As India looks at ways to sustain its position as the world’s publishing BPO hub, publishing service providers are looking to offer a comprehensive spectrum of services. Though faced with the challenges of rupee appreciation, talent crunch and emergence of newer media, the hi-growth Indian e-publishing industry is estimated to grow annually by 35% and offer a $1.46 billion outsourcing opportunity by 2010. Last week, Chennai played host to the world’s first conference on publishing BPO services. Organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the conference, with the theme ‘Sustaining India to be Publishing BPO hub of the world,’ saw the convergence of all the dominant players in this industry.
With several global publishers offshoring their publishing BPO services to India, there is an accelerated trend of acquisitions, which is likely to intensify as more players look to acquire new capabilities, clients, market presence, offshore capacity and onshore capability, noted Integra Software Services founder Sriram Subramanya, who is also CII Puducherry vice-chairman. The outsourcing opportunities exist in value added and core services like copy-editing, project management and indexing, he added. Mr Subramanya said the industry is facing challenges in terms of global recession, the appreciating rupee and the emergence of new media.
“The publishers’ expectations are increasing in terms of speed to market, consistent quality, end-to-end services, reduced pricing, multiple and complex deliverables and need to deal with fewer suppliers,” he said. SPS Technologies CEO Sharad Wasani said publishing has to encompass a gamut of services. Companies in this space have to learn to listen to the customer and put together a package that will offer additional value-add services for full service management has come to stay. Laser Words MD S Vellayan said as long as the number of industry players remains same or increase, challenges like attrition are a reality. “You don’t manage it but learn how to deal with it,” he added.
The KPO industry is predicted to be anywhere between $12 billion and $15.5 billion by 2010, at an annual growth rate of 40 to 50 %. The global opportunity for publishing outsourcing is estimated at $8.1 billion, and if off-shored estimated to be valued $4.86 billion, Aptara International chief technologist and senior vice-president Guruvinder Batra said. AnnaUniversity retired professor Lalitha Jayaraman, in her address, said there is a perception among employees that the publishing BPO industry does not offer enough growth opportunities. Fear of stagnation, stressful work schedule and having to work night shifts, are among the primary concerns.