Thursday, February 14

Testing times for BPOs

Recently, Everest Group, a global strategy consulting firm, and Nasscom, the trade body of the Indian IT-BPO industry, released a joint study report titled Nasscom-Everest India BPO Study—Roadmap 2012— Capitalising on the Expanding BPO Landscape. Says Gaurav Gupta, country head of Everest Group, “The report indicates a possible target of $50 billion by 2012 that the Indian BPO industry can achieve in the next four years. This reflects a five-fold growth over the next five years. It can create over 2 million direct jobs in India.”

At the present, the Indian BPO industry is spread across 30 Indian cities, which includes tier I and II cities. As per the report, the industry is expected to grow five-fold. Moreover, industry watchers foresee the industry going to smaller cities from the metros. It’s a phenomenon that has already started taking shape. However, the poor infrastructure of these cities remains the biggest challenge in front of the players. The report says that there should be a holistic focus on infrastructure. It uses a term ‘eco-system’ that signifies the development of both, physical and social infrastructure.

It includes, for example, facilities for entertainment, security, transport, etc. However, the BPO as an industry still needs to tackle the negative image that is attached to it. Gupta says, “We need to send an integrative message to parents, (and other people about) the kind of knowledge process work being done today. The industry is (not only) giving jobs to people but also high value training.” Apart from image and infrastructure, the BPO industry has another challenge in front of it in the form of high attrition rates. While job-hopping is happening in every industry, the real problem in BPOs arises because people are leaving the industry itself.

To get more insight into the needs and expectations of the industry, Everest interviewed 25-30 BPO customers and found that they want more than just selling. What came out of the process was the fact that the BPO industry needs to develop specialised knowledge.

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