Nearly two decades after Swiss Re started its R&D center in Bengaluru, the city is now home to 1,100 employees who deliver innovative products and solutions for its global operations. In the next three years, the India headcount will grow to about 1,500, accounting for 10% of the $34 billion Zurich headquartered reinsurance major’s global workforce.
About three years ago, the firm also launched its global accelerator programme at Bengaluru. Startups that have worked with the accelerator include Arya.ai, eKincare, GOQii and Niki.ai. It has also started an open innovation programme to help promote intrapreneurship that has seen several products being developed independently and added to Swiss Re's overall portfolio. A more recent addition to its startups-specific initiatives here is Shine which addresses social startups.
A recent Nasscom-Zinnov report said that global capability centres run by large multinationals in India generated $28.3 billion in value for the financial year ended March 2019, up from $19.4 billion in 2014-15.
In an interview with TechCircle, Amit Kalra, managing director and head of global services, Bengaluru at Swiss Re, spoke about the India center’s journey to becoming the reinsurance firm’s third largest global office, how it is growing its role in analytics and operations, apart from becoming a microcosm of the global headquarters.