April 2006 News

  • April 2006
      • Deepak Mangla appointed Nipuna COO
        Satyam’s BPO subsidiary Nipuna Services Limited has appointed Deepak Mangla as its chief operating officer. Before his appointment as COO, Mangla, who joined Nipuna in August last year, held the position of Global Delivery Head.
      • Smith Dornan Dehn PC, a US law firm, to starts its BPO in Mysore
        Smith Dornan Dehn PC, an international media, entertainment and intellectual property law firm having headquarters in New York, has announced the launch of an IT enabled subsidiary in Mysore. SDD attorney Russel Smith in the release said, “The days are gone when large traditional western law firms could continue their ways and still survive. Even large clients were fed up and firing their law firms. They see a lack of responsiveness, inefficient hourly billing, high salaries and concentration of personnel in rented offices in the most expensive real estate markets in the US.”
      • Ex-Infosys team raises funds for outsourcing company Gridstone
        Basab Pradhan along with a team of ex-employees from Infosys technologies have raised funds from US based hedge fund Maverick Capital and Boston based Charles River Ventures for a business process outsourcing company. Mr Pradhan who was earlier the head of marketing at Infosys had left the firm in August ‘05 to start Gridstone, a firm focused on providing US based analysts with research. Gridstone has developed a web based platform for equity research, which aggregates all data and adds information over and above that available in the balance sheet.
      • BPO jokes top humour charts
        As India continues to be the outsourcing hub, its business process outsourcing industry is topping the charts of humour forums, joke websites and witty blogs.
      • BPO blues: Indians have ‘yes’ problem
        In a study on European small and medium IT companies in India by Value Leadership Group Inc, all the companies surveyed specifically mentioned the tendency of Indian workers to “over commit” (say yes to every request) as a significant cultural issue.
      • 25% to 2.5%: Army recruitments fall to BPOs
        rom 25 per cent to an abysmal 2.5 per cent! That’s the state of recruitments in the army from Bangalore, thanks to the booming BPO sector.
      • Wipro ranked 7th by International Association of Outsourcing Professionals
        Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro Ltd today announced that it had been rated as the top Indian outsourcing firm in the Global Outsourcing 100 rankings conducted by The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP). This is an independent global survey, the results of which were released recently in the Fortune magazine.
      • Will they upset Indian outsourcing applecart?: Sand Hill Report
        The biggest one is the cost factor. Clients abroad are concerned about the increasing costs; estimates show offshoring vendor costs in India growing 15 per cent to 18 per cent every year. Says a respondent, “I think the cost advantage is starting to erode as time progresses. The offshore organizations are experiencing tremendous demand, so they have increased pricing strength. As that pricing strength grows, our costs grow, which may lead us to reduce offshoring or bring those activities back in-house.”
      • BPOs lend a hand to disabled
        he booming Indian BPO business is providing a whole new set of opportunities for a community often ignored – the physically challenged. Some BPOs have already hired a number of physically challenged persons.
      • Cognizant eyes BPO buyout
        According to market sources, the company is in the final leg of negotiations to buy out the BPO firm and this deal, it is expected, will significantly strengthen its offerings. Cognizant, however, declined to comment on the deal. Market sources indicate that there are quite a few large standalone BPO firms in India which have built up the momentum, expertise and scale and is ripe for buyouts.
      • How to Buy a US Outsourcing Firm, Part 1: Deal Size and Target Identification
        A constraint facing specialized operations offshore is the inability to find senior North American staff that are willing to spend long periods of time onsite. Buying an existing operation makes it easier to manage initial process migration and long-term program implementation.
      • iBridge plans BPO arm for finance, telecom clientsiBridge Solutions will soon commence business process outsourcing (BPO) operations for banking and telecom companies. The operations of the company will be headed by Pradeep Phadke, a veteran in the BPO industry whose last assignment was with GTL Ltd in Pune. He headed a team of 550-people team there.
      • The ‘HR’ files: BPOs turn spies in poaching battle
        Employees in some of India’s leading BPOs are being planted as spies in rival firms to conduct specific jobs. Some are being sent for as short a period as a week to gain access to their database of employees and contact information of fresh applicants. After accomplishing their “mission,” they return to their original workplace. One such incident recently unfolded at a Mumbai-based BPO organisation, Tracmail. A human resource (HR) employee of a large multinational captive BPO applied to Tracmail for a job in their HR department. After extensive interview sessions, Tracmail found that the intention of the applicant was to actually gain access to the company’s confidential database of its employees.
      • Cross-border call: Pakistan woos Indian BPO staff
        In a sign of how ties between two hostile neighbours have eased, Indian BPO workers are being wooed by Pakistani firms who want to set up call centres in their country but do not have adequate managerial staff to train young employees. The response from young BPO workers in India has been positive.
      • India most ideal BPO destination
        As the world’s software companies increase their reliance on offshoring for development, Indian IT industry stands a huge chance to share the pie, thanks to their technical capability, domain expertise and flexibility, says a report by IT research firm Sand Hill. The report also names India as the ideal offshoring destination in the world.
      • Highest ever BPO deals in Q1
        With as many as 83 outsourcing transactions with a total contract value of $22.7 billion, the first quarter of the current calendar year saw the strongest ever performance in the history of outsourcing, according to the quarterly report on the global outsourcing industry announced by outsourcing advisory firm TPI on Thursday.
      • IT and ITeS exports up by 36.4% in 2005-06
        India’s computer software and services exports are estimated to have surpassed the target and touched $23.49 billion during 2005-06, a 36.4 per cent jump over $17.21 billion registered in the previous year. According to the estimates of Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC), the growth in rupee terms was 34.54 per cent in 2005-06.
      • Now, BPOs beckon men in uniform
        Do you have it in you?” Remember the famous recruitment advertisement for the Indian Army? Now, it’s not just the army, the IT industry too seems to be in need of the disciplined and committed lot. If leadership, integrity, meticulousness and an ability to deliver — qualities typical of army people — then the very same are giving the ‘men of honour’ a second career in the corporate world. Security and administration are no longer the only options, the booming IT and BPO sector in the country have thrown open immense opportunities.
      • firstRain gears up to tap Indian human capital
        Having increased its India headcount to 90, an 80 per cent increase in the last seven months, firstRain is further doubling its current headcount by April 2007. firstRain provides custom-configured, on-demand intelligence services to professionals in the financial-services, pharmaceutical, and high-tech industries. It recently completed a $20 million funding from Oak Partners.
      • Hexaware opens third software development center in Pune
        IT and BPO services provider Hexaware Technologies today inaugurated its software development center at the Cerebrum IT Park in Kalyani Nagar here. It is the company’s third development center in India after Mumbai and Chennai. The new center will provide services in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) PeopleSoft and Oracle, .Net, Java, Testing and product lifecycle management (PLM).
      • Delhi creates maximum jobs in India
        Delhi has unseated Mumbai as the top job creator with maximum number of employment oppurtunities coming up in IT and IT-enabled sector, a study has revealed.An Eco Pulse study conducted by industry chamber Assocham tracked 6,175 job placements in first two months of 2006 and found out that employers in Delhi advertised for 1,495 vacancies, followed by Mumbai with 1,344 placements. Mumbai generated maximum number of jobs in a similar study last year.Bangalore, maintained the third spot, recording 19 per cent of the total placement tracked. The city lived up to its name of being the IT Hub of India and created maximum opportunities in the high-end IT jobs.
      • CRM, BI Vendors Line Up Behind Google OneBox
        Anything that makes it easier for employees to search data is a welcome development, observes Nucleus Research Vice President Rebecca Wetteman. For a CRM or BI environment, though, it is important to know that the first item is the most relevant to the search.
      • India’s Hi-Tech Dominance: How Did It Happen?
        As so many of us are aware, India has become a technological powerhouse, and this has all happened in a relatively short span of time. How does a country go from being a developing and economically challenged nation to a formidable technological competitor? What alchemy was at work here?
      • Talisma wins 68 new customers
        Talisma Corporation, a provider of enterprise Customer Interaction Management (CIM) solutions and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solutions), has announced that it has attained 68 new customers and strong quarterly bookings growth in the fiscal quarter ending March 31, 2006.
      • Global outsourcing biz creates record
        The first quarter of 2006 has seen the global outsourcing industry posting a record performance. The segment saw $22.7 billion in total contract value (TCV) for contracts valued at $50 million or more, up 173% y-o-y, comprising a record number of 83 outsourcing transactions, according to TPI Index, a quarterly report on the state of the global outsourcing industry by sourcing advisory firm TPI Inc.
      • Infy to Buy Citi’s entire 23% in Progeon for $115 m
        Infosys Technologies on Thursday announced that it will buy the entire 23per cent stake of Citicorp International Finance Corporation (Citi) in its business process outsourcing arm Progeon for $115.13 mn (Rs 518 cr), making it a wholly-owned subsidiary.
      • BPOs: Looking beyond the cost factor
        What started off as pure cost game, is now evolving into a process gambit. Cost has been the main reason for turning to India-based offshore business process outsourcing. However, technology experts and analysts feel that global enterprises should now also factor process improvement and enhancement into their sourcing decisions.
      • Outsourcing issue or Hanuman’s Tail?
        Hanuman, the monkey-god, was caught by Ravan’s guards in Ashok Vatika, the garden where Rama’s consort Sita was held captive by the demon king. Ravan after much deliberation, decided to teach Hanuman a lesson that he will not forget. He ordered his sentinels to set Hanuman’s tail on fire. To do his bidding, Ravan’s soldiers proceeded to wrap up Hanuman’s tail with cloth, so that it could be set on fire. But, Hanuman had something else in his mind. Hence, the moment they completely wrapped up his tail, he would make it grow further, longer than the cloth wrapping it. The exasperated soldiers would proceed and wrap it further, only to see it grow again.
      • It’s now project management outsourcing (PMO) to join the outsourcing bandwagon
        In order to gain operational efficiency and slash costs, companies are increasingly looking at outsourcing their non-core functions to a third party. This enables them to concentrate on their core competency and leave the rest to others. With outsourcing becoming the preferred way of doing business, can project management be left behind?
      • Pak set to hijack desi BPO talent
        If you are a call centre exec and thinking of a job change, looking up a few Pakistani job websites may help. The friendly neighbourhood is fast coming up with a BPO industry and is turning to talent-rich Indian call centres in its search for competent staff. Already, about 18-20 BPO trainers have been recruited and the search for more is on.
      • Most US states offshore govt’s IT work
        Most US states offshore a chunk of the IT work needed to operate some of the federally-funded social services programmes, with India garnering the largest share of the business. A ‘Government Accountability Office’ report found ‘some work is performed offshore in majority of the states’ to run the four state-administered federal aid programmes it reviewed — child support enforcement, food stamps, temporary assistance for needy families and unemployment insurance programmes. India was the most prevalent offshore locations, followed by Mexico. Other countries where services were offshored included Canada, France, Ireland and Poland, the report said.
      • Genpact to set up shop in Poland, Philippines & China
        Genpact, the Delhi-based BPO which is the largest BPO in India, is planning to expand overseas. “We are looking at Poland, Philippines and China,” said Pramod Bhasin, CEO, Genpact. The company is opening centres in Poland, Philippines with 450-500 seats.This will eventually grow to 1,500-2,000 seats, Mr Bhasin told ET. In China, the company is looking at opening a centre in Changchun. It already has a centre in Dalian with 1,800 people and plans to raise the headcount to 3,500. The facilities are on lease hence the investment is not very big.
      • BPO agents don’t get enough hike
        Any talk of salary increments in India Inc, and you cannot ignore BPOs. But a closer look reveals a different picture. Whereas salaries at top and senior management levels at most Indian call centres have gone up rapidly over the past 4-5 years — in some cases exceeding 200% — entry-level salaries have stagnated. Entry-level salaries at Genpact, Convergys and IBM Daksh have gone up by just 15-20%. Entry-level salaries in non-technical voice processes vary between Rs 8,000 and Rs 9,500 per month.
      • Bangalore riots will cost software firms $40 mn
        Rioting by fans mourning the death of a local film icon will have cost the technology hub of Bangalore around $160 million, with software firms losing $40 million in revenues, the finance chief at Infosys Technologies Ltd. said on Friday. T.V. Mohandas Pai, chief financial officer at India’s showpiece outsourcing firm, told Reuters his company lost $4 million on Thursday, when mobs brought work to a standstill in the southern Indian city.
      • Dutch HR major Randstad to expand in India
        After acquiring majority stakes in Indian HR firms EmmayHR and Team4U, the E6.6-bn recruitment and staffing company Randstad Holding nv plans to consolidate its position by targeting sectors like retail, IT, BPO, telecom and banking and insurance.
      • Infosys to finalize Progeon stake buy in Q1
        IT major Infosys Technologies has said that it would make a decision on acquiring the 22 percent stake from Citigroup in its BPO arm Progeon by the end of Q1. Infosys plans to make Progeon a completely owned subsidiary of Infosys. ~SUnder the agreement with Citigroup, there was a provision for a liquidity event,~T said TV Mohandas Pai, CFO, Infosys.
      • IT city, Bangalore, bounces back to normalcy after Rajkumar’s death
        The unprecedented violence and arson here that followed the death of matinee idol Dr Rajkumar had adversely affected the IT and BPO companies. Eight persons, including a policeman, were killed and nearly 200 others injured in the violence that ensued during the thespian’s funeral procession on Thursday. The city limped back to normalcy on Friday and it is business as usual today.
      • Bangalore riots force long IT-BPO weekend
        The day after iconic Kannada film hero Rajkumar died, India’s IT-BPO capital came to a standstill but the contingency plans of companies prevented any disruption in services.While information technology firms got a large number of their people to work from home, business process outsourcing companies diverted the traffic to their centres in other cities.This is because almost 95 per cent of the staff could not make it to their work stations as mobs went on a rampage in the city.
      • Narayan Murthy condemns violence during Rajkumar’s funeral
        Infosys Chief Mentor Narayana Murthy, describing Dadasaheb Phalke awardee and doyen of Kannada film industry Rajkumar as a gentle and great personality, today condemned the violence that took place during his funeral.He told newsmen here that the kind of violence unleashed on the occasion of the funeral of Rajkumar was really sad and it was not the way to pay tribute to the departed soul. Mr Murthy said he was a fan of Rajkumar and had seen many of his films.
      • Metavante picks 11.5% stake in ICICI OneSource
        ICICI OneSource, a Mumbai-based BPO, announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with Metavante on Wednesday. Metavante is the financial technology subsidiary of Marshall and Ilsley and one of the top three bank technology and payment processors in the US.
      • Mphasis BFL Q4 net at Rs 18.26 crore, dividend at Rs 3 per share
        Mphasis BFL Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 18.26 crore for the quarter ended March 31. (Q4 FY 05-06) as compared to Rs 21.32 crore for the quarter ended March 31 last year (Q4 FY 04-05).Announcing the results, the company said its total income had increased from Rs 58.29 crore in Q4 FY 04-05 to Rs 103.93 crore for Q4 FY 05-06.
      • UK showing protectionism in BPO: Nasscom
        With outsourcing from UK growing at a fast pace, protectionism and BPO backlash is gaining voice in the country. IT-ITeS industry Nasscom has said that the recent changes in UK laws point to protectionism taking root in that country.
      • TCS nears largest outsourcing deal
        Tata Consultancy Services is in the final stages of negotiations with Deutsche Bank for an outsourcing deal estimated at around $1 billion. This can be the biggest outsourcing deal won by an Indian information technology company if TCS bags the contract. TCS had signed a $848-million deal from the UK-based Pearl Group in October last year.
      • BPOs get serious, axe ‘fun job’ tag
        From call centres to BPOs to KPOs — this is how the BPO industry claims to have evolved. When the call centre wave touched Indian shores, they projected themselves as a ‘fun’ place to work in. Some of them claimed to be an extension of college life. But as the nature of the work became complicated and the quality of work being outsourced became better, CEOs realised that the time to change workplace culture had arrived.
      • Temping’s trendy for ITeS companies in Bangalore
        Manpower shortage is a word dreaded by the booming Indian ITES industry and the sector has been trying out various options to fill the gap. Employing temps, which is quite popular in the IT sector, is now beginning to see some traction , though it has started with a small base.
      • Infy: Progeon may shed its BPO name
        Infosys Technologies appears poised to give Progeon a makeover that could begin with swapping the now-familiar name for a new identity. The change is being considered to differentiate the technology majors’ process outsourcing expertise from the run-of-the-mill BPO outfits. The rumoured exit of Citigroup from Progeon and the need to put its 6,500 employees on the rolls of Infosys Technologies will lead to a situation where re-branding and a name change will become necessary, say industry sources.
      • Most US States offshoring work
        The numerous proposals to restrict offshoring in US Government agency projects notwithstanding, a latest report of the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that offshoring occurred in human services programs in a majority of US States for functions such as software development and call centre.
      • BPOs giving the best shot on Hire St
        High attrition rates and talent shortage in the BPO space have led to innovation in HR policies. In a bid to attract the creme de la creme of the talent pool, India’s leading BPOs are spending crores on recruitment campaigns and are hiring specialised ad agencies to conceptualise and design them.
      • IT & ITeS companies to increase headcount to 4 lakh
        Going by preliminary indications, this is in sync with Nasscom’s estimate that technology services will increase headcount to 3,98,000 in ‘06 from the present 2,97,000. Fresh graduates are in great demand as they will form over 60% of recruitment in most IT companies this year.
      • Shipping firms eye offshore boom
        Domestic players are eyeing offshore shipping business.The companies have firmed up acquisition plans to add various offshore support vessels and marine construction assets.The current players in offshore oilfield services sector include the Great Offshore Limited, Garware Offshore Services, Varun Shipping Company, the Shipping Corporation of India, South East Asia Marine Engineering & Construction, Dolphin Offshore Enterprises India, Essar Shipping and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
      • Simbiosys Bio to set up KPO arm at Bangalore
        Simbiosys Biowares Inc, a Texas-based contract research biotechnology firm, is setting up a knowledge process outsourcing arm in Bangalore. The Indian subsidiary, Simbiosys Biowares India, which is awaiting regulatory clearance as a 100 per cent export-oriented unit, will house over 40 scientists at its Bangalore facility.
      • Indians to train Pakistan’s BPO staff
        Already 18-20 Indian BPO trainers are working in two newly-established call centres in Pakistan. People have been hired from call centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore to help in training, migration and integration, says Rakesh Gupta of Astra Netcom India, a customer relationship management company.
      • New law not to hurt Indian BPOs, says UK
        The updated Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations 2006 are not targeted at outsourcing business to India, UK’s department of trade and industry has clarified. TUPE applies to functions that are contracted out only when staff from the old enterprise are employed by the new service provider.
      • Organised rental firms click well with BPOs
        It’s good news for companies operating in the organised car rental business, such as LeasePlan India, SIXT, AVIS and Hertz. The growing concerns for security among BPOs may fuel demand for the organised car rental business.
      • British MPs support outsourcing jobs to India
        The outcry in the UK over outsourcing of jobs to India has largely settled as unions have understood that it would lead to efficiency of British companies resulting in more jobs, British MP Stephen Pound said in Kolkata.The improved situation would be a boon to the growing IT enabled services sector that was partially affected by large-scale agitation by British labour unions over shifting of jobs to India.
      • I Don’t See Growing to 200,000 People as an Insurmountable Challenge: Premji
        I don’t see growing to 150,000 to 200,000 people as an insurmountable challenge. Take a company like Accenture — it has almost 120,000 people now, and they have scaled up by almost 20,000 people in the past two years. That has come about mainly because they have gone to global delivery models. That is doable. After 200,000 people, you might have to think laterally about how to grow beyond that point.


    • Mercer HR plans $50-m investment over 3 years
    • Now, Pakistan woos desi BPO veterans
      India is again going to teach Pakistan a thing or two. Only this time it’s going to be about the art of speaking.In a move which will fuel Pakistan’s ITeS growth, Indian BPO veterans are being wooed aggressively by two of the largest Pakistan-based companies — the Shaheen group and Crescent group — to enable them to set up call centres in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.Apart from good offers, visa-related issues are also being relaxed moderately, to attract talent into Pakistan.

      They are even selling Karachi as a modern city much like Mumbai. The reason being, that there are problems that besiege the $50-m nascent Pakistan call centre industry, the biggest stumbling block being lack of trained manpower.

    • Mphasis board approves EDS’ offer of acquiring 52 pc stake
      The board of BPO services company – Mphasis has approved US-based global IT services giant EDS’ offer to acquire 52 per cent stake in the company for USD 380 million.”We are supportive of this transaction and look forward to its successful closure,” Mphasis Chairman and CEO Jerry Rao said in a release issued here today.
    • EDS makes open offer for MphasiS
      In a smart move aimed at acquiring controlling stake in the Bangalore-based IT services and BPO firm MphasiS BFL Ltd, the Plano, Texas-based EDS has announced a conditional open offer on Monday.As part of this offer, EDS proposes to acquire approximately 52 per cent stake in MphasiS at an offer price of Rs 204.5 per share in cash.
    • Indian BPOs must focus on higher-value services
      Offshore Indian BPO players must expand their geographic presence not only to match the footprint of large enterprise customers but also to leverage emerging low-cost locations themselves, as part of the transition roadmap to join major multinationals as leaders in the BPO market of the future, says a latest Forrester report.
    • Integreo is now Zavata
      Integreo, a business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions provider, on Monday announced that it has changed its corporate name in India to Zavata Inc.This follows a court ruling on unintentional trademark infringement with a similarly named BPO entity.
    • Chennai beats favourites, tops offshoring chart: AT Kearney
      Releasing the company’s Indian city services ‘Attractiveness Index’ for 2005, Marcy Beitle, vice-president, A T Kearney, told a press conference that Kolkota was emerging as a credible alternative to cities, with more companies setting up offshore services industries there. Bangalore, which occupied the top slot in the previous years, had been pushed down due to lack of infrastructure, she said.
    • BPOs help staff cope with stress
      Blame the nature of the job, deadline pressure or customer expectations. BPO jobs undoubtedly involve high stress. Prashant Chawla, COO, Integreon, a Mumbai-based KPO, says that there are three types of stress an employee may experience — tight deadlines, repetitive nature of the job and late night shifts.
    • Now, BPOs offer IIM degree to retain talent
      It’s not all about money, honey! Not anymore. For software engineers and information technology (IT) professionals salary is gradually slipping to No 2 in the wish list, as a definitive career growth and personal development are moving up the priority list.

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