iGate: The firm at the centre of RBC's outsourcing scandal
The Royal Bank of Canada sign is shown in Toronto's financial district. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Wednesday, April 10, 2013 9:56AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:05PM EDT
The outsourcing firm at the heart of the RBC temporary foreign worker scandal markets itself as a $1 billion-a-year business that lists Canada’s largest bank as one of its principal clients.
Based out of Freemont, Calif., iGate has seen its profits quintuple, from $218 million in 2008 to $1 billion in 2012 – with 11 per cent of its revenue coming from RBC, its second-biggest client.
Founded by two Indian entrepreneurs, the global outsourcing firm employs tens of thousands of people in operations around the globe. According to The Times of India, the bulk of iGate’s 27,500 employees are based in Bangalore – a large, growing city in India’s south known for being the hub of the country’s IT sector.
The company is now at the centre of a growing controversy that has outraged Canadians following reports that temporary foreign workers will replace 45 veteran RBC employees. The matter has prompted the federal government to launch an investigation into whether the outsourcing practice breaks federal rules.
RBC has denied it has hired temporary foreign workers to replace the Toronto-based employees, saying the jobs are being outsourced and those filling the roles will be employees of iGate, not the bank. The bank also says it is working with the affected employees to retrain and help reallocate them.
Meanwhile, iGate says it has complied with Canadian laws in obtaining proper visas for the workers coming into Canada, who will remain in the country to train for their new roles before heading back to their home country.
“We are in compliance with the local laws of each of the countries where we operate, including Canada,” iGate said in a statement to CTVNews.ca. “We will fully cooperate with requests from the government for information on this matter.”
The outsourcing firm lists itself as the recipient of a 2008 ‘Outsourcing Excellence Award’ for its partnership with RBC.
iGate says its business model allows it to share its profits with its clients while absorbing the risk.
In a corporate flyer, iGate says: “We are able to drive significant bottom-line improvement for them. In this way, we forge true partnership with our clients. No longer making money ‘off’ our clients but ‘with’ them.”