There has been an uptick in global center expansion activities. Here is a sample list of critical investments.
- Fiat Chrysler is investing 1.5 Billion in Windsor – Canada, for Electric Vehicle build
- Merck & Co. will build a new manufacturing facility in North Carolina to triple production of bladder cancer therapy. The new plant at Merck’s existing Maurice R. Hilleman Center for Vaccine Manufacturing in Durham, North Carolina, will create about 100 local jobs.
- IBM is expanding its AI focus in Sao Paulo – Brazil The Artificial Intelligence Center (C4AI) is supported by investments made by IBM along with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the University of São Paulo (USP). This AI center — C4AI has been established to tackle five significant challenges that are related to health, the environment, the food production chain, the future of work and the development of NLP technologies in Portuguese. Along with this, it will also aid in projects relating to human wellbeing improvement as well as initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion.
- Massive Amazon-like project pursued in Spokane Valley. Project Fireball, to include 1.3M square feet, is similar to megaretailer’s other projects. No one knows what this project is all about yet 😊
- Sweden’s Sharkmob has opened a triple-A game studio in London, and it’s starting to hire developers for it. Given the background of the former Ubisoft developers, the studio has cred when it comes to talking about making quality games.
- Genpact Canada Service Company, a Canadian business unit of Genpact, a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation, announced its intention to expand its presence in the country and establish a virtual data science and technology hub in Montreal to enhance Quebec’s Tech Sector for emerging digital technologies.
- GE Healthcare plans to invest $50 million in a new assembly plant to make CT scanners and other products. The facility could eventually employ more than 1,200 people as part of a proposed plan to consolidate the company’s operations in Wisconsin
The list goes on. When we synthesize mass signals of this sorts, a few themes are emerging
- Companies are investing in all things digital (the size of the investments may vary, but all are heavily ramping up digital capabilities
- Canada, Mexico, Brazil, active locations companies are ramping up. (In addition to US and India hubs)
- Companies are trying to create digital corridors – say if a company put money in say Montreal, they will also try and tap into Quebec (for example)
This is a fascinating trend that is emerging. It is also interesting to see what startups are doing when it comes to global digital skills sourcing. Verato, a DC-based cloud medical records provider, opened an office in Mérida, Mexico. It’s an engineering hub with ten new hires to focus solely on product development. Several startups are following this model to find these small places. The university of Yucatan at Merida is developing into a great school for computer science. The major advantage of tapping into Mexico is the time zone related advantages
We have shifted gears to study more leadership programs (normally, we study Engineering programs, but we decided this is equally valuable). We were quite thrilled to see the maturity of Goldman Sachs. Their program includes unconscious bias training and other very relevant programs
We have also analyzed Diversity programs across several companies, and here is the summary of the same. We plan to explore more companies in this format.