Pleasanton, California-headquartered branded gift cards provider Blackhawk Network has set up its first APAC (Asia Pacific) strategic development centre (SDC) in Bengaluru to tap into the engineering talent that the region has to offer.
The centre, which was set up November last year, aims to recruit about 200 people by the end of the year, the firm’s vice president, technology business operations Leila Pourhashemi told TechCircle.
“In the past few years, Bengaluru has emerged as a hotbed of tech innovation, developing cutting edge next-gen products for the world. The region’s deep talent pool coupled with its proximity to customers and partners made it the perfect location for our new strategic development centre...” CTO Harel Kodesh said in a separate statement.
The branded payment solutions platform offers prepaid products, technologies to its network of brands and people. It partners with these stakeholders to increase reach, loyalty and revenue.
The company will now build on its technology capabilities to move to the next stage of growth at global scale through the Indian centre, which will be headed by Radhakrishna Venketeshwaran, a company vice president.
“With our 18 years of heritage, we have a huge amount of data… we’re consolidating that into a single platform and trying to make sense out of it, which would include studying behavioural patterns, evaluate fraud risks…” Venketeshwaran told TechCircle in an interview.
The centre is also expected to build a digital payments platform. Currently Blackhawk Network does not have a mobile presence, with primary touch-points to digital websites and retail outlets.
“We are building a mobile strategy for the company,” Venketeshwaran added. The software-focused executive holds over 15 years of experience in the global payments industry.
India is not yet a go-to market for the company. Apart from the global SDC in Bengaluru, the company has four other strategic centres. The Portland, Maine centre looks after commerce services, the London centre looks after EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) product lines, the Lewisville, Texas, centre looks after incentive systems, while the headquarters look after core systems.
Founded in 2001 with a team of five employees, Blackhawk Network’s market is now spread across 26 countries with over 3,000 employees, serving a network of over 250,000 retail stores and over 1,000 brands.
The company also claims to reach over 300 million shoppers a week, globally. The branded payments platform which listed on NASDAQ in 2013 has about 27 acquisition to its name till date. It churns over $1 billion in revenue.
The company started out operating in the gifts card space and now does gift card transactions worth $22 billion annually, generating $1 billion in revenue.