on key segments like banking, retail, manufacturing, telecom and public sector programmes. IBM Consulting also works closely with captives of global companies (GCCs) to set up operations in India.

Speaking about the larger macroeconomic concerns weighing on technology spends, Granger said global enterprise clients continue to spend on technology, despite inflationary concerns, in order to deal with the cost pressures on their business.

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“Technology transformation is something that is now essential to clients, it is not something that’s a discretionary spend, and that ought to bode well for the industry,” he said.He also said that the company has been focusing on certifications, especially in partner solutions, which have in turn contributed to revenue growth for the organisation.

ET had reported earlier that due to inflationary concerns in top markets like North America and Europe, in addition to the general geopolitical issues in the region, enterprise clients are focusing on IT service vendor consolidation deals. Companies like IBM, Capgemini, Accenture, TCS and Infosys are among the top contenders for such deals by virtue of their size.

Granger said that IBM Consulting has made strategic changes to ensure that the company mines large deals effectively.

“We are ensuring that we are there, in the client’s minds when they are looking at vendor consolidation. We are also working closely with our elite clients that generate a significant amount of revenue,” said Granger.

Earlier on Monday, IBM announced that IBM Consulting has won a mandate from BESTSELLER India, the Indian subsidiary of global retail chain BESTSELLER, to consolidate its IT landscape on hybrid cloud platforms. The implementation will be delivered by IBM Consulting in close association with ecosystem partners such as Google Cloud, Microsoft and SAP.

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