Infosys on Monday opened a new facility in Shoreditch, London that will serve as an Experience Design & Innovation Studio for the company and its clients to “ideate, collaborate, and innovate together” by combining design and tech. The company used the launch event, which coincided with the start of the London Tech Week, to showcase a range of solutions in the fields of AI, AR/VR, IoT, and 5G, all of which will be areas of focus for the new facility.
The Shoreditch facility, which covers 20,000 sq. ft. and is capable of seating up to 250 employees, is the latest chapter in the company's journey with Brilliant Basics, a product design and customer experience company it acquired in 2017. The centre will also provide local startups an opportunity to showcase their solutions to Infosys' clients.
“Infosys wanted Brilliant Basics to be their design capability across Europe and the Middle East and I can tell you we've grown 300 percent since the acquisition,” Anand Verma, Founder and CEO, Brilliant Basics, told Gadgets 360 during an interaction at the sidelines of the launch event. “We have created a major impact for Infosys' capabilities.”
“We've also grown across Europe — last year we opened a studio in Europe that's thriving big time and we are opening a studio here today, and the plan is to expand across continental Europe as we go forward,” he added.
“[Brilliant Basics] has also brought a new dimension to Infosys' capabilities that wasn't there before, from a design and tech perspective. Infosys is known as a big tech powerhouse and we bring the customer-centricity to Infosys client experience and capabilities,” Verma explained.
Infosys and other Indian tech services giant are transforming themselves to stay relevant in an age where design is increasingly being used as a differentiator. Ravi Kumar S, President and Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Infosys, explained how the company is hiring a new breed of talent to expand its horizons.
“We are a tech company which actually goes into the market and trades talent, we are a company that builds talent,” he explained. “We build it from schools and colleges. That's what we did for decades in India, that's what we did for the last two years in the United States, that's what we are doing now in the UK and Europe.”
“We got to schools, we hire talent, we run a finishing school for 8-12 weeks with colleges — you saw a partnership today that we announced — and that 8-12 weeks determines whether you could make that talent productive enough for the future.”
“Historically, companies like us used to hire talent from engineering schools — that's what we are good at. But in the digital age, where you have the design experience is part of our offerings, you need hire non-STEM talent as well. So we are going to design schools, liberal art schools, schools with humanity backgrounds. That is going to be the future of talent for us.”
Also on Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May flagged off London Tech Week, a week-long event meant to showcase the UK as a tech destination for companies across the globe. Tech companies have announced plans to invest over £1.2 billion (approximately Rs. 10 thousand crores) investment into the UK, with VMware alone sharing plans to to invest £1 billion (approximately Rs. 8.8 thousand crores) in the country over the next five years.
“We want this to be the place everyone thinks of – and comes to – first when they want to develop their world changing tech ideas,” PM May said. “This is a challenge shared between industry and Government.”
“I'm delighted to say that the UK is the tech and digital destination of choice for the world's biggest tech firms,” said Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade. “In fact, if you look at Indian firms, for instance, they invest more in the UK than they do in the rest of EU put together. London Tech Week is a huge opportunity for us to showcase the best of British innovation and technology.”
“More than 55,000 people will be attending more than 300 events, and the Department of International Trade has more than 600 investors and being taken around and we are putting on more than 15 events just on our own.”
“There are more than 110,000 people working for Indian firms [in the UK], we saw the number of Indian firms in the UK go up beyond 850, and turnover just of Indian firms in the UK is more than 48 billion pounds (approximately Rs. 4.2 lakh crores).”
Disclosure: The correspondent is in London at the invitation of the British Government's Department for International Trade.