Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Bank of America COO and CTO, Catherine Bessant at GIFT City on Friday. (Express Photo)
Bank of America formally opened its “Global Business Services Centre” spread over one lakh square feet at GIFT City campus, Gandhinagar, on Friday, where the company will create 1,500 new jobs in the state.
Welcoming an audience to its “newest home”, Chief Operations and Technology Officer Catherine Bessant said the GIFT city operations has already hired 500 persons and will be expanding to 1,500 at a later stage. “We have 29,000 people in five cities including Gurugram, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and now GIFT City,” she said, adding that Bank of America is a significant employer in India.
Narrating how Bank of America began operations in India as a “tiny offshoring outpost” in 2004, Bessant said that operations in the country have “become a significant contributor and driver of strategy worldwide.”
“Thirty per cent of the bank’s total workforce of our technology and operations organisation is here in India. This country has offered great talent, strong scientific and engineering culture and outstanding management, “ she said.
At the event where Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was also present, Catherine Bessant also shared her experience at the World Economic Forum where she had first seen a presentation on GIFT City five years ago. “That day, I turned to my team and said that we have to get there fast.” On September 27, 2019, The Indian Express had reported about a Letter of Allotment (LoA) being given to the first foreign bank to set up base in GIFT City campus. Bessant added that Bank of America’s centre at GIFT City will also focus on fintech and Artificial Intelligence.
Bank of America has taken up space on lease at the newly-constructed 24-storeyed building “Pragya”, in the Special Economic Zone area of GIFT City. Jaxay Shah, the head of Savvy Infrastructures which built the building, said, “They have taken up one lakh square feet of space on lease. They will occupy six floors in this building, that is, from the 11th to the 16th floor. We have also kept an additional three floors reserved for them.”
Gujarat’s new Chief Secretary Anil Mukim referred to the inauguration of Bank of America’s business centre as “a major turning point” for the state and for the development of the large-scale services sector. “I take this opportunity to welcome Bank of America as the first foreign bank in GIFT City’s Special Economic Zone. This centre will serve rural operations and will be one of the key locations of the bank. We are extremely happy that they have been able to source the required talent from within the state.”