Explore UCD

UCD Home >

Hundreds of new jobs planned as tech firm EXL partners with UCD for Irish expansion

Posted 5 October, 2023

Edward McDonnell, CEO of CeADAR, Suzi Jarvis, Founding Director UCD Innovation Academy, Rowan McGrath, Senior Vice President International, EXL, Eleanor Kelly, Head of Strategy UCD Innovation Academy, Sanjay Dutt, Senior Vice President, EXL, and Rohit Kapoor Vice Chairman and CEO, EXL

US-based data analytics and digital operations provider EXL will expand into Ireland following a new collaboration with University College Dublin.

Some 200 jobs are expected to be created at its new base in Dublin, including artificial intelligence and data engineers, over the next three years.

To support this expansion the company has undertaken an enterprise partnership with UCD utilising the Irish Government's Human Capital Initiative, which strengthens ties between higher education and enterprise to address future skills needs.

The new collaboration will begin with the UCD / EXL Innovation and AI Lab in November, a joint programme delivered by the UCD Innovation Academy and CeADAR - Ireland’s national centre for Artificial Intelligence - that combines AI domain expertise with a design led methodology. 

In addition, EXL will become a ‘Challenge Partner’ for the UCD Innovation Academy’s undergraduate electives in creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 

Students will have the opportunity to work on real challenges assigned by EXL and gain experience in cross-disciplinary and international problem solving.

“[With] the right groundwork laid by the Irish government’s Human Capital Initiative, we were well positioned to collaborate quickly with EXL to design this unique learning programme that will provide hundreds of their data specialists with the mindset, tools and expertise to leverage the transformative power of AI for innovation,” said Eleanor Kelly, Head of Strategy at the UCD Innovation Academy. 

Announcing that EXL was planning on headquartering its international business in Dublin, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the firm’s expansion in Ireland was “very welcome”. 

“Ireland is well-placed to be a hub of innovation in this space, and EXL’s plans to partner with local research institutions will be an important contribution to developing the next generation of talent.”

Sanjay Dutt, EXL Senior Vice President of Human Resources, added: “Our collaboration with UCD will help us leverage their extensive innovation ecosystem and equip our leaders to drive real business value for our customers. 

“EXL leaders will get an opportunity to sharpen their transformation capabilities through industry AI use cases, extensive networking with thought leaders and accessing institutions to validate product-market fit. This will help accelerate a culture of innovation, which is essential in driving our data-led transformation value proposition for our clients.”

The expansion was welcomed by Mary Buckley, the executive director of IDA Ireland, who said the collaboration between EXL and UCD had the “potential to drive skills in AI, machine learning and data analytics.”

The Human Capital Initiative, launched by the Irish government in late 2019, will see €300m invested over five years in increasing the capacity of higher education to meet skills needs of the future.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie