Retail giant JC Penney has appointed Snehil Gambhir to head up its first global in-house centre (GIC) in India, which was set up last year to bolster the group's digital and innovation capabilities.

Gambhir, a 20-year technology industry veteran, will take up the role of vice president and managing director of the GIC in Bangalore with immediate effect.

Most recently, he served as chief operating officer of Aviva Life Insurance India, responsible for all strategic and operations leadership of Aviva's service delivery functions. Prior to this, Gambhir spent ten years at technology giant GE in roles of increasing responsibility.

"Snehil is a proven solutions driven leader with extensive experience in global business and technology," says Therace Risch, EVP and chief information officer at JC Penney. "We're confident that his leadership will empower our Bangalore team to continue delivering important business and technology capabilities for JCPenney."

In his new role, Gambhir leads all operations at the company's first-ever GIC, which opened in August last year. His responsibilities include supporting and expanding a variety of key business functions, including IT, digital, store operations, analytics, marketing, infrastructure and merchandise operations.

An extension of JC Penney's head office in Texas, the GIC supports new technologies, delivers business insights through analytics, and assists with accelerating innovation. Ultimately, it will help JC Penney improve operational costs and enhance the company's functions, with the added benefit of retaining all knowledge in-house. 

By centralising numerous digital activities under one roof, the retailer says it is better able to drive innovation and utilise key business data. The centre is also designed to advance its strategic priority of becoming a world-class omnichannel retailer, with a particular emphasis on mobile.