January 2008 News

  • January 2008
    • Indian BPOs to reach $30 bn by 2012
      The $11-billion Indian BPO industry will reach $30 billion by 2012 but can even grow five folds in the next five years to $50 billion mark if the ‘right choices’ were made by the industry stakeholders.”While $30 billion is the achievable target, 50 billion is the aspirational target”, Nasscom President Som Mittal said on Tuesday while releasing the findings of a study on India’s BPO industry conducted jointly with the Everest Group, a global strategy consulting group.
    • Indian BPOs hit by internet disruption
      Internet connections may take up to 15 days to return to normal, businesses said, adding that telecommunications in neighbouring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were also affected.“Information technology companies, software companies and call centres that provide online services to the UK or the US East Coast are the worst affected,” said Rajesh Chharia, president of the Internet Service Providers Association of India. “Some of them are re-routing through the Pacific as a backup, but the voice quality and speed of traffic will be highly degraded,” he said, adding this solution left operators with half their normal bandwidth.
    • Indian BPO industry eyes $50 billion revenue
      The Indian BPO industry has set an aspirational target of touching $50 billion in revenue by 2012. This would be a five-fold growth over the next five years. The sector will also see an addition of 2 million people in the same period.However, the Nasscom and Everest Group’s report — Nasscom-Everest India BPO Study, Roadmap 2012: Capitalizing on the Expanding BPO Landscape — added that there were a few challenges in achieving the goal including shortage of employable talent, lack of physical and social infrastructure especially in tier II and III cities and rising wages.
    • TCS bags $200 mn contract from Sun Life Financial
      Tata Consultancy Services subsidiary, Diligenta has bagged a contract valued at Pound 100 million ($200 million) for providing business process outsourcing support services to Sun Life Financial of Canada. The services are expected to commence in May this year.Diligenta has been working with Sun Life as preferred supplier since October 2007, following a competitive tender which came towards the natural end of Sun Life’s existing outsourcing agreement. Diligenta will continue to run the operation in Basingstoke where SLF UK’s head office is based.
    • BPOs wake up to biz opportunities in North-East
      India’s north-east, so far clouded by insurgency, is bracing for an economic and employment boom with some of the country’s top IT and BPO companies making a foray into the region.Genpact, one of the country’s top BPO employers, is the latest to have firmed up plans to start operations in the north-east. Recently, companies like Tata Consultancy, Symantec and 24/7 Customer had evinced interest in setting up their businesses here, apparently impressed by the region’s abundant supply of skilled workforce and low attrition rate.
    • Legal outsourcing to India a reality: Report
      Having questioned quality quotient of legal jobs outsourced from India for long, the American law society is now accepting it as a “reality” with even Fortune 500 firms opening up to the idea.The New York Law Journal, one of the highly reputed and most read publications among American lawyers, said in an article in its latest issue that “outsourcing legal work to India is no longer a novelty. It’s a reality.” While noting that Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) to India was growing and resistance level in the country was gradually going down, the journal said that a significant cost-advantage was working strongly in favour of the trend and a “growing number of firms are angling for a piece of the action.”
    • New US lending laws may bring biz for BPOs
      The new lending laws being worked out in the US after the subprime lending crisis could bring more business to Indian BPOs.According to a latest report by Cisco senior vice-president (IT services-India & SAARC) Ajay Goel, the new regulations for loans in the US may lead to more transaction work to India. He reckons that these new laws will be fairly stringent. It may prompt US banks to increase their outsourcing work to Indian BPOs to lower costs.
    • Integrated IT, BPO deals hit with companies: Gartner
      IT-BPO firms, looking at servicing the domestic BPO market, have one more reason to do so. Domestic BPO clients have a higher acceptance of integrated IT-BPO deals, meaning they are more likely to outsource both IT and BPO services to the same service provider, according to a Gartner survey. Indian BPO clients are also more inclined towards output-based pricing model.
    • IT’s at its innovative best to overcome rupee blues
      The upward spiral coupled with the volatile movement of the Indian currency against the US dollar has driven IT services majors to look at multiple options to minimise its shock. In the last 15 months, the rupee has appreciated in the region of 14%-15% and every 1% rise has a margin impact of 40-50 basis points for IT companies.
    • Maximizing VoIP Benefits in the Call Center
      Enterprises are just beginning to examine which new applications they can run on their new VoIP platforms. Interactive chat has become more common in companies and VoIP makes it simpler to connect a voice user to this data application. “Companies can now be proactive and ask customers if they need help when they see that they may be having trouble navigating through a Web page,” said Beagle Research’s Denis Pombriant.
    • Aegis BPO designs Ace to curb attrition
      Aegis business process outsourcing, an Essar group company, has designed an in-house curriculum based on employee feedback to arrest attrition.In the last three months, attrition of the company has come down by 25 per cent. The company’s attrition on an average ranges from 38 to 58 per cent annually.
    • New business model for domestic BPO to support growing economy
      Today, the business models followed by Indian service providers have some semblance of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) models used the world over. However, it would be inaccurate to start comparing the two, right now, as it would definitely take some time before our service providers reach that level of stability and maturity.To ensure stable growth one must be able to transform a platform that will enable him to provide needed value to the customer’s business.
    • Wipro Infotech bags $100 mn Arabian Airlines contract
      Close on the heels of the Aircel mega deal, Wipro Infotech has bagged another one. The company has won a five-year, $100-million contract from Saudi Arabian Airlines, its first large deal from the Middle-East.Wipro Infotech had announced recently another mega deal from telecom operator Aircel, estimated at $450-600 million. The Saudi Arabian Airlines deal would be its second-highest in terms of value. Wipro’s domestic and APAC arm has won 10 total outsourcing deals in India so far, including a $80-million deal with HDFC and a $60-million contract with Dena Bank.
    • Foundation stone laid for ‘Cyber City’ in Kochi
      Kerala Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem laid the foundation stone for the Rs 4,000 crore ‘HDIL Cyber City’ here today and described it as among the ‘most important’ private sector investments in the state.Speaking at the function, Mr Kareem noted that the project aimed at generating 60,000 direct and 150,000 indirect employment opportunities in the IT/ITES sectors. ”This is among the most important private sector investment proposals cleared by the LDF Government,” he added. Stating that the industrial revival of Kerala was among the priorities of the Government, Mr Kareem said a number of proposals were being considered to this end.
    • NHIT to open franchises in tier-two cities
      NHIT, an Tiruchirapalli based IT enabled services and BPO training firm which has presence in countries including the US and the UK, is planning to open franchises in other tier-two cities in Tamil Nadu.
    • Infy BPO to ink 4 deals worth $50-150 mn
      Infosys BPO, a subsidiary of IT major Infosys, on Wednesday, said the company expects to bag around four outsourcing deals worth $50-150 million across various sectors in the next 3-6 months.The deals would range from various sectors such as telecom, banking and others, Infosys BPO Chief Executive Officer and MD Amitabh Chaudhry told the media declining to divulge further details.
    • Re rally to cut IT salary gap in US, India by up to 21 pc
      The adverse impact of rupee appreciation against the US dollar is well known for the IT sector, but the robust local currency is also narrowing the gap in salaries of software professionals in US and India.While the gap is likely to drop by up to 21 per cent in 2008 from the levels seen in 2006, it is still high enough to keep India’s competitive edge as a low-cost market, says a white paper by leading executive search firm Manpower.
    • Infy BPO eyes more biz from Philips
      Six months after bagging a seven-year, $250-million contract from Royal Philips Electronics, Infosys BPO is bullish on increased business coming its way from the Dutch firm. The company is also looking at expanding the scope of its service offering. “We are currently in the process of integration of the three centres Infosys BPO got through the takeover of business from Philips. But, there have been some initial talks on more business coming our way. We will see some concrete steps once the integration is complete, maybe in another six months,” Infosys BPO CEO Amitabh Chaudhry
    • Genpact open to acquisitions in India, overseas
      Business processing outsourcing major Genpact Ltd has said it is open to acquisitions in India and abroad, and was evaluating such opportunities at present.”We are open to acquisitions and focus markets would be India, US and Europe,” Genpact President and CEO Pramod Bhasin said. However, he did not divulge details on the acquisition plan.
    • IT-BPO firms take KPO route to raise profits
      Leading business process outsourcing outfits such as Infosys BPO, Zensar, TCS, Patni are fast growing their knowledge process outsourcing business in a bid to get a slice of the KPO pie that is expected to touch $17 billion by 2010.Nasscom estimates that the KPO industry is poised for a 45 per cent per annum growth till 2010. The current hotspots in KPO are engineering and design, basic data search, integration and management and biotech & pharma.
    • Gurgaon BPOs to have women drivers
      Waking up to the need for making cabs safer for women BPO employees travelling during night, a group of senior professionals has announced a pilot project to train 10 women drivers for NCR.The idea has received a mixed response with concern being expressed about the safety of these drivers themselves at night.
    • Software to track BPO cabs to ensure women safety
      There’s hope for all those parents who spend sleepless nights waiting for their daughters to return from a BPO night shift. A new technology will keep them informed of their daughters’ whereabouts.The software will track the car carrying the woman by linking her mobile phone with a central server. The parent’s mobile phone can also be linked to the system, which will alert the office and the girl’s home if the vehicle deviates from its route. The software – to be launched by a leading telephone service provider – should come as a huge relief to both.
    • Billion dollar IT outsourcing deals to decline in ’08
      The large IT outsourcing deals, running into billions of dollars, have been on a decline since last two years and it’s quite unlikely that there could be any reversal this year.According to Everest Research Institute, fewer IT outsourcing (ITO) mega deals will occur in 2008. A decline in the number and size of mega deals, defined as contracts of $1 billion or more in total contract value, will instead result in a focus on existing mega deal renewals and an increase in price competition by suppliers, according to a study by the institute.
    • Wipro establishes BPO centre in Philippines
      Wipro Technologies has opened a new 45,000 sq ft BPO center at Cebu in Philippines.”We are very clear in announcing Wipro’s arrival towards Global Serviceability, and Philippines is a major milestone in this journey,” Wipro VP international operations (BPO) Sanjeev Bhatia said in a press release here today. The new centre will house over 900 employees who will provide voice and non-voice customer service support, technical support, HR services, financial and accounting, and procurement services to customers.
    • Promotion for juniors is strategy to check attrition at BPOs
      Business process outsourcing (BPO) companies have formulated a new hiring strategy to beat attrition: Promoting entry-level employees by the droves. Featuring in this list are Convergys, Zenta and 24/7 Customer, among others.While BPOs claim that the strategy could give employees growth opportunities in the organisation, industry experts caution that it can work to the company’s advantage only in the short term, as attrition in BPOs is linked mainly to salaries. “This is an attractive strategy. But it needs to be bundled with on-the-job attractions to avoid boredom. If not, it may not work in the long run as the employees may end up doing the same work even after they are promoted,” said Adecco (India & Middle East) CEO Sudhakar Balakrishnan.
    • BPOs servicing retailers suffered due to low holiday season sales
      The agents at BPO companies across the country haven’t been very busy this holiday season due to low consumer spending in the US and Europe. Captive and third-party BPOs focused on servicing the retail industry in the US and Europe are witnessing flat or negative growth in call volumes due to sluggish direct and online retail sales this Christmas and New Year’s in US and Europe.
    • Is 2008 the Year of the Chief Outsourcing Officer?
      Outsourcing service providers have become significant employers in their own right and this trend will accelerate as these firms compete more fiercely for talent. It is another reason why outsourcing is not as much of a cost-cutting measure as it has been in the past. Even in emerging economies, the cost of management is rising.
    • IT services to cross Rs 1 lakh cr revenue in ’08
      The Indian IT and IT-enabled services (ITeS) market would cross Rs 1 lakh crore in revenue in 2008, while telecom will see fixed-line broadband gain around this year, according to forecasts by analyst firm IDC.The domestic IT/ITeS market will grow at 24% in 2008 to touch Rs 1.1 lakh crore. “By posting a substantial jump in the domestic IT/ITeS market since 2002, the industry is now onto a new growth trajectory.
    • EXL Service ties up with Smart Hire
      PO major EXL Service has chosen Smart Hire for the ‘Preferred HR Partner Award’, for the company’s “invaluable support in sourcing manpower for its India operations”.Said EXL Services’ global HR head Deepak Dhawan: “As an annual practice, we recognise our best performing partners. We have found in our annual review that Smart Hire stands out not only in terms of the numbers required, but also on the quality of hires.”
    • Demand for language skills grows in BPO space
      If you’re not fluent in English, but good at vernacular languages and customer skills, don’t worry, we have a job for you. Riding on the growing desi market, BPOs like HTMT, Firstsource and Infovision are aggressively recruiting people with regional language skills.

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