Sergii Figurnyi - stock.adobe.co
Indian IT providers have become a familiar presence in the Nordic outsourcing market, with Infosys the latest to invest in the region.
The company plans to open a design and innovation centre in the Finnish capital Helsinki during spring 2018.
“In the [European] continent we want to put an increased and strategic focus on the Nordic region. We already have innovation hubs and delivery centres in Stockholm, Linköping and Östersund, but we didn’t have one in Helsinki,” said Ruchir Budhwar, Infosys’ regional head of manufacturing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea).
The new facility will include a delivery centre, which has been operational since August 2017, and a design and innovation lab. It will mainly serve Infosys’ customers in Finland and work closely with the IT provider’s other centres globally.
Budhwar would not comment on staff numbers, but said staff will come from a combination of new recruits and relocating Infosys’ existing employees. The company has around 198,000 employees globally.
The Helsinki delivery centre focuses on Infosys’ IT services, while the aim of the innovation hub is to explore new technologies with the company’s Finnish customers. It will also bring Infosys’ startup collaboration scheme to the Nordic country.
“We have a $500m innovation fund [and] we have been collaborating with startups all over the world. Now with the setup of this centre in Helsinki, it provides us with much better capabilities to collaborate with startups in Helsinki and the Finnish market,” said Budhwar.
Infosys announced its innovation centre plans in autumn 2017 in conjunction with a new IT transformation deal with Finnish elevator company Kone. The agreement includes supporting Kone’s application development and maintenance capabilities. Kone will also act as the innovation centre’s launch customer.
Budhwar sees plenty of room for growth in the Nordics. “In terms of people and capital investment, our focus in Europe is going to be more in the Nordic region,” he said.
Nordic market changing
Infosys isn’t alone in upping its Nordic investment. In August 2017, HCL opened its twelfth delivery centre in the region, and Indian suppliers have a track record of striking some major Nordic deals.
But some have also found their Nordic success waver. In the 2017 Nordic Outsourcing Study, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) retained its number one spot in customer satisfaction, with Tech Mahindra and L&T Infotech also making the top five ratings.
But Wipro were among the hardest hit providers, dropping from a 73% satisfaction rate in 2016 to third bottom at 61%. In the Swedish rankings, only TCS made it into the country’s top five, compared with three Indian players in previous years.
Read more about Indian IT services suppliers in the Nordics
- Indian IT suppliers are blazing a trail in the Nordic region with large deals and major local investments.
- HCL has opened another delivery centre in the Nordic region, this time in Gothenburg, Sweden.
- Norway’s Coop becomes the latest Nordic firm to outsource IT to an Indian company after the retailer penned a deal with Wipro.
Henrik Ringgaard Pedersen, sourcing expert at PA Consulting, said the performance of Indian IT providers in the region cannot be generalised. But he saw some fatigue emerge between clients and providers.
“The honeymoon days are over. Some contracts and relationships are well above four to five years old, and the relationships suffer from some of the classical issues we see in long-term relationships,” said Pedersen.
He added that building a local presence seems to the key for many providers to ensure they can create long-term relationships and understand national cultures, markets and business dynamics.
“The gap between local, Indian and traditional US providers seems to be closing, with Indians establishing a local presence through acquisitions and local hiring,” said Pedersen.