Capgemini appoints Ashwin Yardi as India CEO, Srinivas Kandula as chairman

Ashwin Yardi, CEO of Capgemini
After the integration of IGATE with itself, French IT services and consulting major Capgemini on Tuesday elevated Ashwin Yardi as the chief executive officer (CEO) of its Indian operations. Incumbent Srinivas Kandula will take over as the chairman of Capgemini India.

This restructuring marks the end of a three-year period in which Kandula, a human resources specialist, was heading the company to navigate it through the integration process post-Capgemini's acquisition of Igate in 2015.

Before this elevation, Yardi was the chief operating officer (COO) of the firm from January 2016 and was responsible for driving its operations, delivery, capability development, and innovation across India. 

Yardi had joined Capgemini in 2001 when the French firm-acquired consulting unit of EY and also had a stint with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The experience puts him in good stead to lead both the delivery and consulting services of the firm. Additionally, he will also be a part of the 24-member group executive committee (GEC) of Capgemini that sets the strategic direction.

As the chairman of Capgemini India, Kandula will be responsible for augmenting the brand and nurturing relationships with key stakeholders. He will also take charge of an important group initiative that is focused on talent management.

Both Yardi and Kandula will report to Thierry Delaporte, the group COO for Capgemini who also oversees Indian operations.

"With 100,000 people, which is half of our workforce, based in India across twelve locations, this leadership reinforcement is a natural step and fully reflects how Capgemini India's role is at the very heart of our group; its scale and ambition for growth as a leader in the industry," said Delaporte.

The restructuring of its Indian operations has come after the French IT firm rearranged its global top deck last year with the appointment of two COOs — Thierry Delaporte and Aiman Ezzat — for its global operations.

Analysts said Capgemini was changing its go-to-market model by focusing more on geographies and service lines than on verticals. The appointment of Yardi is part of this overall strategy in which India is emerging as a key market for the French firm. 

"Firstly, as the integration process is over, Capgemini wants an operations and delivery person to head its Indian unit. Secondly, the country has also emerged as a major geography of focus for the company," said Pareekh Jain, founder of consulting firm, Pareekh Consultant. "Yardi is used to head consulting, so his elevation will definitely help Capgemini to drive the consulting business in India."

Capgemini like global firms such as Accenture, IBM, Deloitte, and KPMG has a sound consulting practice. Analysts are of the opinion that with growing presence of global firms in India, Capgemini requires a leader with consulting domain to drive business from this segment.

Capgemini, which counts GE, McDonald's and Volvo among its marquee clients, seeks to strengthen its delivery capabilities in India, which remains the key for servicing clients globally and Yardi's appointment will help in this direction, analysts said. The French IT firm has also appointed two COOs, Antoine Imbert, Arul Kumaran Paramanandam for its Indian operations, replicating the global model in its bid to drive business growth.

Capgemini, which has around 200,000 employees across 40 countries, reported around Euro 12.8 billion in revenues in 2017.

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