Since our inception in the revolutionizing technological era, we have witnessed continuous changes across various fronts and in different sectors. For example, although GCCs, or Global Capability Centres started as extended arms of parent organizations, they have, of late, graduated to transformation and innovation hubs. In our recent conversation with Amit Kalra, MD and Head of Swiss Re Global Business Solutions Centre Bangalore, we explored how the face of GCCs are changing in India.
SwissRe, a global risk-knowledge company and one of the world’s leading reinsurance and insurance providers, is an important player in the $5 trillion-dollar industry. Swiss Re is more than 150-year old, present across the world, generating annual revenues of $35 billion dollars with 15,000 employees. SwissRe established its operations in India in 2001 at Bangalore. Swiss Re Bangalore, the GCC of the parent organization, commenced as a shared services center focused on working for specific markets and operations. Over time, it developed wider and deeper capabilities and transformed into a Business Solutions Center.
Moving Towards the Future of Excellence
As shared by Amit Kalra, Swiss Re Bangalore operations are now poised to transform into a Center of Excellence. When asked what the Center of Excellence would be like, Amit explained that it would be synonymous with the best-in-class operational capabilities, more global roles and responsibilities, and efficient decision-making. In other words, the aspiration of the Bangalore center is to create more compelling value for the parent organization.
In order to fulfil its aspiration of establishing itself as a Centre of Excellence, Swiss Re Bangalore has been focusing on developing world-class professionals from the perspective of both technical as well as leadership capabilities, and making innovation and analytics mainstream among all employees. Focus on sustainable growth through increased governance and risk knowledge as well as building strong industry and academia partnerships has been another priority.
Technological Intervention- Disruptor or Enabler?
We are living the fourth industrial revolution that can also be perceived as a technological renaissance. While inquiring about technological intervention at Swiss Re, Amit said that no business can escape technological advancement and Swiss Re has embraced technology-driven innovations to be more efficient and competitive as an organization. Swiss Re Bangalore is developing expertise in several technology verticals in its journey towards becoming a Centre of Excellence.
Elaborating on the pace and degree of technological advancement, Amit cited some examples. Technology has provided us with real-time data access and also the means (advanced analytics platforms) to derive insights from it to take business decisions. Digitization of traditional systems and processes have led to disintermediation, which in turn have created unprecedented ways of operating and new products.
According to him, a successful and sustainable business model in this sector is one that adopts a partnership approach. Innovative solutions will come up only when new players join the incumbents, or the incumbents drive their own digital transformation journey alongside, by partnering with tech enterprises that are playing in the re/insurance field. Referring to Swiss Re’s own tech strategy, Amit informed that the tech strategy focuses on AI, data analytics and blockchain to increase clients’ competitiveness through tools and solutions as well as improve its own value chain, while harvesting the full potential of data and getting closer to risks.
This is first part of the two series story. Stay tuned for the next one!