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JCPenney to set up 1,000-strong tech centre in India

Source | The Times Of India

BENGALURU: JCPenney is the newest entrant to Bengaluru’s technology landscape, joining other global retailers like Target, Tesco, Victoria’s Secret and Lowe’s.

The $12.6-billion US retailer is opening a technology centrehere that will have 1,000 employees when fully operational in about two years. It expects to hire 450 people by the end of this year. The centre will have engineers to manage its internal IT systems, as also to develop digital, e-commerce and analytics solutions.

“We are looking at India predominantly as a talent play. And we are not looking at doing incremental stuff here. We are going to re-platform, redesign. We are going to do cutting edge work and there will be global roles for people here,” Michael Amend, executive vice president of omni-channel in JCPenney, told TOI in an exclusive interaction. In his role, Amend focuses on creating a seamless experience across stores,, marketing and all digital channels.

JCPenney has teamed up with Lalit Ahuja-backed ANSR Consulting, a GIC (global in-house centre) strategy consultation and implementation firm, to set up operations in India. ANSR has helped bring in 21 GICs to India to date.

Consulting firm Zinnov estimates that India is host to over 1,000 R&D centres of MNCs. Just over the past 20 months, several major companies – including Cargill, Exxon Mobil, Diageo, Danske Bank, Great-West Financial and Trelleborg – have established such centres in India. The sheer scale of engineering and analytics talent in India has made the country hugely attractive.

Amend said JCPenney is going through a huge transformation, focusing on private brands, omnichannel presence and improving revenue per employee, to guide the company to profitable growth. The company, which has 1,000 stores across the US and which competes with retailers like Macy’s, went through a revenue down-slide earlier this decade, but is now seen to be coming out of it.

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