In business, epochal changes are often set off by decisions and experiments that may seem not very consequential at the time. In 1997, Jack Welch, General Electric's CEO then, decided to send some mortgage and insurance application work to a small team in Gurgaon. By 2002, that work had expanded to a 10,000-people company and was the biggest part of GE Capital, remembers Tiger Tyagarajan, President and CEO today of Genpact, the GE business process outsourcing, or BPO, firm.
Genpact is today a $1.5 billion business but GE's bigger contribution is India's $6 billion BPO industry. By last estimates, some two-thirds of outsourced BPO work in the world is serviced from India by 1.5 million workers.
By Anusha Subramanian, Anand Adhikari, K.R. Balasubramanyam, Rajiv Bhuva, Josey Puliyenthuruthel,G. Seetharaman and Sunny Sen