A year after it talked about its plans to invest $12 billion globally in areas such as AI, cloud, ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) and cybersecurity, PricewaterhouseCoopers on Tuesday announced its first technology acquisition in India.
PwC India will acquire Salesforce Summit (Platinum) partner Venerate Solutions to boost its existing Salesforce technology practice. Salesforce is one of PwC’s strategic alliances, which also include Microsoft, AWS, and SAP. Together, the two teams will have a Salesforce talent base of 700 people in India, focused on serving the domestic market, after the acquisition.
The announcement of the planned Venerate acquisition follows an agreement signed earlier this month to buy certain assets of New York-based Netrovert, an enterprise consultancy that uses Salesforce’s Mulesoft integration software
PwC announced last August that it would be spending $12 billion and hiring over 100,000 people to boost its technology services over a period of five years. For India, the company aimed at hiring at least 10,000 people for its technology practice over the same period.
PwC did not disclose the size of the deal or the number of technology consultants that will join the firm as a part of the Venerate acquisition. The transaction is expected to close in the coming few weeks, subject to customary closing conditions.
Bangalore-based Venerate builds and deploys customized solutions on Salesforce software, including Financial Services Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Vlocity Industry Cloud and various integration tools.
This acquisition aligns with PwC’s commitment to invest in the area of digital transformation and also in strategic alliances, said Arnab Basu, Leader- Advisory, PwC India.
“This deal is a signal to the market that we are serious about our technology strategy. We announced our five-year strategy in August. For this deal, the conversation began in December and we are already closing the deal now. This is just first among many such deals you can expect to see in the near future,” Basu said.
PwC India currently employs 9,000 people in its technology practice serving the domestic market. This is apart from a similarly large team that works as part of the company’s delivery center teams that focus on serving clients in global markets.
“In the Salesforce space, the combined team (post the Venerate acquisition) will be the largest in the domestic market. Our global strategy, announced last year, focused on augmenting cloud applications. Salesforce is one of our key global alliances, apart from SAP, AWS and Microsoft. The Venerate deal will help us augment our Salesforce alliance and grow through alliance channels,” Basu said.
Over the years, the Big Four accounting firms have been investing heavily in technology to cater to the evolving business needs. Basu however contests that despite the heavy investments, PwC doesn’t have any plan to compete with major IT services players such as Tata Consultancy Services or Infosys.
“Our focus is on bringing business and technology together. The position is not to aspire to becoming a TCS or Infosys. We are a consulting company and will continue being a consulting company.
However, today, you can’t do transformation without a technology platform that offers scale. With our technology investments, we are building these capabilities and scale,” Basu said.