Prabal Datta, general manager and delivery center head of Tata Consultancy Services in Hungary, talks to the Budapest Business Journal about the India-based company’s 18 years of growth in Budapest.
BBJ: Tata Consultancy Services established its Global Delivery Center in Budapest back in February 2001. Why did you choose Budapest, and how has the center changed since then?
Prabal Datta: Our business in Hungary is at the heart of our European operation. We support our customers from Europe and around the globe from here. TCS selected Hungary, and Budapest as its first –and until now only – European Delivery Center, as it offered a wide-ranging talent pool and proximity to client locations. The stable economic and legal environment was also highly valued when the decision was made 18 years ago. As you may know, TCS’ business in Europe has been experiencing double digit growth. That puts an important onus on us to ensure we continue to provide the highest value to our customers as they embark on their journey on transformation and growth. It means we have to constantly deliver the higher and higher value-added capability required for the digital age. I am happy to share that our focus on creating capabilities and superior execution have helped us double size in the last three years. Not only the size; we are adding more and more value-adding services to our portfolio.
BBJ: How many people are currently employed, and what is the range of functions performed at the GDS?
PD: In 2001, we have started with a few dozen IT engineers; today, TCS employs more than 2,500 associates from across all domains and geographies. The focus of our services is in Digital IT and cognitive business operations. We have a very diverse multi-generation, multi-ethnic workforce. It is critical for us to be empathetic, to collaborate with our customers and other TCS entities, adapt to changes and continue to provide superior service. At TCS, we are very proud that we are able to contribute to the technological advancements and the digital economy in Hungary, Europe and worldwide.
BBJ: Hungary has a very tight labor market. Do you have any concerns, or, indeed, actual problems, in finding suitable workforce?
PD: We continue to experience a significant demand for our services. We are expecting to grow in the coming years both in numbers and higher value-added work. Hence finding, onboarding and engaging the right talent and continuously upskilling these to meet the future demands of business will continue to be one of our key focus areas. TCS has always been proud to attract high potential, skilled talent and to grow that talent within the company.
BBJ: How easy is it to find a suitable office space for your size requirements?
PD: We are very lucky with our planning ahead, finding the right partners. We are located in District XI and able to rent office space to cater for our growth needs.
BBJ: Have you ever considered a BSC in one of the provincial Hungarian countryside cities?
PD: The way we set up our business center does not allow multiple locations for services. Captive centers provide services for their global or regional headquarters, which gives flexibility to run operations in different domain centers. Solutions provided by TCS to its more than 80 global clients in different industries and geographies from Budapest requires one hub for operations. Other university cities in Hungary like Szeged, Pécs or Debrecen do, however, play an important role in our Academic Interface Program.
BBJ: Tata, along with Apollo Tyres and the Jaguar Land Rover engineering center, are the most obvious examples of Indian commerce in Hungary. Do you think others might follow your example?
PD: Over the past years, as a local business player, TCS has been promoting Hungary as a place of investment, and been active in different professional organizations who work for a more competitive country and business environment. Hungary’s business climate has become more and more favorable for investors, which means we are in the right place.
BBJ: This year you were a runner up in the BBJ Expat CEO of the Year awards. What did this award mean to you and the company?
PD: First and foremost, it was a great honor and a humbling experience to be chosen as one of the best among so many great people who are creating value for their company and Hungary every day. We as a company were extremely proud of that recognition. It was an acknowledgement of the hard work 2,500 people at TCS put in day in and day out for our customers to grow and transform.
BBJ: And your plans for the future?
PD: For our future plans we foresee that, as companies progress on their digital journey, the demand for our services will increase significantly. So, I think we will continue to expand in coming years. We will continue to invest in our associates to build their capabilities for the Industry 4.0 world. Already almost our entire workforce is Agile ready; that means to they are more equipped to deliver higher value faster to our customers. We plan to have more centers of excellence for different technologies and methodologies in Hungary supporting our customers. We will also continue fostering STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education for the next generation.