Welcome back to the analyst community, Saurabh Gupta


I am proud to announce we’ve unveiled a very exciting analyst talent to lead our global research team, based in Chicago US, as our Chief Strategy Officer (see bio).

Saurabh Gupta worked with me at Everest over ten years ago where I helped train him up to help lead the firm’s BPO research team. After a distinguished career at Everest, where he earned a very strong reputation as a highly focused and respected analyst in the areas of BPO, banking, F&A, procurement, analytics and the underlying technology platforms, he went onto the buyside with AbbVie (the spin off shared services for Abbott Labs), where he helped craft the firm’s BPO and shared services strategy, working across various service lines and service provider relationships. He then had a spell with Genpact, where he has been instrumental helping them devise and shape the firm’s CFO service offerings and digital strategy. 

Saurabh has long eyed a return to the analyst fold and coming onboard HfS is the ultimate challenge for him, where he’ll be leading our global research team and working with all of us to write about real buyer experiences and mapping where enterprises are on their Digital OneOffice journeys, how fast they need to move and what is preventing them getting to their ideal states.  I caught up with Saurabh this week to share more with you all what you can expect…

Phil Fersht, CEO and Chief Analyst, HfS Research: Saurabh – it’s just terrific to be working with you again after a decade since we were at Everest together!  What took you back to the research industry after your recent years on the buyer and supplier side of services life?

Saurabh Gupta, Chief Strategy Officer, HfS Research: Thanks Phil. I am thrilled to be here. I am passionate about business research and being an analyst was the best thing that happened to me. However, I did want to experience and appreciate the perspectives of different stakeholders in our industry. So after Everest Group, I spent time with AbbVie helping shape their business process services strategy as well as Genpact as their strategy leader for CFO and transformation services. I think…or I hope that getting into the shoes of a buyer and a vendor helps me become a better analyst. Plus, this is an exciting time to be a researcher in our industry. On one hand, we live in this VUCA environment and on the other, we have finally unearthed the next big value creation levers after offshoring in Robotics, AI, and blockchain. So I feel the role of an analyst is extremely important in today’s world.

Phil: So why did you choose HfS?  I think we were just a little bootstrapped operation when you were last in the analyst biz….

Saurabh: Where else? HfS has turned the analyst world upside down with its thought provoking, leading edge and futuristic research. With the pace of innovation and change, all stakeholders (buyers, suppliers, tech providers, investors) need to make important bets and decisions about their future. I’ve seen this first hand in my last two roles. And they cannot just rely on past data and trends to make those calls. HfS is the only analyst firm that I know who can help clients with “what is going to happen” versus “what happened in the past”… so this decision was a no-brainer for me.

Phil: Where is the industry right now, Saurabh?  Do you see us in a transition state, or is something else bubbling to wake us all up?

Saurabh: As I mentioned earlier, this is an exciting time for our industry…perhaps the most interesting time in my career. It has reached an inflexion point after very long time where it is about to jump a S-curve. The offshore-led value proposition has dominated our industry over the last 15 years. RPA and AI is finally adding a new value lever that can make a difference and turn the game on its head. At the same time, we also have guard against the hype and be realistic in our expectations. We (and that includes analysts, advisors, buyers, and suppliers) also must learn to unlearn. And then watch out for blockchain and distributed ledger….while everything that we just talked about is about shrinking the pie, blockchain promises to remove the pie altogether…can you imagine what will happen if we don’t need system of records after all?

But the even more interesting thing to solve is the puzzle on talent. If I can ever get to influence my daughter, I will be pushing her towards humanities (arts, communications, psychology, creativity) and problem-solving versus left-brain stuff. I think that’s the future!

Phil: So what can we expect to see from you at HfS… what are your plans with our research strategy – can you give us a little snippet of what we can expect?

Saurabh: We already have such a great core in terms of thought leadership, coverage areas, clients and readership, brand, and data that gives us the ability to influence and shape the market. So I want to leverage our assets and IP to focus on serving our clients…understand their challenges and provide relevant and real insights.

Our focus should be on making research ‘real’ for our clients especially concepts such as RPA, digital, AI and blockchain. Help them differentiate between a pitch and delivery, go beyond the hype, be realistic yet provocative. We should complement our in-depth blueprint reports and vendor analysis with real-life client experiences, go deep in a set of chosen coverage areas, and expand coverage of niche and emerging players with a potentially disruptive value proposition. I also think we could help our clients across three horizons: “act now”, “watch out”, and “investigate”. I want to drive our agenda to do just that.   

Phil: And finally, is the analyst industry as exciting as it was 10 years’ ago?  

Saurabh: Perhaps even more exciting but this is just day 2 for me…

Phil: Welcome aboard, Saurabh!

Posted in : Outsourcing Heros


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