Wednesday, July 16

Slowdown effect: 24/7 Customer relocates 450 staff to other centres

New Delhi, July 15
Close to 450 employees of 24/7 Customer may feel the heat of slowdown and client churn in the BPO industry. With one of its clients announcing a phased ramp-down of offshore call centre partnerships in India, 24/7 Customer has asked the affected employees based in Gurgaon to re-locate to the other facilities of the company, or look at alternate job opportunities.
“Recently, one of our clients announced a phased ramp down of their offshore call centre partnerships in India due to change in their business strategy. We are one of the affected vendors.
“We have taken specific steps to support all employees servicing this client and have provided these employees with the option of pursuing their careers in other centres of 24/7. As an alternative option, we are also assisting them to find other employment opportunities outside 24/7 through collaboration with other companies,” Mr Pradeep Narayanan, President New Services & Global Chief Infrastructure/Risk Officer, 24/7 Customer, said in an e-mail response to Business Line.
He said that so far nearly 70 per cent of the affected employees had taken up these options.
The scaling down by the client is also learnt to have impacted three other BPO companies which were servicing the same customer. Projected growth
India’s overall software and services revenue is projected to grow between 21 and 24 per cent during 2008-09 to touch $62-64 billion.
The growth rate projections for FY09 are, however, lower than 28 per cent growth achieved by the industry in FY08, on account of a possible slowdown in decision-making on new projects and also due the fact that the industry now operates on a much larger base.
“There is definitely a slowdown in the growth rate of the industry. Many companies are internalising, are getting risk averse and do not wish to expand, thus impacting operations here. The business sentiments have taken a hit in all sectors, and we are not insulated from the West,” Mr Sam Chopra, President, Business Process Industry Association of India (BPIAI), said.
In addition, while many companies were earlier comfortable maintaining a certain percentage employees on bench for instant ramp-up, now with slowdown headwinds affecting key markets, that may no longer be the case, say industry observers

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