December 2007 News

  • December 2007
  • ITeS-BPO firms in India to grow by 20%: study
    The Indian ITeS-BPO industry has been growing at an impressive pace over the past few years and the trend is expected to continue, says a Dun & Bradstreet study on ‘India’s top ITES-BPO companies’.According to the study, third-party as well as captive players expect growth in the industry at more than 20% in the next two years. The growth would continue unabated despite concerns about the appreciating rupee, growing salary costs, and shortage of manpower, etc.

    • 2008 will be a crucial year for the BPO industry
      With the slowdown in the US economy, a strong rupee and questions over extension of the Software Technology Parks (STP) scheme looming large, 2008 will be a crucial year for the Indian BPO industry. While players and analysts agree the troubled American economy is unlikely to have a significant impact on the industry, the decision on STP-extension closer home is seen as a clincher.
    • WNS to set up delivery centre in Navi Mumbai
      BPO service provider WNS on Thursday said it would establish a delivery centre in an approved Special Economic Zone in Navi Mumbai. The New York-listed company would have 3,800 seats in the centre, located near here that would go live from December 2008, it said in a statement. Earlier this year, WNS established a centre in a Gurgaon SEZ.
    • Aviva’s Indian BPO asset acquisition race hots up
      The race to acquire Aviva Plc’s BPO’s assets in India, run by Aviva Global Services (AGS), is hotting up as it becomes critical to sales and profits of many Indian BPOs, chief being EXL Service and WNS Global Services. While EXL gets about 26% of its revenues from Aviva Plc, WNS gets about 5-7% but it needs the Aviva processes to shore up its profits and market cap which has declined by almost $320-million on NYSE in the last two months.
    • Spanco invests 400 cr in domestic BPO sector
      Spanco Telesystems & Solutions, the telecom system integration company has entered into the domestic BPO segment with an initial investment of Rs 400 crore.Known as ‘Spanco BPO’, the new venture has set up two flagship customer support centres in Gurgaon and Mumbai to provide back-office services to domestic clients. “Given Spanco’s erstwhile experience in the domestic space and proven technology competency, we will seek to differentiate ourselves by providing complete BPO solutions for organisations in India,” said Sandeep Soni, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Spanco BPO
    • Obesity to depression: BPOs up against growing health problems
      Call centres and other outsourced businesses such as software writing, medical transcription and back-office work employ more than 1.6 million young men and women in India, mostly in their 20s and 30s who make much more than their contemporaries in most other professions.They are, however, facing sleep disorders, heart disease, depression and family discord, according to doctors and several industry surveys. Experts warn the brewing crisis could undermine the success of India’s hugely profitable outsourcing industry that earns billions in dollars annually and has shaped much of the country’s transformation into an emerging economic power.
    • BPOs to stop staff transport facility?
      The appreciation of the rupee has not really spelt great times for quite a few. Consider the business process industry in Bangalore. According to experts the operating margins for BPO units are at 12 per cent and the appreciation of the rupee this year is expected to have a 9 per cent impact on their margins: meaning it will effectively negate whatever big profits or growth BPO units were hoping for.
    • Barclays plans captive unit in India
      UK-based Barclays Bank plans to set up a captive unit in India. The bank’s third-party BPO partner Intelenet is setting up a 1,000 people BPO centre for the bank in Noida. Barclays, however, will still continue outsourcing to Intelenet, which currently does work for Barclays’ processes from its Mumbai centre, according to industry sources. The Noida-based BPO unit is being built on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis. The BPO unit will be transferred to Barclays in a few months time, though the timeline is not yet clear.
    • Local BPOs get a call from home
      The Indian economy is on the upswing and mostly consumer-led. With companies across sectors like retail, real estate, telecom and BFSI going after the same customer, there is one factor which could help them beat competition — better and faster customer service. Here’s where BPOs come in.This need has put the local Indian BPO industry on the fast track. According to Nasscom data, the domestic BPO market was estimated at Rs 6,600 crore in 2006 and is expected to grow to Rs 30,000 crore in 2011. The segment is growing at about 40% CAGR.
    • Bangalore likely to be hub for animation filmmaking
      Bangalore is likely to become a hub of world-class animation film creation following media and entertainment sector technology. The service provider Thomson announced on Friday that its Technicolor Services division had formed a strategic alliance with DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.The alliance leverages Thomson’s recent investment in Paprikaas Animation Studios, a leading animation and game content provider in Bangalore. Paprikaas Animation Studios offers creative, technical and production capabilities to design and produce computer-generated animation for feature films, television programming, commercials and video games, with a strong focus on digital 3D content.
    • Opportunity for monetisation of captive BPOs in 18 months
      The captive BPO as a model may be under a cloud, but there could be a window of opportunity for parent companies in divesting them particularly in the BFSI space. According to a study by TPI, a sourcing advisory firm, there is a window of opportunity for monetisation of captive units in the next 18 months. Acquisitions of these captives could be triggered by the global race of large service providers to achieve scale, it adds.
    • New players eye architecture KPO business
      The growth story of knowledge process outsourcing industry in the state is witnessing a new sub-plot. Architectural designing outsourcing has seen new players entering into the segment in the state.Domestic architectural designing units, on the other hand, are also upgrading their facilities and infrastructure and equipping themselves with the latest technology to participate in the process.
    • BPO security issue doesn’t ruffle women
      A lot has been spoken about the security of women working in IT and BPO sectors. The issue came to the forefront following a rape and murder of a woman working in a BPO in Bangalore a couple of years back. The incident had raised a huge hue and cry and many had even opined that women would think twice before joining a BPO firm.However, it seems women have come to terms with the incident and have started treating it as a one-off case. A survey conducted by the Nasscom states that at least 68 per cent of the women from across the country working in IT and BPO firms did not think security was a concern.
    • Aegis on the lookout for buyouts
      After making seven acquisitions in the last two years, the $190 million (about Rs 760 crore) business process outsourcing company, Aegis is on the prowl again.The Essar group firm is in talks with 7-10 companies for a “strategic fit”, as it races to become a $500 million company by 2010. In some of these cases the due diligence process is in progress. Aegis is looking at firms in the US, South America and the Philippines.
    • Genesys Appoints Shamsheer Ahmed As M.D In India
      Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), today announced the appointment of Shamsheer Ahmed as Managing Director for Genesys in India. Mr. Ahmed will be responsible for the company’s overall business in India and Sri Lanka, including management of the sales organization, as well as overseeing the company’s operations in India. Mr. Ahmed brings a broad range of sales, software and international industry experience to Genesys in India, including expertise in business development, IP contact centres and telephony, mobile applications, and unified communications.
    • Subprime woes in US may delay Citi’s sale of Indian BPO
      Vikram Pandit, the new Citigroup CEO, will have to add his home country India to the long list of problems he must resolve.The $630-million sale of Citi’s BPO operations in India to Genpact, concluded in-principle in September, has got deadlocked due to Citi’s financial worries related to the US subprime mortgage crisis and reservations expressed by a Genpact customer, which is also a major rival to Citi, industry sources said.
    • Motif behind their company
      At 43, Parul Mehta is very much hands-on at Motif, the Ahmedabad-based BPO company she co-founded with her husband Kaushal, seven years ago. Appearing sharp even after working across time zones, she’s clearly living up to her industry’s 24×7 credo.But then the Mehtas are not your average Indian tech. They were among the first to set up a BPO in Gujarat when tech hubs like Bangalore and Hyderabad were popular, and Ahmedabad was a remote stub on the global outsourcing map. “It wasn’t easy to start a BPO company in Ahmedabad where English-speaking manpower and internet connectivity were big issues,” recalls Mehta. So the couple did the next best thing: launch non-voice based BPO services out of the city.
    • Action Hour: BPOs take the lead in M&A action
      BPO entities have been at the forefront of large mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the Indian IT space as compared to IT services firms.Some of the recent M&A deals have been Infosys and Philips BPO, Blackstone and Intelenet while at the same time there are reports about Citigroup and Aviva looking at exiting their captive BPO operations in India.
    • GE sells 4% Genpact shares for $100 mn
      GE has sold about a 4% stake in Genpact, India’s largest business process outsourcing (BPO) firm, for about $100 million in a private transaction.Following the sale, GE’s stake in the NYSE-listed BPO firm has come down to 18.8% from about 23% earlier. Private equity players General Atlantic and Oak Hill Capital Partners have a combined stake of 52% in Genpact.
    • ITeS & BPO cos lose sleep over high salary, not rising Re
      Rising salary levels remain the biggest concern of the IT-enabled services (ITeS) and BPO industry, followed by the rising rupee and skilled manpower shortage, says a latest study by Dun & Bradstreet.The findings are based on a survey covering over 200 ITeS and BPO companies in the country, including captives, third-party vendors and Indian subsidiaries of multinationals.
    • Spanco headcount to rise 2,000 in a month
      Rising rupee and higher margins of about 18-21% in the domestic sector are forcing BPOs to change their business models. For instance, Gurgaon-based Spanco BPO services will focus largely on domestic market. The BPO company plans to increase its headcount to 5,000 by January 2008 from 3,000.
    • Microland launches tech support centre
      Microland, one of India’s leading IT Infrastructure Management Outsourcing Services Provider, today announced the launch of its Global Tech Support Centre which will house 750 personnel supporting global customers across 13 countries.The new facility which would process over four million transactions a year was inaugurated by Governor Rameshwar Thakur here today.
    • Indian KPOs enters M&As market
      After achieving great success in BPO, India is now looking for a big leap in KPO. Due to abundance supply of intellectual and creative workforce at very competitive cost in the country, international companies are heading towards India to set up their business establishments.The myth that Indian companies can only provide “software coolies” is soon changing to the reality of Indian companies being capable of almost anything, even rocket science!
    • Infosys launches ‘Infosys BPO Idol’ for staff
      The Infosys BPO has come out with a unique event to bolster the morale of its staff besides building team spirit and camaraderie among its workers by launching the Infosys BPO Idol, a nationwide campus talent search for the voice of Infosys BPO.Infosys BPO had always maintained that engaging employees in activities showcasing talent was a sure motivator. Seldom employees get a chance to pursue passion and hobbies at work spaces. When an organisation makes the choice and effort of allowing employees to be involved in activities other than business related roles, they are creating a social fabric that is both stimulating and personally gratifying.
    • BPOs go extra mile to keep employees happy
      With offices becoming an extended home for millions employed in the booming BPO sector, the companies are coming out with innovative solutions to keep their employees stress-free and work unaffected from any possible burn-outs.Be it a racing game on Xbox or PlayStations, work-outs at a gym or a simple talk over steaming cups of coffee — the companies are making use of means available within the office premises in order to pamper their employees.
    • NASSCOM-IIMA starts survey on women workforce of IT, ITeS
      Industry , NASSCOM in collaboration with Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad has initiated a survey on the best practices and attitudes relating to women workforce in the IT and ITeS industry.Speaking during the NASSCOM-IT Women Leadership Summit 2007 here today, Kiran Karnik, President of the organisation, said the study conducted all over the country would explore issues like the attitudes of both men and women related to women workforce, and the percentage of women occupying senior positions.
    • Local IT firms lose out on telco orders
      While Indian telcos hand out billion-dollar IT infrastructure outsourcing contracts, none of the Indian IT companies have bagged a single one. IT firms say incorrect perceptions about their capabilities play a role while decrying the oft-cited lack of focus on domestic business. Others hint at Indian companies’ fixation with big brands.
    • Hero Group buys UK’s Dalglen for Rs 320 cr
      Hero Group has acquired British BPO and call centre company Dalglen for £40 million (Rs 320 crore). Dalglen has a large presence in Scotland. It is one of the largest call centres in Europe and in the UK.Hero group is planning to grow its BPO services into an international operation through this acquisition, say sources. Hero group — which has a strong presence in the automotive space in India thanks to Hero Honda — will be looking to utilise synergies at ‘both ends’ through this acquisition, sources add.
    • IT and BPO firms absorb client’s staff to win contract
      Indian IT and BPO companies now get some of their businesses with an attachment — people. As these companies win outsourcing deals, they also take people from client-organisations on to their rolls, reflecting a broader shift away from the captive model of offshoring.Consider some of the recent deals: When Tata Consultancy Services won a $1.2-billion outsourcing deal from Nielsen, it also agreed to take about 350 people from the information services provider’s captive unit at Baroda. Infosys Technologies took on board 1,400 employees of Royal Philips Electronics when it won a $250-million deal from the Dutch electronics giant.
    • Centre may retain tax sop only for BPOs
      The central government is likely to extend the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) scheme beyond 2009 only to Indian information technology-enabled services/business process outsourcing (ITeS/BPO) firms.A proposal to this effect has been included in the 11th Five-Year Plan document, which will be put up for the approval of the National Development Council, headed by the prime minister, on December 19.
    • Infosys makes $80 mn pitch for Aviva’s BPO units
      IT major Infosys is learnt to be eyeing UK-based Aviva’s offshoring centres in Bangalore and Colombo as well as its two Pune facilities that are currently operated by WNS and EXL under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.The deal is expected to be in the range of $75-80 million.
    • Here comes the chief fun officer!
      All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Take, for instance, the case of the business process outsourcing units. This industry not only put India firmly on the global IT map, but also generated thousands of jobs with attractive pay packets for the nation’s teeming youth.Things, however, are no longer all hunky dory. Of late, BPOs have been swamped under myriad complaints about the jobs: the oft-recurring refrain is that the job is getting monotonous, with the result that many of the employees want out and seek a change in profile.
    • BPO employees urged to form union
      Indian workers and companies need to partner with trade unions in the fast growing IT and other services sectors to end a ‘democratic deficit’ and tackle common issues, a global trade union said.The Union Network International, which claims a membership of 15 million members worldwide, including 1 million in India, also unveiled a report on India Call Centres/BPO, focussing on the attitudes and experiences of UNITES (the Union of Information Technology Enabled Services Professionals) members in India.
    • Small BPO firms may go bust if. . .
      As the $8.4 billion Indian ITeS-BPO exports industry braces itself to touch the $24 billion-mark by 2010, according to Nasscom, smaller players may not be a part of the party.”The BPO game is all about volume,” opines Anish Zavery of KPMG. He adds, “In order to survive the smaller players will have to provide very niche services which add value to a company’s business, on the lines of a KPO.”
    • Align Your Call Center With Five Megatrends
      Contact center executives are responsible for what their agents say, do and don’t do. This challenge is becoming even more significant in today’s era of rampant outsourcing. Moreover, compliance is growing in importance due to corporate scandals and a wave of new regulations.
    • US subprime loss set to spell windfall for Indian BPOs
      The sub-prime crisis in the US may turn into a windfall for India’s outsourcing industry. According to consultants and BPO insiders, the new lending laws, being worked out in the US, will significantly increase outsourcing by American banks to India. These new laws will be fairly stringent and will require greater outsourcing as lowering costs assumes prime importance. All of which will be a huge opportunity for Indian BPO and IT companies which already have some of America’s top banks as clients.
    • Infocrossing bags $407-m contract
      Infocrossing Healthcare Services, a subsidiary of Wipro, has bagged a multi-year contract to provide fiscal agent services to Missouri’s MO HealthNet programme for $407 million.The agreement provides for a one-year development period followed by up to nine years of operational support (six years plus three optional years). The value of the contract with all renewal options exercised is $407 million.
    • Pfizer may outsource manufacturing to India, China
      Pfizer, a United States-based pharmaceutical giant, is looking to cut costs by outsourcing as much as 30 per cent of its manufacturing to facilities in Asia, particularly in India and China.New York-based Pfizer now outsources about 15 per cent of its manufacturing capabilities. The company aims to double that figure, as part of cost-cutting measures.
    • Indian IT service to step into big league
      Indian IT service providers are ready to step into the big league now and the trust developed in India for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and ITO is allowing a rich seam of Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) to be tapped and developed, a leading IT expert said on Monday.In a press release reached here said that, Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, author of a new book on IT “Building a Future with BRICs: The Next Decade for Offshoring” said “Indian service providers are ready to step into the big league now… $1 billion deals such as Nielson and Tata Consultancy Services.”

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