Delta’s Technology Hub will employ over 300 professionals in areas including data science/analytics, cyber security, enterprise architecture, AI/ML and digital channels including Delta.com and the FlyDelta app.
“The Bengaluru team will help drive Delta’s IT transformation and innovation, and help incubate new strategic capabilities, while working with the local startup community to aid in rapid solutioning to business and technology challenges – like our proven approach in the US. We anticipate having between 300 and 500 employees over the next few years,” the company’s spokesperson said. Mahesh Sogal, Delta’s managing director of IT transformation and international technology, is the executive sponsor for the initiative.
Delta has tied up with Bengaluru-based ANSR Consulting to launch the tech operations in Bengaluru. ANSR has brought over 45 GCCs, including Wells Fargo,Target, Lowe’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, to India. They together employ some 60,000 people.
The Delta spokesperson said they were attracted to Bengaluru’s thriving ecosystem of GCCs, startups and service providers that are supported by a large, experienced technology talent pool.
Delta became the first airline to keynote at the CES 2020 in Las Vegas where its CEO Edward H Bastian talked about technology upgrades like binge buttons for inflight programming and piloting wearable exoskeleton, a robotic gear that allows employees to lift heavy loads by ensuring their safety.
These announcements, which are expected to redefine the flying experience, almost coincided with the airline reclaiming its position as the largest carrier by revenue in the world with a topline of $47 billion, an increase of more than $3 billion over the year before. In the latest earnings call, Bastian spoke about $4.5 billion in capital spends in 2020 to replace its fleet and invest in product and technology.
The Atlanta-based airline is said to be working with multiple IT service providers, including Cognizant, IBM and TCS. When TOI asked whether the new centre in Bengaluru would prompt the company to move more work inhouse, the spokesperson said, “Our workforce today is comprised of a mix of employees and contractors and we expect this to continue. However, there are certain types of work that are best done by Delta people. Projects that deliver a competitive advantage or those that generate significant intellectual property will generally be supported inside Delta.”
The spokesperson said the Bengaluru hub will look and feel like the hubs in Atlanta and Minneapolis – “these will be Delta employees working in a Delta office that just happens to exist outside the US. We are paying special attention to creating a common culture with shared goals across our three primary sites. With that objective in mind, we plan to have a mix of short- and long-term assignments for our employees in the United States.”