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India most preferred location for global shared services: Deloitte’s 2023 Global Shared Services and Outsourcing survey

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The recent findings from Deloitte’s 2023 Global Shared Services and Outsourcing survey revealed that India, followed by Poland and Mexico, emerged as the most preferred location as a Global Shared Services hub. The report delved into the evolving service delivery models adopted by the world’s largest companies amidst tightening economic conditions and continued preference for remote and hybrid work. It also uncovered trends and strategies driving process optimisation and cost-efficiency across industries.

The global survey revealed a significant shift, with GBS organisations delivering transformational capabilities and becoming more closely aligned with the C-suite. Over 40 percent (an increase from 21 percent in 2021), of experienced GBS firms, are now being led by dedicated GBS leaders, with CFOs taking the lead in over 80 percent of these organisations that go beyond their defined scope. The survey also discovered that automation takes centre stage as the top digital enabler for GBS organisations and is expected to be a key focus area in the next 1-3 years.

Sharing his view on the India story, Saurabh Mathur, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, said, “The GCC sector currently contributes a revenue of US$60 billion, which is expected to reach US$75-80 billion within 4-5 years. India is expected to have over 1,900 GCCs, employing 2 million people and earning US$60 billion. According to WTO estimates, India is also amongst the world’s top exporters of services, doubling its share in global services trade to over 4 percent in 2022 from 2 percent in 2005. This, backed by survey findings, showcases that shared service centres are going to be at the core of India strengthening its position on the global map, and achieving the country’s services exports target of US$400 billion for the current fiscal year.” 

He further added, “Despite significant progress, GBS organisations face challenges such as talent shortage, which is still seen as an implementation barrier while adopting automation by 40 percent of GBS organisations. With a talent revolution coming in, one of the solutions is to move work to cost-efficient locations and navigate tight labour markets and cost pressures, followed by upskilling and bolstering employee well-being”.

The survey underlined the role played by GBS in driving Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) outcomes. As organisations place greater emphasis on ESG, GBS are actively supporting a wide array of ESG processes and contributing to their parent group’s net-zero aspirations. The ESG adoption is broadly industry-agnostic, with a majority of the industry areas reporting a significant focus on ESG ranging from 45 – 55 percent.

The integration of enabling technology and ESG initiatives will also be a key differentiator for organisations seeking to drive operational excellence, foster sustainability, create long-term value for stakeholders, and drive greater impact across industries in the years to come.

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