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India key to BT’s digital strategy, plans to hire 1,000 by 2024: Harmeen Mehta

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In Short:

BT Group plans to hire 1,000 more employees in India by 2024, with a focus on its Digital unit. The company currently has 14,000 employees in India and intends to grow its headcount to 15,000. The Digital unit, responsible for digital transformation, will see its base increase to 2,500 employees. The company views India as a key location for its digital strategy and technology consolidation efforts.

BT Group to Increase Headcount in India

India plays a vital role in British Telecom’s (BT) digital and telecom strategy, as confirmed by a top executive of the London-based company. Currently, BT Group has 14,000 employees in India, across three locations – Gurugram, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. The ‘Digital’ unit, responsible for digital transformation and product/service creation, has 1,900 employees. Harmeen Mehta, Chief Innovation and Digital Officer at BT Group, mentioned that the company plans to hire an additional 1,000 employees in India by the end of 2024, bringing the total headcount to 15,000. The Digital unit will see 600 new hires, increasing its base to 2,500.

Focus on Digital Business

Mehta emphasized the significant growth of BT’s digital business in the last three years and their commitment to further invest in this area. Operations, back offices, fiber planning for the UK, network management, software development, and tech talent – a significant 40% of it – are all based in India. BT is consolidating technology by shutting down 80% of legacy applications, with Indian teams playing a critical role in this effort. Various platforms and engineering operations are being developed from India to support BT’s global projects.

“We view India as another important site for BT’s digital operations and are expanding accordingly. Our digital strategy encompasses various elements, many of which are being implemented in India,” Mehta added.

India’s Significance in BT’s Operations

Mehta, who joined BT in 2021 from Bharti Airtel, highlighted the role of India in BT’s overall operations. While BT plans to reduce its global headcount by 40%, with potential job losses of up to 55,000 due to AI integration and fiber projects, the impact on India specifically is yet to be determined. Mehta believes that AI will bring about significant productivity gains by automating repetitive tasks and sees opportunities for upskilling and career advancement in the industry.

“AI will impact the workforce, but it also presents an opportunity for individuals to enhance their skills and adapt to the evolving work landscape as organizations embrace AI technologies,” Mehta concluded.

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