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Capgemini China – reimagining the dragon

Ken Poon (Center Director, Capgemini China) and Laura Luo (HR Head, Capgemini China) talked to Innovation Nation about how Capgemini China is supporting our clients across north and south Asia, and their role in developing the competencies of our people to deliver value to our clients.

Hello Ken and Laura. Great to have you both with us. Ken, could I start by asking you to give us a brief history of how our operations in Capgemini China all began?

Ken Poon: Thank you, it’s good to be here. Our Business Services presence in China started in 2001 following a shared services center joint venture acquisition of Dairy Farm – a leading pan-Asian retailer – from Ernst & Young Consulting. This was then converted in to a finance and accounting outsourcing contract in 2003. I’m really happy to say that we’ve recently renewed our contract with Dairy Farm for another five years, which represents a client relationship of over 20 years.

Building on this relationship, over the years the China center has expanded to what we are today, with over 1,000 people delivering services to over 30 clients across north and south Asia.

Thanks Ken. That sounds very exciting. Could you talk about your role in developing Capgemini China?

Ken Poon: I’ve been the center director role here in China for over nine years. One very important aspect of my work has been to create an environment in which our people can continue to grow and develop. There are a number of elements to this.

Firstly, building a stable leadership team over the last nine years, which has cascaded down into creating an extremely loyal, inspired, and motivated teams.

Secondly, taking on board new clients and continuing to expand the scope of work we deliver to those clients. Thirdly, ensuring that our work delivery from the center is up to global standards and quality that is expected by our clients and the wider Capgemini Group.

Last, but not least, our people are continuously improving their competencies, acquiring new knowledge, and developing their careers to take on more responsibilities and challenging roles.

Laura, as head of HR for Capgemini China, how have you helped to shape the center?

Laura Luo: With the China delivery center’s transformation to digital and automation, it’s essential that our people have with synergy with such kind of transformation.

In leading the China HR team, my role is to create a supportive and stimulating working environment in order to continue developing and empowering our people to work together with new technology and tools. This will give us a team of highly-engaged, capable, and integrated people that contribute to the future development of Capgemini China.

Ken, could you share a few examples of innovation or outcomes you’ve delivered from the China delivery center?

Ken Poon: Yes, I’d be very happy to do so and would like to share three client examples.

The first is our long-term foundation client Dairy Farm, with whom we’ve collaborated with since 2001. As their finance and accounting (F&A) transformation partner, we’ve implemented digital automation tools including optical character recognition (OCR) and robotic process automation that have substantially improved their work efficiency while substantially reducing the overall cost of operations.

The second is a multinational packaging company, for which we’ve deployed start-of-the-art cloud-based robotic processes and taken their global F&A operations to the next level of efficiency and effectiveness. This has led to cost savings of between 30–50% for the client.

And finally, the third example is a Japanese automotive company. We’ve helped them successfully offshore their domestic finance operations, and implemented smooth process reengineering with different and more efficient ways of working. The complexity of this project has also been impacted by the requirement for 100% delivery in the Japanese language within a challenging project timeline – which we achieved by bringing onboard the required resources at the right time.

All of these examples have the common theme of taking advantage of new digital technologies and building them into our solutions.

Laura, focusing on HR for a moment, how are you developing the knowledge and skills of your people in the China center?

Laura Luo: With artificial intelligence (AI) now becoming a reality, we’re seeing the birth of new opportunities. Our learning and development (L&D) strategy has shifted the focus from learning and training to empowering our people to work together with AI.

We’re encouraging our people to be more creative, independent, and enthusiastic by providing up-skilling opportunities in the digital and technology space. We enable people to contribute valuable ideas to improve services, enhance customer experience, and even transform the workplace.

One example I should mention is our homegrown robotic process automation (RPA) experts program that we’ve run for the last two years, which aims to close the gap between the skills of our automation developers and growing demands from our business. The program has proved to be highly successful in building and upgrading the skills and capabilities of our people, as well as developing new directions for our people to pursue their aspirations.

Partnered together with our delivery excellence team, we designed a three-month customized learning journey for our participants, which combined e-learning, self-study, peer sharing, classroom training, mentor coaching sessions, tailor-made assignments, and guidance based on each participant’s individual learning program.

The participants formed an RPA community that leverages the expertise of every individual to contribute to the continued success of the China delivery center. The program is now supporting our center to implement digital-enabled business models, and has laid the foundation for participants to take part in wider Capgemini Group initiatives.

In addition, half of our participants in this year’s program have been nominated to contribute to a Capgemini’s Business Services “SPRINT” program, which aims to further reskill them with RPA technologies and tools, and enables them to deliver even more value to our engagements and clients.

Finally, Ken, what does the future hold for Capgemini China?

Ken Poon: The center will continue to be an integral part of Capgemini’s Business Services global solution in support of clients across north and south Asia, as well as facilitating business transformation and delivering efficiencies to our clients.

At the same time, Capgemini China will continue to be an employer of choice in the region we operate, developing our people and their competencies to become our leaders in the future.

Ken Poon leads Capgemini’s China delivery center – a vital component of Capgemini’s Business Services global delivery network that provides reliable and sustainable quality services to our clients.

Laura Luo enables Capgemini’s people in China to develop their competencies and grow together with the company.