Accenture is looking at bringing its startup innovation hub concept to India and will continue to work with Indian startups as it expects the country to emerge a source of innovation for the world, a top official said.
“I would say that it is more than a possibility (placing a startup hub in India). Collaboration with Indian startups is something already being done,” Gianfranco Casati, group chief executive – growth markets at Accenture, said.
“Personally, I would say, that I am very optimistic about India becoming a source of innovation for the world. Potentially, even more disruptive than China,” he told ET in an exclusive interaction.
The global consulting and IT giant has innovation hubs centred on new-generation technologies such as internet of things (IoT) in Silicon Valley to work with startups and partners.
Accenture already works with Indian startups in its FinTech Innovation Lab in Hong Kong and has given grants to researchers from IIT-Bombay, IIT-Chennai, BITS-Pilani and IISc-Bangalore for research in natural language programming, cognitive learning systems, and dependable software.
While the innovation boom in India is still in its early stages, mushrooming startups have raised some concerns for some IT companies who now have to compete with startups for talent at campuses and lose high-performing employees to them.
But Accenture looks at this differently, said Rekha Menon, the newly-appointed chairman of Accenture India.
“We are always training our employees — keeping them future-ready and engaged, because the newer generation wants to learn constantly. And we understand that some employees will want to move to startups, and we support that, because that’s the in-built risk in hiring top talent. We have also supported startups started by ex-Accenture employees,” she said.
Menon said the company was training its more than 100,000 strong workforce in India on newer digital technologies, not just to serve global clients, but also to serve the India market.
Accenture is also working on bringing its 3D printing and IoT solutions to India as part of its growth markets strategy.
Despite volatility in markets such as China and Brazil, Accenture logged double-digit growth in revenues its newer markets for its financial year ended August.
John O’Brien, analyst with TechMarket-View, pointed out that Accenture achieved double-digit growth across both consulting and outsourcing services, and across all three main geographies of North America (12 per cent), Europe (10 per cent), and growth markets (11 per cent).