May 2007 News

  • May 2007
    • Mumbai firm to train Chinese staff on BPO operations
      First, it was the software companies; now, it is the turn of BPOs to set up shop in China. Effort BPO, based in Mumbai, has been roped in by Asia Star, a private Chinese telecom services company, and Triple Three, the investment arm of Hong Kong-based export company Mulitex, to set up domestic BPO operations in Shanghai.
    • Avaya reportedly in talks about leveraged buyout
      Avaya, telecommunications equipment maker is in talks with private equity and strategic bidders about selling all or part of the company, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.The company has a market capitalization of more than $6.1 billion, is in talks with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners about a leveraged buyout, according to the report.
    • Wipro, Airtel, BoI bag ‘Oscars of Outsourcing’
      In the BPO space India’s prowess continues to win accolades at the global arena with three Indian companies Wipro, Bharti Airtel and Bank of India bagging The Outsourcing Excellence Awards, dubbed as ‘Oscars of Outsourcing’.Awards presented by the online community Outsourcing Center, are given for the world’s best outsourcing arrangements.
    • UK’s Xansa inks pact with Alpha Tiger Ltd
      Xansa, one of the leading outsourcing and technology firm entered into an agreement with Alpha Tiger Property Trust Ltd for the sale and leaseback of the company’s real estate interests in India for Rs 190.87 crore (about 35 million Euro).The agreement appoints Alpha Tiger, as Xansa’s preferred provider in India, the UK-based company said in a filing to the London Stock Exchange.
    • Captive BPO units losing charm
      The captive outsourcing story is turning sour or so it seems after the latest market buzz that Citigroup is planning to pull out of its local business process outsourcing unit, Citigroup Global Services (formerly eServe).
    • High attrition, property prices to impact BPOs
      The growth of India’s BPO industry is likely to get adversely impacted due to high attrition rate and unprecedented hike in property prices, Assocham said on Monday.High attrition rate experienced by 60 per cent of BPO units are because of higher salary expectations, a study on ‘Rising property prices and high attrition in outsourcing industry’ showed.
    • 3i Infotech acquires 50.5 pc stake in aok Ltd
      IT major 3i Infotech Ltd has acquired 50.5 per cent stake in aok in-house BPO Services Ltd and aok in-house Factoring Services Pvt Ltd.These companies have been acquired for their delivery capabilities in the area of credit cards and auto loans processing for the banking sector and claims and proposal processing for the insurance sector. Their operations are at present in the domestic market.
    • CRM 2.0: Everyone’s Invited
      Many people in the CRM business are coming or have come to the conclusion that the CRM that grew out of the 1990s has exceeded its useful life. I am among them. The business climate is different, the economy is different, the types and kinds of products that companies are making are different. In short, CRM 1.0 has not exactly kept up with the changing times.
    • Tricom mulls two acquisitions in America
      Tricom India Ltd is mulling a couple of acquisitions in the United States. “We are planning a couple of acquisitions this year and the first of them should hopefully be sealed within the next couple of months,” said, Tricom Managing Director Chetan Kothari.The acquisition will be in the USD 2-5-million range and financed entirely through internal accruals and term loans.
    • RBI dilutes norms for Indian BPOs
      The Reserve Bank has diluted norms for outsourcing firms in India to draw foreign exchange for buying equipments for new overseas call centres, enabling them to start their foreign journey on a sound note.It has been decided that authorised banks may allow BPO firms to pay for equipments to be imported and installed at their overseas sites without physically bringing them to India, which was the requirement till now, said a recent RBI notification.
    • BPO: India far ahead of China
      China’s push to become an alternate BPO hub for MNCs tackling soaring wages and high attrition rate in India remains a distant dream as its offshore market is developing slower than expected, a study says.Despite significant government support and huge level of visibility on the global arena, China’s offshore market has not taken off as expected and still has a long way to become a potential alternative to India, technology research firm Forrester said in a report.
    • IT-BPO firms beat wage inflation blues
      The domestic IT-BPO firms have devised many strategies to counter the 12-15 per cent annual rise in wages.Apart from hiring freshers and students with non-engineering backgrounds, they are moving to tier-II and tier-III cities, increasing billing and employee utilisation rates, besides improving the business mix to increase productivity to beat the heat of the rising salaries.
    • BPOs raise alarm after Noida shootout
      The shootout at Noida-based HCL BPO on Thursday has once again raised questions about security at BPOs and the vulnerability of its young employees, who are more often than not plagued by night-shifts, stress and the challenges of living alone in a big metro.
    • BPO staffer shoots mate in Noida
      A senior customer care executive shot and seriously injured a colleague at the company cafetaria after an argument over a woman colleague on last evening at a Noida call centre.Karanjit Singh, 27, pulled out a pistol at HCL’s call centre number 4, in the presence of the woman, and shot Aamir Alam, 28. Later, the security guards surrounded him and?he handed over the pistol and surrendered.
    • Accentia bags $ 2 mn order from US
      Accentia Technologies on Thursday said it has bagged a two-million-dollar (over Rs 80 crore) order for its health care BPO solutions from a leading hospital in the US. The company, however, did not disclose details of the client.
    • IBM, Genpact, Infy in Citi’s BPO biz race
      The first round of bids for Citi’s business process outsourcing operations — Citigroup Global Services (formerly known as e-Serve) — is likely to be completed this week. A host of global IT companies and also private equity firms are said to be in the initial race. However, Citi is likely to look at selling part of its operations only to a strategic partner, given the sensitivities involved in the deal.
    • Citi BPO to get first set of bids this week
      The first round of bids for Citi’s business process outsourcing operations (BPO) — Citigroup Global Services (formerly known as e-Serve) — is likely to be completed this week. A host of global IT companies and private equity firms are said to be in the initial race. However, Citi is likely to look at selling part of its operations only to a strategic partner, given the sensitivities involved in the deal.
    • Risk factor: Entry barrier to BPO sector
      Time was when every and any cashed in on the BPO euphoria and set up call centres in India. That was in 2001-02. Circa 2007 and many of them have disappeared or are languishing. The wall seems to have got higher now for any thinking of entering into the BPO sector as costs and domain expertises is a big entry barrier.The Indian BPO sector, excluding that of KPO, has by and large not seen any third party service provider entering into this segment in the recent past and if there are any, it is the existing players expanding or opening captives’ centres. According to market estimates, there are around 700 ITeS companies in India and only 400 of them are serious players.
    • Karnataka to continue its support to IT/BPO: HDK
      Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has asserted that the state will continue its support to the IT and BPO industry.Announcing the 10th edition of Bangalore IT in-2007, which begins from October 29 to November 1, here last night, Mr Kumaraswamy said Karnataka, especially Bangalore city, had been the home for IT majors and the state government was committed to extend full support for the existing and the new players, who want to set up their development centres in the state.
    • India next biggest KPO destination: IT Ministry
      Skilled and cost-effective manpower with multi-lingual capabilities can help the country emerge as the next biggest KPO destination globally, according to Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.A special report of the Ministry stated that the BPO sector had been dominating for the past few years but Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), which may be called the highest level of the BPO, was still at a nascent stage of development in India.
    • BPO 3.0: Differentiating models next step for BPOs
      If the first generation of BPOs was based on cheap labour and cost savings, and the second on getting better productivity, the third generation or BPO 3.0 would be based on fetching higher returns for clients as they deliver better value to the clients. But as the industry heads in a new generation of expertise, it has become imperative for BPOs to consider differentiating business models and identifying new opportunities. This was the feeling by several industry players and experts at the 2007 BPO Conclave organised by economictimes.com and IBM.
    • Kolkata, Hyderabad ranked at bottom of BTO scene
      According to a report, Kolkata and Hyderabad is ranked at the bottom among potential hubs in the business transformation outsourcing (BTO) scene, while West Bengal is trying to position itself as a top-tier IT destination.BTO, which is often described as third-generation outsourcing, combines traditional business process outsourcing (BPO) with IT outsourcing. Several firms like IBM, Accenture, Nipuna and Wipro BPO are taking big strides in this emerging segment. Though the domestic BTO turf is growing at 9 per cent, it is expected to grow at 10-15 per cent in coming years.
    • Indian IT-BPO to touch $60 bn target by 2010
      The Indian IT-BPO sector is likely to achieve a target of USD 60 billion in export revenues by 2010, according to the Union Communications and Information Technology Ministry.According to a special report of information technology department the software and ITES exports from the country grew from USD 12.9 billion in 2003-04 to USD 23.6 billion in 2005-06 and exceeded by 32 per cent last fiscal.
    • WiMax: BPO execs can work from home
      It looks like thousands of BPO executives in India may stop attending offices soon!Simply because they will be converted into ‘home agents’ and start working from their residences, joining their counterparts in US and other developed countries. Today, technology makes it possible for an agent from a home-office in Florida to handle service calls that come into the contact centre in Colorado.
    • SalesLogix 7.2 Sets Stage for Future CRM Developments
      At its annual Insights business partner conference recently, Sage Software Latest News about Sage Software rolled out a new iteration of its SalesLogix Latest News about SalesLogix application which, given the number of advancements the platform offers users, is deceptively numbered version 7.2. “I think the company undersold itself when it didn’t call it version 8,” Mary Wardley, CRM analyst with IDC, told CRM Buyer. SalesLogix has rebuilt its architecture platform using standards-based, scalable Web technologies. The Web client introduces a new degree of flexibility both in terms of the user experience and in customization options, Wardley noted. “With 7.2, Sage is setting the stage for its next generation of CRM products, not only in SalesLogix, but across its broader product line.”
    • Person-to-Person Offshoring new rival to IT Gaints
      IT giants like IBM, Infosys, Wipro and WNS have got a new rival on the fast expanding BPO landscape. The new challenger is not some thousand-employees strong Business Process Outsourcing firm, but individuals who could be sitting anywhere alone before their personal computer, but have before them an addressable market worth over 20 billion dollars in the US alone.
    • Genpact plans $600 mn IPO in US
      India’s largest BPO company Genpact has set the ball rolling for a $600 million (around Rs 2,500 crore) initial public offer on New York Stock Exchange that will see existing shareholders selling their stake and fresh shares being issued.”The company has filed a registration statement with US Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common shares,” the company said in a statement.
    • Economictimes.com to host BPO Conclave 2007
      India’s success story in one of the sunrise industry segment – BPO – is not only here to stay but has all the potentials to keep growing. With its global foothold and an edge over many mushrooming neighbourhood competitors, India is on its way to add values to the existing service arena.
    • Khemkas to buy Sequoia’s 9 per cent stake in Firstsource for $40 m
      Sequoia Capital has entered into a deal to sell its stake in BPO firm Firstsource Solutions to the Khemkas of Sun Group for $40 million, informed sources told ET. Firstsource, which started as an ICICI group firm, is one of India’s leading third-party BPO firms. Sequoia holds around 9% in the firm.
    • Journalist? Cover California from India
      There is hardly anything odd about American IT firms moving back office jobs to low cost destinations like India, but a California daily is recruiting journalists in India to report what’s happening 12,841 km away in Pasadena.”We seek a newspaper journalist based in India to report on the city government and political scene of Pasadena, California, USA,” said a job advertisement posted on the Internet earlier this week.
    • BPOs find smaller towns attractive
      The spiralling real estate costs, capacity constraints, high attrition rates, wage inflation and talent shortage are pushing business process outsourcing firms to tier-II and tier-III cities. Thanks to this move, the estimated $9.5 billion (exports and domestic revenue) sector is hopeful about maintaining its cost advantage.Around 95 per cent of the IT outsourcing activity, both domestic and offshore, is still concentrated in the six tier 1 and tier 2 cities. However, the rising costs and local capacity constraints are driving firms to tier 2 cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune and tier 3 cities such as Jaipur, Chandigarh, Mysore and Ahmedabad, according to India IT Services Executive Report 2007.
    • BPOs to tap local market for business
      The domestic market for business process outsourcing – which is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 50 per cent – is catching the attention of BPO companies that have traditionally catered to the international market.Gartner predicts the domestic market to reach $1.2 billion (Rs 4,920 crore) by the year-end, according to Nasscom . The market is expected to be driven by the telecom, banking, financial services and insurance, government and retail sectors.
    • Indian BPO space still largely untapped
      Indian Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) suppliers have achieved a significant mass but the space is still largely untapped, a global consulting firm has observed.Everest Research Institute (ERI), dealing in sourcing and offshoring advisory services, suggests that Fortune 2000 companies should actively consider offshoring their business process on a larger scale to unlock additional value.
    • India’s outsourcing story remains intact…for now
      The unprecedented rise in the rupee witnessed in recent weeks has been a major source of nervousness among stock market players.Since the beginning of the year, the Indian currency has appreciated from Rs 44.24 to a dollar to Rs 40.86, a gain of 8.27 per cent. Compared to the low of Rs 46.99 per dollar in July 2006, today the local currency is trading 15 per cent higher.
    • Talent crunch makes RPO hot
      With the country set to face a talent crunch of half million people in the next few years, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is posing a lot of opportunities. With emerging sectors like retailing and IT, the need for focused players in recruiting as RPO service providers will increase, according to human capital management company Kenexa Technologies.
    • Aussie retailer,TRUenergy, sends jobs to India
      Australian electricity retailer TRUenergy has decided to outsource 200 Melbourne jobs, some of them to India. Outsourced customer service positions will be performed in Australia while back-office functions such as administration of credit and billing will be performed in Bangalore.

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