The India-centric company employs nearly 281,200 people, of which over 150,000 are based in the country. Recently however, it made senior-level hires in Germany, the Nordics, Australia, and Asia-Pacific Japan and elevated the position of India Managing Director as a representative of the company’s executive committee.
Cognizant chief executive Brian Humphries is repositioning the Teaneck, New-Jersey-based IT services provider into a multinational technology firm with recent initiatives, which include globalising its operations and delivery, as clients prefer digital deals and talent proximity.
Cognizant has committed to building a more globalised workforce.
The India-centric company employs nearly 281,200 people, of which over 150,000 are based in the country.
Recently however, it made senior-level hires in Germany, the Nordics, Australia, and Asia-Pacific Japan and elevated the position of India Managing Director as a representative of the company’s executive committee.
“We will continue to globalize Cognizant by investing for growth in targeted countries, strengthening our regional capabilities, scaling our brand internationally, and executing a global delivery network that will ensure greater resiliency in our delivery capabilities,” Humphries told analysts last month at its third quarter results conference.
“The company has also decided to reinvest its cash balances from the India operations into other global units.”
— Reinventing Itself
The company on Tuesday, in partnership with Xprize, announced a global competition, aimed at fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and mapping a course for safely reopening societies.
Based on Cognizant’s AI modeling of Covid-19 scenarios using its platform, Evolutionary AI, the companies set up the competition to support teams working to predict the spread of the pandemic and explore possible mitigation strategies. According to Cognizant, the goal of the challenge, which will conclude in four months, is to ensure that policymakers and health officials have the data-driven analyses they need to make decisions.
The company has also hired a new president for global growth markets (GGM) — Ursula Morgenstern — who will join in early January and be based out of London.
Morgenstern was most recently the head of central Europe business at Atos.
According to a note to employees sent by Humphries a few weeks ago, “Ursula will play a huge role in helping us globalise Cognizant. We plan to become more global across dimensions: diversifying our revenue growth mix across targeted geographies, investing in strong local leadership and talent, extending our delivery footprint to access the best talent globally…and launching a global brand campaign.”
The company has also decided to reinvest its cash balances from the India operations into other global units.
Chief financial officer Jan Siegmund said the decision was based on “strategic priorities to accelerate growth in international markets” and to expand global delivery footprint.
Other reasons included changes in India’s budget which came into effect in April and to US tax regulations that became effective in September.
Analysts said though Indian talent and the country’s cost advantage were still important to Cognizant, clients of most technology companies want talent near their businesses, driving it to expand its global footprint.
“This is a delicate path for Cognizant and the industry to walk,” Everest Group CEO Peter Bendor-Samuel said.
“India, Indian talent and the cost advantages conferred by large Indian operations is still important to success. However, clients are clearly eager to adopt new DevOps and related models which call for more technology embedded in the offerings as well as new operating models with more talent in close proximity to the business. Hence, the need for its globalization moves.”