Tuesday, March 4

24x7 Customer to add 3,500 more by next fiscal

24x7 Customer, the home grown global business process outsourcing services provider, is poised to add about 3,500 people by the next fiscal, including 500 by March 2008. This would take the head count up from 6,500 now to 7,000 by March-end and past 10,000-mark by next fiscal-end. The company is in the process of finalising moves for a couple of patents for BPO processes, which have been developed in-house over the years. The Chief Marketing Officer of 24x7 Customer, Mr V. Bharathwaj, said that for the company it was business as usual and there had been no impact on the BPO customer-driven services it offers to 30-plus clients globally.

“Our business is quite predictable and the engagements are ongoing long-term deals. Given this outlook, we are expecting a growth of about 35 to 45 per cent next fiscal too,” Mr Bharathwaj told Business Line. Asked about plans to raise additional funds, including the move to enter the capital market with an IPO, Mr Bharthwaj said “we do not need any funds immediately and we have all options open. The company had received $22 million from Sequoia Capital in 2003.” On attrition, he said that they are experiencing about 35-37 per cent as against the industry average of about 55-60 per cent. Mr Bharthwaj said “We account for about 5 per cent of outsourcing business of some of the large enterprises and the effort now is directed at mining into them and slicing up larger business from these clients”.

“As a company that has developed processes that help manage the entire customer lifecycle - acquisition, retention, building loyalty programmes and support, these processes have matured. Therefore, we are set to patent them,” he said. From early days, the company decided to have a global footprint by setting up centres in Manila, Guatemala, Northern Ireland and China. It inducted Ms Laura Tyson, Economic Advisor to the former US President, Mr Bill Clinton, on board. She is also on the board of companies such as Kodak and AT&T. About 50 per cent of business is generated from the US and the rest from other markets. The thrust is on consolidating business with the existing clients and at overseas centres, he said.

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