QS. Please remind us of Cap Gemini?s scope and main business activities.
CN. Cap Gemini is a world leader in the provision of consulting, technology outsourcing, data centres and business process outsourcing. We enable our clients to transform their businesses through technology. Our business has expanded from 40,000 employees ten years ago, to over 80,000 employees today.
Cap Gemini is a global company, with headquarters in France. We have 21,000 employees based in France, with India now our second largest market in terms of staff with 17,500 staff, followed by the USA, UK and Netherlands each with over 6,000 staff.
QS. Why does it make good business sense for Cap Gemini to have an active CSR policy?
CN. Cap Gemini is an intellectual services company. We need a strong brand and a reputation for being honest and caring about people we do business with. Our values are fundamental to our clients maintaining ongoing business relationships with Cap Gemini.
Cap Gemini's brand and reputation is fundamental to our ability to hire and retain talent. We seek to have an impact on the broader communities in which we work. People are attracted to Cap Gemini because of our pro-active stance on CSR. We celebrated our 40th birthday in 2007 and we are proud that sustainable development has always been a central theme of the company. We are constantly encouraging our people to make a difference in their community and in their work.
Cap Gemini seeks to be recognised as a thought leader in the area of sustainability. We help our clients to be more sustainable in their supply chain, IT sourcing and architecture of their IT systems. Our clients recognize the need for sustainability and they appreciate our genuine commitment to this business objective throughout our recommendations and implementation.
As a publicly quoted company, many funds and rating agencies favour socially responsible companies. As such, we can access capital more cost effectively by being serious about CSR.
QS. Can you give some examples of how Cap Gemini has acted on its CSR policy?
CN. Everything we do retains a focus on CSR and sustainability. We aim to protect the environment. Our offices are designed to be carbon-neutral. Our client solutions are energy efficient grid computing, optimizing server capacities, set-ups using the latest technology, with tools to measure our carbon footprint. Our travel is being dramatically scaled back via video conferencing (travel between Mumbai and Utrecht has been cut by 30 per cent last year alone).
Cap Gemini builds strong internal awareness of CSR issues through our internal news video channel. We have features on sustainability and regular executive interviews discussing CSR initiatives. We really work to engage our people around the world and to ensure common values.
QS. Which regions and services are the primary sources of growth for Cap Gemini and what are the implications for your CSR initiatives?
CN. Cap Gemini is growing around the world. Our biggest growth is occurring in markets like India and China, which host many of our technology centres of excellence, and which happen to have major CSR challenges.
Cap Gemini can play a major role in stimulating awareness of CSR and sustainability in these markets. In India our 17,500 employees are among the educated elite and they can spread the word about our CSR initiatives. Our Indian employees are amongst our most enthusiastic and engaged on this topic.
In China we participate in the ever-growing number of conferences on CSR which is now at the forefront of the Chinese agenda. Our Chinese graduate hires are also actively engaged in CSR policies for our China business.
QS. How is this growth impacting on your hiring needs at graduate and MBA levels and what types of people do you look for?
CN. We hire graduates and a smaller number of MBAs in most major countries around the world. Because of our system of distributed delivery our hiring profile does differ country by country.
In India we are hiring 200 graduates per week, primarily with computer science backgrounds, to work in systems development and application management roles. We seek a similar profile in Brazil, Argentina and Morocco to serve Spanish, Portuguese and French speaking clients.
In France, UK and the US, the focus is more on business consultancy, front-end design and implementation roles, requiring greater client interface and interpersonal skills. We often hire MBAs into consulting roles.
In Poland we seek graduates with finance and administrative backgrounds to work with our business process outsource teams. Elsewhere our hiring profiles are quite mixed.
QS. How is Cap Gemini coordinating recruiting across so many markets and for such diverse people? What training and development does Cap Gemini offer to new hires?
CN. Most Cap Gemini recruitment is conducted at a local level, but there are several aspects which are coordinated globally. For example, compensation is set globally. Recruitment branding is coordinated centrally and then implemented locally. CSR is a major aspect of our recruitment message and really distinguishes us from many of our competitors. Our message to candidates is that Cap Gemini will free your energies by fostering collaboration, team-playing and encouraging CSR.
Cap Gemini also has an On Boarding kit for all new hires which ensures a common induction and reinforces our shared values.
Our training commitment is extensive, not least through our in-house corporate university, which is ten years old and was recently voted most innovative corporate university. Over 9,000 of our team attend the University, based in France, every year. We also have over 3,500 online courses available for staff, supported by knowledge centres, enabling us to disseminate knowledge quickly and keep our people at the forefront of thinking and technology and social responsibility.
QS. Finally, is gender and diversity a major challenge for Cap Gemini?
CN. Diversity is a huge challenge for Cap Gemini as well as for all our competitors. It is particularly difficult to attract enough women. Our Norway business has roughly equal numbers of men and women at all levels and they have a great business and the highest scores in our employee satisfaction surveys. We are working to increase our diversity in other markets and to increase the numbers of women in our senior management teams. We have joined the European Professional Women's Network and we attend QS Women in Leadership Forums, but we are always looking to do more in this area.