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What should GIC stand for in the next decade?

01 November 2019

By Balesh Raghurajan

What should GIC stand for in the next decade?

"Global In-House Center" or "Global Innovation Center"?


"Captive" was a well known word to refer service delivery operations operated by companies in low cost geographies.

As time passed, as the benefit from cost arbitrage faded and the captive center's capabilities grew past the arbitrage driven cost saving model, the captive centers and their organizations did not like the word "Captive". Besides, it is sort of non-inclusive and insulting for the people working in these centers. Now "Captive" is a taboo word in the industry. For a while organizations toiled around with other words to replace the word "Captive". Finally there comes the decently accepted acronym "GIC" for "Global In-House Center".


Now we hear NASSCOM and BPAP using this acronym liberally. Though I started using the words "Global In-House Center", I am still not convinced. To me it sounds like "I am NOT Captive Center" or "I am NOT outside-House Center". Nevertheless, GIC is here to stay for a while.


Why would an organization need their GIC a few years from now? "Low cost" will not be a good reason in a couple of years. Yes, "availability of skilled man power" may still get you some points.


Managing the vendors in their own turf may get some points. "Innovation and R&D" by itself in its current form is cliched. A better reason would be capitalizing "frugal innovation". These geographies/locations are the flower beds for "frugal innovation". How can GICs capitalize this? Frugal innovation can be cultivated and is being cultivated by some of the well know US retailers in their GICs. These GICs are no longer looking at large vendors to satisfy their thirst for innovation, nor solely relying on their internal R&D and Innovation center with in their closed campus. These GICs have become incubators for start-ups and smaller enterprises that are hoping to make big in the global arena. These GICs are also building their own Innovation platforms internally to nurture such "frugal innovation".


Frugal innovation at all levels will add value to the parent organization. This may be the only way for GIC to look cool, be valuable and still be alive through the next phase of maturity. So you see why GICs should be called as "Global Innovation Center" to see the light of next decade.

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