Thursday, March 27

WNS plans to up the ante in KPO business

The niche segment of the Indian IT industry, knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), is getting more broad-based with companies looking at providing an integrated level of services. WNS, a BPO services provider in India, is upping the ante in KPO segment by getting into the shared services model. Under this, WNS will be providing a complete array of its KPO services, be it business research, analytics or market research. WNS Knowledge Services CEO Anish Nanavaty says company has been able to aggregate different pieces of its KPO activity to bring it under a single umbrella of services. The KPO segment of WNS constitutes around 15% of its topline and has around 1,500 people.

The shared-services model could actually see WNS driving a proposition which goes beyond mere saving of costs and act as a one-stop shop. WNS’ KPO segment constitutes three main line of services: business & finance research, analytic services and market research. Mr Nanavaty said that there has been a consolidation in the horizontal breadth of services and it is increasingly moving towards verticalisation. This could effectively mean that there would be that KPO becoming a more specialised service to a particular vertical or industry. According to reports, the KPO industry is estimated to be between $10-17 billion by 2010.

According to KPMG, the primary value proposition of KPO is to generate topline while in the case of BPO, it is largely cost arbitrage. Mr. Nanavaty said, currently the professional services which constitute of the likes of investment banks has been driving its business followed by pharma, retail and CPG. WNS has got its delivery centre for its KPO business spread across India, the US, UK and Romania. According to a KPMG report, 62% of WNS’ KPO revenue comes from the UK and Europe while 37% are from the US. Mr. Nanavaty said that US will still provide the volumes but it is looking at entering into other markets in Europe—France and Germany.

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