November 2007 News

  • November 2007
    • Blatiritish Indian BPO worker wins race case
      A British call centre worker of Indian origin sent home early from a work trip to Delhi as his accent ‘wasn’t English enough’ has won a racial discrimination claim against his employer.
    • Capita bags $1.5 bn Prudential contract
      Capita Group, UK’s leading business process outsourcing (BPO) firm, has bagged a £722 million ($1.5 billion), outsourcing agreement with life insurance and pensions provider Prudential UK. The BPO firm will also acquire business and assets from Prudential, for a consideration of £25 million ($51 million), including part of the business of PPMS, Prudential’s offshore centre in Mumbai.
    • Talent-hit animation sector finds it hard to stay
      Faced with an acute talent crunch, Indi’;s bid to become a potential outsourcing hub for post-production work in digital technology for animation and visual effects could well just stay a dream. According to a recent Nasscom-sponsored Animation India study 2007, India will need over 3,00,000 professionals in content development and animation segment by 2008 to cope with the growing demand.
    • Hexaware plans provision of $25 mn against fraudulent acts
      IT and BPO services provider Hexaware Technologies on Monday said it plans to make a provision of $20-25 million to cover risks arising out of fraudulent transactions conducted by one of its officials.The fraudulent foreign exchange option transactions were conducted by one Hexaware official, who was immediately suspended and against whom investigation is pending, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
    • Signs of maturity in Indian LPO industry
      The US$146 million legal services offshoring industry in India is growing at a tremendous pace. Even as other segments in the KPO space such as publishing, media services, analytics services are growing at 30% to 35% per annum, legal services takes the lead and is growing at over 40% per annum. It has been revealed in a report ‘Offshoring Legal Services to India: An Update”, released by the Value Notes, which is an Outsourcing Practice and one of the largest information providers on the outsourcing industries.
    • ExlService eyeing acquisitions in Eastern Europe
      ExlService Holdings Inc, one of India’s leading BPO firms, is mulling multimillion dollar acquisition deals in Eastern Europe even as it strengthens its presence in the domestic market.
    • R-ADAG to set up BPO unit in Tirupati
      Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG) is planning to set up a business process outsourcing (BPO) centre in the temple town of Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. The centre will have a capacity to employ about 1,400 people.
    • Genpact plans IT SEZ in Madhya Pradesh
      Business process offshoring company Genpact is in talks with the Madhya Pradesh government to set up an information technology special economic zone in the state.
    • BPOs cashing in on sub-prime crisis
      The effects of the sub-prime crisis and the resultant slowdown of the US market is evident on the margins of Indian information technology (IT) and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) firms.
    • MphasiS opens call centre for Idea Cellular
      Indian software and back-office services firm MphasiS Ltd said on Friday it had opened a business process outsourcing (BPO) facility that would do work exclusively for mobile firm Idea Cellular.
    • NTrust plans to double headcount in a year
      Ntrust Infotech, an IT and BPO firm catering to real estate lease administration, plans to more than double its headcount to at least 550 people over the next 12 to 18 months, as it expands to European market and eyes new service offerings, officials said.
    • IIMB to host ‘India Sourcing Summit’ February 2008
      In the backdrop of India emerging as the hub of global sourcing, Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) would host ‘India Sourcing Summit-2008’ (ISS-2008) on February 8 and 9 next year.About 150 top business leaders from world over including corporate leaders, chief executives and academia and researchers from China, Europe, the US apart from India would attend the conference. The Summit was being organised jointly by IIMB and the international management network, Supply Management Institute (SMI).
    • No plans to appoint regulator in BPOs: Minister
      Government has no plans to appoint a regulator for overseeing labour conditions in BPO companies, Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes said on Wednesday.”Since labour laws are already applicable to BPOs and are regulated accordingly, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has no proposal to appoint a regulator for BPO companies,” he said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
    • Health woes: BPO staff pay heavy price
      The apparent sheen of success that India’s flourishing business process outsourcing industry enjoys hides many a problem that the sector is beset with.An employment satisfaction survey — conducted among 20 BPO firms encompassing 1,760 employees all over the country — shows that the number of women staffers in the sector has been steadily declining, having dropped from 36 per cent in 2005 to 32 per cent in 2007.
    • Capgemini Leverages Google Apps to Cut Call Center Costs
      Corporations’ use of Google Apps have come a long way, considering that when Google Apps was first introduced it was largely seen as an alternative set of desktop functionality for people who didn’t want to shell out money for Microsoft’s software package. Companies, the theory went, would be unwilling to migrate away from the ubiquitous Microsoft environment for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that Google Apps’ functionality was somewhat basic.
    • US legal firms cut LPO costs in India
      Leading law firms in the United States are providing lower cost legal services to their clients by outsourcing work to India and cutting their own costs by 60 per cent or more.”Routine legal work, regularly costing clients 200- 300 dollars per hour in the US, can be done for 30-100 dollars when outsourced to India. Law firms, corporate legal departments, can achieve savings of 60 per cent by outsourcing their some of these tasks.” LawScribe, Inc. President and CEO Kunoor Chopra told to the sources.
    • Brand Bangalore takes a hit
      The ongoing political circus seems to have pushed Karnataka Inc. into suspended animation. It has tarnished its image of a favoured business destination. The political tamasha the state has endured is being discussed by global CEOs and international venture capital and private equity funds.
    • Infy BPO conferred Provider of the Year award
      Infosys BPO, the business process outsourcing subsidiary of Infosys Technologies, has been awarded the Provider of the Year award by FAO Today Magazine at a Conference hosted jointly by FAO Today and the Hackett Group at Atlanta.The first-annual event held on November 15 brought together the Finance and Procurement Industry’s best and brightest for recognition of outstanding performance, according to a release from Infosys BPO.
    • WNS set to bunch utilities, logistics under separate company
      Business process outsourcing firm WNS Global Services plans to re-organise its new businesses under a separate head. The new division will consist of utilities, logistics, pharma and other customer-centric industries and could be headed by a CEO
    • India-listed BPOs earn more than peers abroad
      Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) listed on Indian bourses are performing better than those listed on international bourses. Nasdaq-listed ExlService Holdings and NYSE-listed Genpact and WNS have operating margins in the range of 9-12%. While BPOs listed on the BSE such as Firstsource, Wipro BPO, HCL BPO (as part of subsidiaries of IT companies) show double the margins — in the range of 22-25%.
    • EXL to invest $12 mn in 800-seat unit in Philippines
      Nasdaq-listed Exl Service Holdings is going to invest $12 million in an 800-seat facility in Philippines. It has acquired 80,000 sq ft for the facility, which would be operational by April-May next year. EXL will enjoy a five-year tax holiday in Philippines.
    • BPOs scan tier III towns to spread operations
      BPO companies are spreading their wings into tier III towns. Driven by the need to lower operating costs and expand their talent pool, several top BPOs are now setting up shops in places like Indore, Durgapur, Trichy and Salem.
    • Why BPO employees quit their jobs
      Contrary to the usual belief that most youngsters do not like joining business process outsourcing (BPO) firms due to stress and health issues, a joint annual survey by Dataquest and IDC reveals that they are not ‘killer’issues for employees.
    • BPOs manage to ward off sub-prime crisis
      Currency hedging, cost management, operational efficiencies, coupled with robust demand for outsourcing IT services helped top four local business process outsourcing firms manage the subprime crisis and rupee appreciation.
    • Aegis BPO to buy TeleTech Services for $13 mn
      Aegis BPO, an arm of Essar group, on Wednesday said it signed an agreement to acquire TeleTech Services (India) Ltd for about $13 million.
    • OpenSpan Releases Integration App for Disconnected Call Center Agents
      OpenSpan’s new application integration platform is designed to address the oft-noted pain point in most contact center operations: a customer service agent who is less than informed about a customer’s call due to limited information about the customer’s history or account.
    • Big IT, BPO names dominate with 40% growth
      The growth story of Indian IT and ITeS sectors may continue unabated, but it is the big names that are dominating the market with double the growth rate recorded by the rest.The six IT majors — TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, HCL Technologies and Cognizant — along with two BPO giants Genpact and WNS are recording a yearly growth rate of over 40 per cent, according to technology consultancy firm Everest Group.
    • Finservices cos on a hiring spree
      Is financial services going the way of the IT industry? No, not in terms of stock prices but in terms of talent acquisition.Consider the rapid growth of financial services. Presently, India purchases financial services to the tune of $13 billion, which is expected to rise by 270% in the next eight
    • Rising Re shakes BPO valuations
      With the rupee going from strength to strength and attrition a continuing concern for Indian business process outsourcing companies, the new poster child of private equity investors is witnessing adjustments in valuations in the changed scenario.PE investors feel that the interest in the sector continues, despite the rupee’s rise, which has impacted their profitability.
    • BPOs beat Re blues
      Indian business process outsourcing firms have managed to beat the appreciating rupee better than their IT counterparts.This is despite the fact that the rupee appreciated around 13 per cent over the last one year, and analysts predict that the rising rupee, coupled with the subprime crisis fallout, would hit them hard.
    • Bandh in West Bengal: BPOs log out
      Brand Bengal is feeling the heat of strife-torn Nandigram with two of the IT majors either closing or shifting its operations in the face of today’s Opposition-sponsored 24-hour bandh.The 24-hour bandh was called by all the Opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress, Congress, BJP and SUCI, protesting the escalating violence in Nandigram.
    • BPOs bet on referrals to beat attrition heat
      Reeling under high attrition in a labour-intensive industry, IT and BPO companies are now setting their eyes on job referrals by their employees with a twin-aim to retain the existing workforce and expand it as well.
    • Outsourcing Vendor Genpact Makes Mexico a Passage to India
      India-based outsourcer Genpact has greatly expanded its Mexican operations in the last year, focusing on lower-end business process outsourcing instead of IT services work. The former GE unit calls Mexico a gateway to India offshoring and a “nearshore” alternative for BPO and call center work.
    • Outsourcing Continues to Rise, “State of the CIO” Data Show
      Nine of out 10 corporate heads of IT outsource some functions, up from 85 percent a year ago, yet very few outsource the majority of their IT operations.
    • Offshore Outsourcing: Can This Captive Center Be Saved?
      Executives with captive centers in India are starting to wonder whether it’s time to offload their offshore assets as GE did and Citigroup is reportedly doing. But Cliff Justice, an expert at EquaTerra, says that most captive data centers can be fixed.
    • Want Innovation from Outsourcing? You Have to Pay for It
      To get new ideas from your outsourcer, you have to be willing to rethink your approach, including how you pay for the services.
    • The Next Wave of Globalization: Offshoring R&D to India and China
      The globalization of research and development is already under way. Two Harvard researchers explain what’s going on, and why the research and development done in China and India is not all bad news for U.S.-based companies.
    • Five Points On Offshore Outsourcing From Infosys’ CEO
      Kris Gopalakrishnan shares his thoughts on India’s talent shortage, the importance of good English for U.S. customers, and hiring U.S. IT workers to train in India.
    • BPOs in India could reduce 95% power consumption
      Imagine using a computer without a CPU. Or, one CPU serving dozens of PCs. Even as the sizes of computers are shrinking, technological innovations have ensured that devices meant for multiple users would not only help in sharing capacities, but also save a lot on power bills. Devices developed by companies such as NComputing Inc and Sai InfoSystems have helped in reducing electricity consumption by individual PCs and also enabled full utilisation of capacities.
    • Infy, Wipro in race for Springer arm
      Growth hungry IT and BPO majors along with private equity players are in the race for Scientific Publishing Services (SPS), a provider of scientific content and publishing solutions. The Chennai-based firm is majority owned by Springer Science + Business Media, the world’s second largest publisher of scientific journals and a specialist content provider to the science, technology and medicine sectors. Springer is owned by European buyout firms, Cinven and Candover.
    • Cutting Costs and Keeping Customers With Speech Self-Service
      Speech-enabled IVR is top-of-mind for many companies. As call centers look for ways to reduce cost, speech applications have traditionally been one of the lower cost alternatives. Over the next 12 to 18 months, 30 percent of Best in Class companies plan to implement a speech self-service application.
    • WNS bosses’ unique plan to fight attrition
      Neeraj Bhargava, CEO of Mumbai-based business process outsourcing (BPO firm) WNS Global Services, and his team have voluntarily decided to forfeit their bonuses if they are not successful in getting the attrition rates below 30 per cent.
    • Now, Indian firms to help hone China’s BPO skills
      In what could probably be the first of its kind venture, two Indian firms today signed an initial pact with a Chinese industry to train Chinese students in skills required in the booming outsourcing sector.
    • Way to go – Outsource to the US and cut cost
      Offshoring to India is old hat. Outsourcing to the US is the in-thing! Yeah. You read right.Computing and power supplies are more reliable, and cheaper, in the US. Mr Shiva Ramani, Co-Founder and CEO, Cybernet-SlashSupport (CSS), which is into technology and operations management, puts it succinctly: “We are keeping the people in India but moving computers back to the US, for, computing power and bandwidth are cheaper there.”
    • There’s more to BPOs than big bucks and booze: Netizens
      Who says there are only two sides to a coin? Indeed, there are many invisible sides as India’s BPO story proves. Fast money, high spending power, a yuppie lifestyle which is more American than Indian, being mall rats during the weekends, wearing branded clothes and accessories – are these young folks only about glam and glitz? Although it has been easy for most to generalise young people working in BPOs with an upwardly mobile lifestyle and high spending power, many miss the fact that this sunrise industry has added to India’s IT growth and provided employment opportunities to millions, who otherwise would have been bearing the yoke of being educated, but without a job.
    • How BPOs plan to work on Diwali
      Diwali festivities have entered the corridors of India Inc with companies doling out gifts and bonuses to their employees, but BPO firms working for clients in the western world are trying hard to keep the work flow going even on the ‘D’-Day.
    • BPO companies looking at new technologies to monitor cabs
      Reckon this: A team inside a BPO is glued to the computer, which has a software monitoring the movement of the cars that have rolled out after dark to drop its employees.
    • Odd shift timings worry BPO workers
      The rape and murder of a young girl working for Wipro in Pune has brought to focus the insecurity of employees and unsatisfactory working conditions of BPOs and call centres in the country.
    • HRO: Next big opportunity
      Outsourcing of human resources functions is expected to increase in 2008 after remaining relatively flat since 2005, a study says.”The cumulative total contract value of human resources outsourcing (HRO) transactions reached $ 21.2 billion in 2006 and is expected to be $25.4 billion by the end of this year,” according to the study by the Everest Research Institute.
    • HTMT to buy 3 overseas BPOs for $300 mn
      Hinduja TMT Global Solutions (HGSL), the business process outsourcing (BPO) arm of the Hinduja group, is in final stage of negotiations for acquiring two BPO companies in the US and one in the UK for a total consideration of around $300 million (Rs 1,200 crore).
    • The top 15 emerging BPOs in India
      Corbus India has been named the most-lucrative emerging company to work for, in a new survey by information technology industry Nasscom.
    • Attrition in ITeS verticals gives staffing firms a headache
      Attrition in the IT and ITeS sectors has had a ripple effect, this time, on staffing companies. As a result, consultants are finding it harder to meet targets. Almost a quarter of recruits in the ITeS sector quit within three months. Most companies try to replace the staff for clients within three months. However, this period varies with seniority.
    • Law & order: Infosys to foray into LPO business
      The big daddy of Indian IT, Infosys Technologies, is entering the niche legal process outsourcing (LPO) business, so far dominated by companies started by lawyers or law firms. The move — first by a player of Infosys’ size and reputation — has created a stir among LPO players and employees. While the other top IT firms are active in business process outsourcing (BPO), none of them have entered the LPO segment, which on the face it, doesn’t have any direct synergies with IT.
    • Festivals, exam time taking a toll on BPOs
      Exams at home and festivals abroad are taking their toll on BPOs. Every year, the B-school exam cycle puts its strain on BPOs since most of the employees are wannabe MBAs. However, this year the season coincides with Thanksgiving and Halloween — Christmas too is not very far — putting extra strain on the BPOs.
    • How to Offshore
      A common pitfall encountered in both captive and outsourced operations originates from unrealistic ramp-up expectations, whereby project planners try to start up too many new offshore seats too quickly. Quality is sacrificed for quantity. The most important offshore lesson that new project managers have to learn is that quality has be achieved before ramping up large numbers of seats — or quality will never be achieved.
    • IT industry shocked over BPO girl murder
      The IT industry has expressed shock and dismay over the murder of a 22-year-old Wipro employee in Pune and has called for greater safety and security for all the concerned authorities to take every possible measure to eliminate such crime.
    • Infra outsourcing biz to hit $8.8 bn by 2010: Everest
      Infrastructure outsourcing is going to be the next big wave in outsourcing. While Indian IT companies at present are handling infrastructure outsourcing work worth $1.2 billion, this figure is expected to touch $8.8 billion by 2010. According to a research by global offshoring advisory firm Everest, most of this work will come to the IT majors Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HCL Technologies, Wipro and Satyam.
    • Rising stars of Indian IT-BPO industry – CORBUS, RMSI, Hytech Professionals
      Corbus India, RMSI and Hytech Professionals are the most exciting emerging IT-BPO companies to work for, according to apex software and services association Nasscom. These companies have emerged leaders in Nasscom’s top 15 exciting emerging companies to work. Following the three, in the order they are ranked, are Nagarro Software, VCustomer Services, e4e Business Solutions, Synygy, Ajuba Solutions, Mindlogicx and Nucleus Software.
    • IT, ITeS firms most vulnerable to viruses
      ITeS firms lose about $500 million of potential and actual revenue due to data loss and data security fears. According to Symantec Internet Security Threat report, which covered the January—June period, the individual user is no less vulnerable to spam and malicious codes.

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