Call Center December 2002 News

  • December 2002
    • Wrong image may spoil the great Indian BPO partyPublic opinion against outsourcing might spoil the great Indian business process outsourcing party.

      According to a recent research, one of the biggest problem that the companies would face while outsourcing to India is a bad corporate and public image.

      “We anticipate that moving customer support to India could provoke a backlash unless handled very carefully,” says a recent research by Outsourcing Insight, a UK-based market research firm.

      According to the research, corporate responsibility is a hot issue at the moment and companies which fail in this regard can be severely punished by the media and its customers.

    • Phaneesh and Jaya Murthy launch new consultancy firmJaya Murthy and Phaneesh Murthy have announced the formation of Primentor, an advisory company focused on outsourcing consulting for clients and providers. On the client side, advisory services would include partner/vendor selection, deal structuring and on-going contract administration. On the vendor side, consulting services would include strategy consulting, service definitions, brand consulting, blueprints for the future, sales and account management training.
    • Shifting call centres: NJ Senate passes Bill on banIn an attempt to create jobs for Americans by preventing foreigners, including Indians, from working as customer care executives, the New Jersey Senate in US has approved a Bill to ban companies, which take government contracts, to move their call centres abroad for cheap labour.

      The Bill now goes to the Assembly. The Senate unanimously adopted the Bill, which would require workers on the state contract to be US citizens or legal aliens unless they have specialty for which American workers cannot be found.

      Sponsor of the Bill, Senator Shirely Turner said she crafted the measure after reports that eFund Corp of Scottsdale in Arizona state had won a seven-year $ 326,000 a month contract to process electronic welfare and food stamp cards for 194,000 New Jersey residents.

      The company then moved its customer service centre from Green Bay in Wisconsin State to Mumbai, where workers are paid $ two to three an hour, far less than US workers, she claimed.

      “We shouldn’t be sending taxpayer-funded jobs for state contracts to foreign countries when our citizens need work,” Turner said.

      “We should be looking out for our own people instead of developing a cheap labour force in countries where benefits are rarely provided.”

      Before the vote, the Bill was amended to allow foreigners, who are in the US on work visas to be eligible for the employment pool for state contracts and to allow non citizens to do work for specialised services that cannot be provided by American workers.

    • ITES sector lures specialists from diverse fieldsWhen you think of a call centre, what instantly comes to mind is hordes of well-dressed youngsters, campus spirit, bonhomie and camararderie. This image is in for a changeover. With the Indian ITES industry realising that to stay in premium space it is essential to be ahead of the curve, they have started focusing on value-added services. So experienced specialists from as diverse fields as accountancy and biotechnology, medicos and language experts, are being wooed to join the New Age industry. For hiring agents, attracting such professionals from their traditional folds has not altogether been a difficult task, the prospects of the sunrise sector is lure enough to get some of the best talent from various fields.
    • Manjushree Infotech, a B.K. Birla company, to start a call centre in KolkataManjushree Infotech decided to enter the IT Enabled Services (ITES) space because it felt that this area had a lot of business potential. It received a mandate from the Health Management Organization (HMO) in USA to support its call center in Tampa, Florida. And in order to support the operations of this facility, Manjushree Infotech decided to set up a call center in Kolkata with the required infrastructure.
    • MNCs Flock To Hyderabad For ITESForget Bangalore. Look at Hyderabad. The cyber city of Hyderabad has become the cynosure of all eyes, particularly the multinationals, who have started shifting their focus towards Hyderabad, thanks to its numero uno status in ITES (information technology enabled services) segment.
    • Showcase India: Global CIOs To Converge At Nasscom 03In what can bring more outsourced software and back-office services business to India, a group of 25-30 chief information officers (CIOs) of global corporationsincluding a few from Fortune 500 listwill be visiting India to test waters in February next year.

      The CIOs are being invited by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) to participate in its annual event Nasscom 2003 to be held from February 11-14 in Mumbai next year. Some of the major companies that have confirmed participation of their CIOs in Nasscom 2003 include two Fortune 500 firms: $9 billion Gillette and $20 billion Johnson Control.

    • Spectramind maintains outlook, will meet revenue targetsWipro Ltd. said its back office services firm, Spectramind, was on track to meet its revenue target of $12.5 million for the quarter ending December. Bangalore-based Wipro conducts its back-office operations through Spectramind, which is 92 percent owned by the company.
    • India Interaction CRM Market To Touch $85 Million By 2004: Frost & SullivanThe Indian interaction customer relationship management (CRM) market is the fastest growing market in the Asia-Pacific (Apac) region, according to Frost & Sullivan. The Indian interaction CRM market is likely to touch $85 million by 2004. At present, India accounts for 4.8 per cent of the Apac market and is estimated at $43 million in terms of revenues.
    • Global Vantedge To Add 1,000 Agents By March 2004ChrysCapital-funded business process outsourcing (BPO) company Global Vantedge is planning to increase its team of agents to 1,200 by March 2004 from the present level of 150. In the process, it is looking at dedicating more than 50 per cent of its team to its client as well as strategic investor, OSI.

      OSI is a US-based collections company and is currently outsourcing a small part of its collections work to India through Global Vantedge. The company plans to invest up to $5 million for expanding its team as well as to set up over 300 seats by next year.

    • Nucleus Software to setup 100 seater ITES facilityUnfazed by the drop in profit during the first half of this fiscal, Nucleus Software Exports Limited has chalked out an ambitious expansion plan for the next 12 months, wherein it intends to invest Rs 30 crore.

      The company is planning to use its cash reserves of over Rs 20 crore to fuel its expansion plans. In order to meet the rest of its fund requirements, the company is banking on internal accruals in the coming months.

    • US-based NCO To Take Over Zentas Outsourced BusinessZenta Technologies, the call centre company of the Hiranandani Group, has entered into a build, operate and transfer arrangement with US-based NCO (formerly known as the National Collection Office).
    • STPI To Offer Voice Traffic By Next Month; Lures Call CentresIn what could attract the fast-growing call centre industry to use its facilities, Software Technology Park of India (STPI) will start offering international voice connectivity to its customer companies within the next 4-6 weeks. STPI has already initiated talks with International Long Distance (ILD) operators for a tie-up.
    • Epicenter Set To Invest $5 M For 4th Centre by April 2003Mumbai-based contact centre company Epicenter is planning to invest up to $5 million, in order to set up its fourth centre by April, next year.

      Recently, the company raised $4 million as part of its second round from investors including GW Capital and Infinity Ventures.

    • Philips To Launch Chain Of Call CentresIn a bid to provide value-added services to its customers, the Rs 1,667-crore Philips India Ltd is planning to launch its first call centre called Philips Call Centre in India in the beginning of 2003. After implementing this initiative, the company plans to expand the number of call centres to five in major metros like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore within a year.
    • MsourcE Plans To Expand In EuropeMsourcE, the call centre subsidiary of MphasiS BFL, intends to branch out into Eastern Europe. In addition, the company plans to expand its Indian capacity by 400 seats by the end of the month and will continue to add 200 employees per month.
    • Calls Are Off: Antiquated laws must be dumped without delay Call centers are booming business, at least in a couple of places like Delhi and Hyderabad, and represent Indias comparative advantage in information technology no less than exports of software. In Delhi, they may be threatened by prosecution under the Delhi Shops and Establishments Act of 1954, since Section 14 of this antiquated statute stipulates that young persons or women cannot work in any establishment between 9 PM and 7 AM during summer months and between 8 PM and 8 AM during winter months. Labour laws like the Factories Act of 1948 also have similar provisions.
    • Exlservice Shops For Overseas Ops; Firms Up 4th CentreIn an attempt to spread its wings beyond the domestic borders, Exlservice Inc (ranked number one BPO company by Nasscom) is planning to take the acquisition route to establish its first international facility either in the US or Canada.

      Further, the company intends to set up its fourth facility with 500-seats in South India and complete its buy-out in the West by the coming calender year. It is planning to invest upto $6 million to set up its fourth facility down South.

    • Daksh Eyes Acquisitions; Plans BPO Ops AbroadBusiness Process Outsourcing firm Daksh Services which recently closed a $20 million investment from General Atlantic Partners is looking at acquisitions to strengthen its domain base in specific verticals. These acquisitions could be overseas or domestic according to the companys head for eCommerce M J Aravind who spoke to eFE on the sidelines of the ongoing 2002 Global Asian Venture Forum in Mumbai.
    • BPO Forays May Create HR Issues For IT MajorsCognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) has 4000 knowledge workers racking their brains to provide IT solutions to a host of Fortune 500 companies.

      By the first quarter of next year, CTS aims to add 900 employees who will not be the IT professionals but service workers for around the 450-seat business process outsourcing (BPO) initiative to be set up in Bangalore and Pune.

    • Fortune Targets ITES With k-ClickFortune Informatics Ltd, developer of document, output management and imaging solutions and products, is eyeing the lucrative service market by foraying in to the IT Enabled Service (ITES) segment through franchisee route.
    • India Leads The ITES Pack As Base Of Choice: StudyIndia has been ranked numero uno among the top ten favourable destinations for IT-enabled services (ITES) by the $1.3 billion global management consultancy firm, AT Kearney.

      As part of its latest internal report on ITES (including business process outsourcing and voice operations), AT Kearney has identified Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Philippines and Russia as other top destinations.

    • Indian cos should be more aggressive to take on ChinaINDIAN IT enabled services (ITES) companies and business process outsouring (BPO) units may have become the flavour of the season for the MNCs, but China is fast catching up and can emerge as a major threat in the next few years.

      This is the common perception among leading IT entrepreneurs of this sector and to counter it they feel that Indian companies should be more aggressive not only in their marketing ventures but also in the overall business environment.

    • Chennai Co Turns IT-enabled Services Into Cottage IndustryCan the IT-enabled services (ITES) business replicate the cottage industry model of the Gandhian economy? No big money, but jobs for many: the model of outsourcing outsourcing itself.

      Heres the new model: A US major outsources an ITES job to an Indian company. This company signs up scores of small centres run by small and medium entrepreneurs, decentralising the job.

    • Call Centres May Get Wake-up Call Over Shops ActCall centre operators beware! If you are not following the provisions of the Delhi Shops and Establishments Act of 1954, or not seeking exemptions under it, you may be prosecuted.

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