February 2008 News

  • February 2008
    • Call centre employee stabbed to death in Bangalore
      A Call centre employee from Hindupur in Andhra Pradesh was killed after he was stabbed by an assailant in the city during the early hours today. Police said the 29-year-old Sashidhar returned from work late last night and went out with a friend. While they were walking a stranger picked up a quarrel and demanded money.
    • Fidelity’s offshore facility hands out pink slips to 30 in Gurgaon
      Fidelity Business Services India Pvt. Ltd, the business process offshore division or back office of one of the world’s largest asset management firms, has terminated the services of 30 employees at its investment management services group in Gurgaon in what it terms as a “business decision.”Fidelity Business Services provides research and information technology assistance to the global operations of its parent, Fidelity International. Established in 2001, the firm employs around 7,000 people across three offices. The number of people employed in the investment management services group isn’t known.
    • Obama opposes outsourcing of jobs
      Continuing to play the anti-outsourcing card, Democrat presidential front-runner Barack Obama on Wednesday said while America cannot “shy away” from globalisation, it would have to take measures to ensure that jobs are not shipped overseas.”We have to stop providing tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States of America,” Obama said in during a debate with rival Senator Hillary Clinton in Cleaveland, Ohio.
    • Infy, TCS among best global outsourcing companies
      Reflecting the outsourcing prowess of India Inc around 20 Indian companies, including the likes of Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services, are among the best in the world.’The 2008 Global Outsourcing 100′ list compiled by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals has named about 20 companies based in India. Among them are, India’s top software exporters; Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, HCL Technologies and Wipro Technologies, while Genpact, WNS and EXLService are leading BPO firms listed in the US. The others figuring in the list are MindTree Consulting, Aditya Birla Minacs, Patni, Quest, Tech Mahindra, Mastek, KPIT Cummins, Convergys, Zenzar Technologies, First Source, ITC Infotech, Hexaware and 24/7 Customer.
    • Now Hillary too blasts outsourcing
      Democratic US Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has joined party rival Barak Obama in promising an end to tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, playing to the gallery on the hot-button issue of outsourcing as she tries to resuscitate her White House bid.”. . . we are going to rid the tax code of these loopholes and giveaways. We’re going to stop giving a penny of your money to any who ships a job out of Texas, Ohio or anywhere else to another country,” Hillary said during a debate with Obama at University of Texas in Austin.
    • Maximum fine for Som Mittal, Rs 1,000
      The big news on Thursday was the Supreme Court paving the way for the prosecution of Som Mittal, current Nasscom president and former managing director of Hewlett Packard GlobalSoft Pvt Ltd, in the Pratibha Murthy rape-and-murder case.Legal experts say that, upon prosecution, if Mittal is found guilty — as alleged by the Karnataka police and the state’s labour department — then he would have to cough up a fine of Rs 1,000 and little else.
    • BPO staff security a national issue
      The dismissal of the petition filed by former Managing Director of its member company HP Global Soft Ltd, Som Mittal, with regard to the alleged rape and murder case of one of its employees in Bangalore in 2005 seems to have taken the BPO association of the country, Business Process Industry Association of India (BPIAI), by surprise.Sam Chopra, President BPIAI said, “I would like to support Mittal and all CEOs, CxOs who are willing to take responsibility. We’re committed towards ensuring employee safety. As an industry we have strong internal processes and rigour on driving safety and security and which are strictly adhered to. We have deployed a security force and a team dedicated for ensuring secure travel.”
    • Now, publishing BPO booms in India
      The Indian publishing BPO industry is expected to grow at an estimated rate of 35 per cent per annum and become a $1.46 billion industry by 2010, Puducherry CII Vice Chairman Sriram Subramanya said on Thursday.Addressing a conference on Publishing BPO Services, organised by CII in Chennai, Subramanya said Chennai had emerged as a global hub for publishing BPO services and the Indian publishing BPO services industry had grown phenomenally over the years. Several global publishers are offshoring their publishing services to India, making the country a publishing BPO services hub of the world, he said.
    • Now, feel safe while working in night shifts
      Yes, now you can feel safe while working away in the night to meet those deadlines. Because the saviour, Lattice Bridge Infotech has come out with a breakthrough security solution that enables close monitoring of IT/BPO employees during their transit from home to work.Lattice Bridge Infotech has developed a solution, Webtra Xtend, which uses SMS, voice and hybrid messaging to create a real-time information system that monitors the employee transit events between workplace and residence, company’s Chief Strategy and Sales Officer S S Rajan said. “When a pick up vehicle leaves the office, Webtra server sends an automated message to each of the employee who will be picked up by that vehicle. This message contains the vehicle number and name of the driver,” he said.
    • Capgemini plans to move internal support services to India
      The slowdown in US economy has begun to drive more outsourcing work India’s way. Capgemini, Europe’s largest consulting and computer services firm, has reduced hiring in the United States to ‘a bare minimum’, increased the portion of offshoring in its contracts there from 40% to 60% and is moving internal support services to India, a company official said.Capgemini is also looking for acquisitions in the United States, especially in strategic management consulting and business process outsourcing, chief strategy officer Peter-Yves Cros told ET. “The main challenge in 2008 is the challenge of US slowdown. India will be key for us in responding to it.” As a consequence of these moves, the company is speeding up recruitment in India, where it already employs 20,000 people, or nearly a fourth of its worldwide work force.
    • SC dismisses NASSCOM chief Mittal’s petition
      The Supreme Court today dismissed the petition of NASSCOM chief Som Mittal seeking to quash the criminal proceedings against him launched for not providing security to a female employee at night leading to her rape and murder in Karnataka.
    • Outsourcing not causing US unemployment: India Inc
      India Inc, which is facing the heat from US Presidential candidates who blamed ‘shipping jobs’ to China and India for rising US unemployment, has launched a counter-offensive here telling Americans that the industry is creating new work opportunities for them.A full-page advertisement in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, by industry FICCI and the Commerce Ministry, gives an elaborate account of how the legendary Tata Group, along with several others like Ranbaxy, Mahindra USA, Bharat Forge, ITC Kitchens of India and HCL America have created thousands of jobs in America by investing in different sectors of the US economy
    • Outsourcing blip predicted for India
      Executives in India’s information technology outsourcing industry expect slower growth in the first two quarters of the year because of uncertainty in the US economy, but most believe business will return to normal in the second half.If they are right, these forecasts will be greeted with relief by the Indian government, as outsourcing is one of the main growth engines of the economy, employing nearly 2m middle-class professionals and creating millions of ancillary jobs.
    • Vertex moving key functions to Gurgaon
      The UK’s second-largest BPO firm, Vertex, is moving some of its key support and administrative functions to its offshore centre in Gurgaon.The 1,800-people strong offshore facility services about a fifth of its customer contracts, and will now also handle Vertex’s own functions in finance and accounting, analytics, human resources, IT and workforce management.
    • China wants to have more Indian IT, ITeS firms
      China has invited Indian IT and business process outsourcing companies to set up more units in its IT parks and build them up at par with those in cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Pune.A delegation from Wuxi, an emerging economic zone in the Yangtze river delta, met representatives of software industries here and expressed a desire to convert their district into a “Bangalore of China”.
    • Headstrong to expand into BPO
      Headstrong, a $100-million consulting and technology firm headed by HCL co-founder Arjun Malhotra, is looking to expand in India’s growing BPO industry.According to company sources, the company is looking at acquiring firms with $20-25 million in revenues. Speaking to ET on the sidelines of the Nasscom summit, Headstrong’s president and COO Sandeep Sahai said, “We have niche customers like investment banks and stock trading companies.
    • Genpact plans to acquire BPO companies
      New York-listed outsourcing firm Genpact has begun looking at acquisition opportunities in the range of $150-200 million in India, US and Europe, even as its bid to acquire Citigroup’s BPO has hit the roadblock.Pramod Bhasin, the company’s president and chief executive offi-cer, declined to comment on the Citigroup deal, but said “Captives are still an interesting buy for the company. However we would also look for buys in human resource, banking and financial serv-ices sectors to scale up at a much faster rate.”
    • Nineteen Hour IT to expand BPO services
      Nineteen hours IT Private Ltd, the global ITeS firm from the US is to expand its BPO operations across Tamil Nadu.P Dayaparan, Executive Director, NHIT told Business Standard, the company engaged in software development, web application development and BPO operations like medical transcription, voice-based process, mapping and data capturing, was keen to expand in Tamil Nadu.
    • BPOs eye US, UK services mart
      Business process outsourcing companies such as Infosys BPO, Patni’s BPO arm, EXL Services and Genpact are increasing their focus on providing high-end actuarial services to insurers in the US and UK.The Indian IT companies, which have been hitherto providing back office services (claims processing and others), are now planning to provide actuarial valuations.
    • KPO sector will be worth $5 bn by 2010
      Financial services knowledge process outsourcing industry is expected to be worth $5 billion by 2010, a study by KPMG said.According to KPMG, the KPO phenomenon will have far reaching consequences for the global financial services industry over the next three years.
    • India’s BPO revenues to touch Rs 8500cr
      Domestic call centre revenues will touch Rs 8,500 crore (Rs 85 billion) in the current financial year, according to a CyberMedia’s Dataquest domestic call centre survey 2007-08.According to the study, the Indian call centre industry will witness a robust growth rate of 65 per cent compared with 42 per cent recorded in the previous year.
    • BPOs seek concessions, sops in the upcoming budget – Video
      The Indian Business Process Outsourcing or BPO sector seeks an extension in tax holiday from the Indian finance minister P. Chidambaram in the annual general budget to be announced later this month.According to trade experts, creaky infrastructure due to lack of funds in smaller towns and rapidly rising wages are a few major challenges faced by the sector.
    • Offshore biz offers young lawyers a break
      Dozens of legal process outsourcing companies are drawing law school graduates away from traditional courtroom litigation and corporate law practice to the offshoring industry.The industry, of course, has its sceptics—those who think LPOs take young attorneys too far afield from rigorous legal work and training. “We’ve told our recruitment consultants we don’t want anyone that has worked at LPOs,” says Srinivas Katta, a partner with the Bangalore law firm Indus G&D. “We find them short on competence. They speak well and are very presentable to clients, but there’s no depth, is what we’ve found.”
    • Infosys BPO receives “Positive” rating by Gartner
      The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) subsidiary of Infosys Technologies has been rated in the “Positive” category by leading analyst firm.The rating, by Gartner in its latest “Market Scope for Comprehensive Finance and Accounting Business Process Outsourcing 2007 Report 2007”, was based on evaluation criteria like customer experience, geographic strategy, product/services, market understanding, vertical strategies, market responsiveness and track record.
    • Domestic call center revenues to exceed Rs 8500 cr in FY-08
      In a study of the domestic call center industry conducted by Dataquest, the magazine estimates the domestic call center revenues will grow at 65% in the current fiscal to touch Rs 8,500 crore.The survey, based on a detailed study of the captive as well as third party call centers, says the growth in the domestic call center industry will accelerate to 65%, up from 42% recorded in the previous year. (This growth rate is about twice the growth rate recorded by the Rs. 37,800 crore BPO export sector in 2006-07.
    • Decouple BPO sector from IT, ITES: BPIAI
      The Business Process Industry Association of India (BPIAI) on Monday stressed the need for decoupling the BPO from the IT/ITES sector.The BPIAI, an affiliated association of industry of the CII, in its pre-Budget session which would be presented before the Finance Minister for considerations, said a special BPO department or Ministry in the government should be set up and the government should consider the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector as a separate industry from the IT segment and device a proper mechanism to determine its export turnover.
    • Sundaram Finance BPO facility in Madurai
      The Business Process Outsourcing arm of Sundaram Finance (SF) on Monday inaugurated its facility in the city, the first one outside Chennai. The company was foraying into the city to increase its turnover from Rs.17 crore to Rs.30 crore within a few years, its Managing Director T T Srinivasaraghavan said. The BPO facility would initially focus on insurance sector and employ 100 people. The strength of the staff would grow from 400-500 before March 2009.
    • BPO, IT sectors to clock $64 bn revenue in FY08
      The Indian IT and BPO industry is expected to clock $64-billion revenues by the end of fiscal 2008, registering a growth of 33%, the ‘Strategic Review 2008’ by IT relative; industry Nasscom said.The software and services exports are expected to grow by 29% to reach $40.8 billion while the domestic market is expected to touch $23.2 billion in FY08. The review also said the industry would also meet its target of $60 billion software exports, and overall software and services revenues of $73-75 billion by 2010. Nasscom added that industry will adopt diversification of services and location of clients to protect itself against a possible US recession.
    • Customer Support Without Walls
      The consolidated contact center platform is the next step in providing improved availability of contact center resources at a lower cost. The four walls of the contact center are rapidly eroding. Contact centers are spreading across the world and providing increased customer service as a result. In order to be competitive, all firms are going need to provide this level of service to their customers.
    • WNS Q3 net down 23% on stronger Re
      Business process outsourcing major and NYSE-listed WNS, reported net income for the third quarter ended December 31, 2007 at $5.5 million (approximately Rs 21.7 crore, at a conversion rate of Rs 39.54), a decrease of 23.1 per cent from $7 million (around Rs 27.6 crore) in the corresponding quarter of previous financial year.The company’s revenue grew 13.4 per cent at $115.6 million (around Rs 457.08 crore) for the third quarter from $101.9 million (around Rs 402.9 crore).
    • Firstsource signs outsourcing pact with Barclays
      BPO service provider Firstsource Solutions said on Friday it has signed a five-year outsourcing partnership agreement worth up to $80 million with British banking giant Barclays PLC for supporting its operations in the United States.As per the outsourcing partnership agreement, Firstsource would manage Barclays’ operations center in Colorado Springs and would provide customer care and collection support to its US cardholders, Firstsource Solutions said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
    • Morgan Stanley denies reports of BPO unit sale
      US investment bank Morgan Stanley today said it has no plans to sell its Indian BPO operations, Morgan Stanley Advantage Services (MSAS).“Morgan Stanley has no plans to sell (the BPO unit) and confirms that it remains fully committed to MSAS which is a successful and important component to its business globally,” the investment banking firm said in a statement here.
    • Morgan Stanley puts its BPO on the block
      US investment bank Morgan Stanley has put its captive business process outsourcing (BPO) operations, Morgan Stanley Advantage Services Pvt. Ltd (MSAS), on the block.MSAS, based out of Goregaon, a Mumbai suburb, employs close to 2,000 and could be valued at a minimum of $500 million, according to some investment bankers.
    • Firstsource signs $80 mn agreement with Baraclays
      Firstsource Solutions Limited today announced signing of a five-year outsourcing agreement valued at 80 million US Dollars with Barclays PLc, US credit card business.Under the terms of the agreement, Firstsource will manage and operate and Barclays operations center in Colorado Springs, provide customer care and collection’s support to Barclays US cardholders. The partnership is expected to provide Barclays with increased operational efficiency and flexibility, and help both Companies support their expanding operations in the US. The Firstsource’s employees in Colorado Springs would continue to focus on providing services to Barclays US cardholders, a release stated.
    • BPOs to attract diverse talent pool
      The required skills have become higher, creating opportunities for a more specialised workforce in this sector.For long, a job with a business process outsourcing (BPO) company has been looked upon as a stepping stone to another, longer-lasting career. Such has been the attrition in the industry.
    • Infosys BPO sees scope in bundled deals
      Despite the subprime crisis and looming fears of US economic recession, Infosys BPO is confident of seeing good growth. The subsidiary of India’s second biggest software exporter is seeing traction for large multi-tower and bundled deals.Infosys BPO vice-president & Head of Global Sales and Marketing Ritesh Idnani told ET, “Though the current economic environment in the US is not the only factor, Infy BPO is seeing three trends. We are starting to see large multi-tower deals which would include some areas or all of HR, F&A, IT and procurement outsourcing. Second, clients are asking to bundle deals, combine both operations and technology. Thirdly, provide insight through our research and analysis offerings.”
    • Remote infrastructure management to become $15 bn opportunity for Indian IT: Nasscom
      Remote infrastructure management (RIM) is poised to become a $13-15 billion opportunity for the Indian IT industry in another five years, according to a latest report by Nasscom and McKinsey.The industry is also expected to create 3.25-2.75 lakh jobs in the same time. India’s current share of the RIM market stands at about $3.2-3.6 billion.
    • BPOs using role-specific information to attract and retain employees
      The fun-to-work’ sector was the first draw card. It later became `a place one can make a career plus have fun’ . Now, BPO companies are using `role-specific’ information to attract and retain prospective employees.Specialist’ is the word that can attract youngsters who don’t want the BPO job just for the big pay packet anymore. So spread the message like `you can become an insurance specialist or travel & logistics specialist’ is what BPO experts suggest.
    • Call Centers: To Build or To Buy?
      The truth is that call centers are expensive, and they don’t usually show positive returns except for the fractional payback you get when you can boost productivity by handling more calls. Also, with so many moving parts, it really is easy to believe that the system you’ve nursed along for years is as good as anything out there — or certainly good enough.
    • Citi puts BPO unit sale on hold
      Citigroup has put the sale of its BPO operations — Citigroup Global Services (CGSL) — on hold. The move comes at a time when Citi is looking at taking a hard look at its expenses which could lead to job cuts across the world. The group had initially started the sale process in the second quarter last year. It was in the process of choosing a partner in Genpact late last year.Citi has outsourcing operations in China, the Philippines, Latin America and Europe, of which CGSL was one of them. Sources said the group is now looking at taking a strategic decision on all these operations globally. “Citi wanted to have a relook at all the operations and has put the sale of the Indian operations on hold,” said a source.
    • More than 50 per cent of BPO workers smoke: Study
      More than 50 per cent of the BPO workers smoke and are not aware of the ill-effects of smoking despite being educated, says a study being carried out by the Tata Memorial Hospital here.Work for the two-year study which began in August last year is being carried out in four BPOs in Mumbai, Dr Gauravi Mishra, Consultant, Preventive Oncology division of TMH, said adding although the BPOs themselves are smoke-free but the staff come out of the office for smoking.
    • BPOs giving cultural orientation on India to foreign staff
      The story of how Jaswant became Jack, as India became the world’s back office, is passe. Here’s a look at how Jack became Jaswant as Indian firms increased their global footprint.It started in the late ‘90s when Indian IT companies started opening new centres and acquiring companies from Japan to Mexico, South Africa to Australia. Every such move meant adding local employees to their rolls. It also meant training them about the company’s work culture and mindset. Teaching them the nuances of Indian culture and society was equally important.
    • Internet woes? BPOs say ‘no problem’
      Even as India faces severe Internet connectivity problems following the damage to two undersea cables in the Mediterranean Sea, companies in the information technology sector, including business process outsourcing units, claim that there has not been any major disruption in their services.BPOs in Bangalore, which rely heavily on Internet services, say that there has been a ‘slowdown’ but they ‘have been able to tide over the crisis’ by using ‘backup or alternate lines.’ They said they would have to rely on these lines through the satellite for at least another two weeks as it would take that long to repair the damage.

Also see news archives

Latest Columns

Top Life science outsourcing vendors in 2011: IDC Report

November 22, 2011: IDC Health Insights has announced the release of its new IDC MarketScape report which will act as a guide for life science companies which evaluates the IT outsourcing service providers of sales and marketing services. The new report consists of assessment of 11 major IT outsourcing service providers that offers its services […]

World’s top 10 outsourcing companies in 2012 – IAOP

International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) is a leading global outsourcing advisory firm. IAOP thrives to improve outsourcing outcomes by working closer with outsourcing customers, advisors and providers. The advisory body every year conducts an independent assessment of capabilities of outsourcing companies and publishes THE GLOBAL OUTSOURCING 100. IAOP announced the Global Outsourcing 100 for […]

Speak Your Mind