The new back office: inside Goldman Sachs’ Bangalore hub

When Goldman Sachs opened its wholly owned Bangalore operation in 2004, it was a typical back office. Just under 300 full-time staff supported a front line of revenue-generating bankers worldwide. They worked in limited areas such as information technology, finance and accounting.

The group put no cap on Bangalore’s ambitions, says Bunty Bohra, who heads the office, but “we didn’t envisage anything like the scale and complexity” of the current operation — let alone what is now planned for the group. Goldman now employs about 5,000 staff in Bangalore, 4,000 of them full-time, across almost every division of the bank, including revenue-generating “front office” roles.In 2019, it expects to open a $250m campus on Bangalore’s traffic-clogged outer ring road that will be able to accommodate 9,000 people in two buildings, across 1m sq ft.

The evolution of Goldman’s presence in Bangalore is one example of how economics, technology and politics have shaped the back office over the past 15 years. Companies have started to look at back offices not just as low-cost support centres, but sources of skills for the rest of the organisation. At the same time, they have learnt to flex the mixture and location of their own staff, and of outsourced teams, to meet customer needs.


Read more: Financial Times