May 2008 News

  • May 2008
    • Point, Click and Learn: Indian Online Tutoring Companies Find Their Global Markets
      When Biju Mathew moved to the United States in 2000 to work as a software engineer in a Silicon Valley start-up, he hit an unexpected roadblock in his personal life: finding tutors for his school-age children. His kids had been used to tutoring in India and wanted to continue with it in their new environment. Mathew, however, found tutoring in the United States, both traditional and online, very expensive. At anywhere between $40 and $100 per hour, the kind of daily tutoring that his children were used to was unaffordable.
    • BPO staff under lens for data security
      In the wake of BPO employee Prakash Jadhav’s alleged involvement in a multi-crore credit card fraud, BPOs and ITeS companies are once again in the limelight for data security practices.With the rising number of such cases coming to light, outsourcing companies in the country have now resorted to conduct infinity screening — background screening more than once for the employees — as a measure to strengthen security.
    • We almost run our own university: Genpact
      business process outsourcing company Genpact might have hired more than 10,000 people last year in India, but when it needed someone to oversee that hiring, it turned to one of its own. Puneet Singh, who has been with the company since 2001, became vice-president of hiring in March. Just 32, Singh started out as a quality manager, spent a year on a transition team that moved processes offshore from client sites, went to General Electric Co.’s centre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for another year to oversee a customer’s operations, then moved from business development to managing a GE relationship, to a brief stop in “global client” sales—meaning non-GE clients—before landing in this new post. Singh spoke with Mint about why a hiring director from within the company can work better and how to turn recruiting and training into a science.
    • Job prospects, profile, travel time decide where the young work
      The ability of a company to attract young people to work for it may well depend on its location, said a new survey released Thursday.The survey, India’s new world of work—conducted by global research firm Synovate for staffing services company TeamLease Services Pvt. Ltd—showed that convenience of commuting, career opportunities and work profile are key factors that influence where people below 25 years of age choose to work. And stress and work-life imbalance are the main factors that influence them to quit jobs.
    • HIPAA Revisited, Part 2: Seeking Balance
      If some people think health privacy protections don’t go far enough while others think they’re too restrictive, does that mean the government got it right? Probably not, but the experts agree they’re a step in the right direction. Now it’s time for some fine tuning.
    • Tata rural BPO to come up near Orissa steel site
      In a concilatory move towards educated locals who are agitating against Tata Steel’s proposed 6 million tonne steel plant in Kalinganagar, Orissa, the Tata group is setting up a business process outsourcing unit on the proposed site.The rural BPO centre will be established by the Tata Business Support Services — the BPO wing and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons — in partnership with Tata Steel Rural Development Society — a corporate NGO managed by the Tata Group for the last 60 years. To start with, it is expected to employ around 200 people.
    • Point, Click and Learn: Indian Online Tutoring Companies Find Their Global Markets
      When Biju Mathew moved to the United States in 2000 to work as a software engineer in a Silicon Valley start-up, he hit an unexpected roadblock in his personal life: finding tutors for his school-age children. His kids had been used to tutoring in India and wanted to continue with it in their new environment. Mathew, however, found tutoring in the United States, both traditional and online, very expensive. At anywhere between $40 and $100 per hour, the kind of daily tutoring that his children were used to was unaffordable.
    • Scotland BPO workers fear job outsourcing
      A leading business services firm in Scotland has announced that it is relocating more than 300 of its jobs to India.Capita said that it had already circulated a formal notice among its staff, intimating that their jobs were at risk of redundancy. The company, however, expressed confidence that many of the workers would be redeployed, and that their staff could apply for new jobs in the company. However, that would mean a transfer to Glosgow from England.
    • IBM Daksh gets title of CCOS Provider in Asia Pacific
      BPO firm, IBM Daksh has been awarded the title of Contact Centre Outsourcing Service Provider in Asia Pacific for the year 2008 for outstanding performance by consulting firm Frost and Sullivan.The company was selected for the title for showing exemplary growth and performance in 2007 against other leading BOP companies across the region, a company statement said. “This award reinforces our market leadership and is testimony to the sustained competitive advantage we provide to clients through innovative offerings and global delivery footprint,” IBM Daksh CEO Pavan Vaish said.
    • Firstsource suitors eye Temasek’s holding
      US-based buyout fund Carlyle, Providence Equity Partners, Warburg Pincus and Blackstone are understood to be exploring a buyout of Temasek’s holding in Mumbai-based pure-play business process outsourcing firm Firstsource.The news triggered the company’s share price to rise 6.76 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to close at Rs 43.45 on Tuesday. Warburg Pincus has a stake in WNS, a BPO company, while Blackstone has a majority stake in Intelenet.
    • Bihar sets up a rural BPO to stop migrationIn an attempt to provide employment opportunities to the locals and to stop them from migrating to other states, Bihar has set up a Business Process Outsourcing Unit (BPO) in a remote village of the State’s Madhubani District.The BPO at Saurath Village has empowered locals. The employees are mostly Hindi speaking, but they admit that they are learning to speak English also. It is indeed fascinating to see homemakers and labourers working efficiently at the call centers. “We need to engage them to stop this problem of brain drain and migration. I feel if we are able to do this, then these problems will stop to a great extent. I believe this is the first of its kind, the first rural BPO in India,” said Kamlesh Kumar, the manager of Drishti Business Process Outsourcing.
    • HIPAA Revisited: Privacy vs. Portability
      In the 12 years since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was enacted, organizations have gone to great lengths to comply. However, advances in technology are leading to calls for more flexibility in the movement of personal health information.
    • LPOs rake it in from spurt in US litigation
      A slowdown in the US is giving a push to the Indian legal process outsourcing (LPO) sector. Indian LPO firms are reporting a rise of over 200% in revenues in the past 12 months as they see a dramatic rise in litigation, intellectual property infringement work and bankruptcy-related document drafting. The rise in new business from litigation is due to a crash in the stock markets post the subprime crisis, which led many stockholders to sue companies.
    • Local IT companies clinch big global HRO deals
      Indian IT service providers are making inroads into niche areas like HR outsourcing. IT bigwigs such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro have inked four large deals worth almost $350 million in the HRO space last year.“Earlier, Indian companies were being awarded sub-contracted work from large HRO players. Now they have developed expertise in areas such as benefits administration and are invited to bid in almost all large HRO deals,” said Vikash Jain, engagement director at Everest Group.
    • Firstsource in WNS, Intelenet buyout radar
      Warburg Pincus-controlled WNS Holdings is working on an outright acquisition or a strategic merger with rival outsourcing firm Firstsource Solutions, in which ICICI Bank holds a little over 26%. WNS is looking to buy out ICICI Bank’s stake and mop up shares held by some other private equity investors as well, sources said.
    • At Dell, incentives so staff doesn’t move up
      Ganesh Lakshminarayanan wants his call centre agents to stay on the phone. So much so that the Dell International Services managing director is willing to cook for them.During a recent management meeting in Chandigarh, Dell executives made pasta, eggs, chaat and south Indian food for members of the company’s “Platinum Club”, or employees who could have advanced to a manager or team leader spot but, instead, chose to stay on the call centre floor.
    • BPOs for rural sector: Yeddyurappa
      Our focus will be mainly on all round development of Karnataka. We will seriously implement our party’s election manifesto, contain corruption and also terrorism. We will also try to make the BPO sector reach to the rural areas so that the rural sector too get benefited and the regional imbalance can be reduced. We will also encourage industrial growth in the state and focus on the development of backward communities and minorities in the state.
    • Gender equality: Women lead the way in rural BPOs
      If you thought gender bias was loaded against women in rural areas, it does not seem to reflect atleast in one — rural business processing organizations. In fact, most BPOs in rural India declare that over 60% of their employees are women and in some cases, its even 100%.The percentage of women in BPOs concentrated in the urban areas is still hovering at around 50%, according to industry estimates. “While in terms of skill-sets and their understanding a task/project, women are as good as men. But women tend to stay on for loyalty sake and are less likely to jump ship,” said Ashwanth G, HR manager of Desicrew Solutions, a rural BPO promoted by Ashok Jhunjhunwala of IIT Madras.
    • BPOs design in-house curricula to train staff
      Prominent BPO firms like Essar Group’s Aegis BPO, WNS and Capgemini are designing in-house curricula to suit the sector’s requirements while others like Wipro and HCL Technologies are partnering key universities for certified courses.The broad idea is to help freshers and high-potential employees develop soft skills not generally taught at universities, and simultaneously increase retention rates in an industry that has attrition rates between 30 and 50 per cent.
    • TCS bags deal to process passport applications
      In what could be one of the most prestigious and lucrative wins in the domestic outsourcing market, infotech major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has won the contract for processing Indian passport applications.This is the first time passport processing has been outsourced, and the race is believed to have been keenly contested by some large public sector undertakings as well as IT and BPO firms with some large government contracts to their credit.
    • Firstsource, Airtel in 3-year outsourcing pact
      BPO services provider, Firstsource Solutions and Bharti Airtel have signed a three-year outsourcing agreement.Firstsource will provide a suite of BPO services covering both voice and back-office in areas such as customer accounting, VAS provisioning, fraud and credit monitoring, the company said on Wednesday.Firstsource’s services will also cover collections, customer service and customer retention, amongst others, from its centres in Chennai and Mumbai, the release said.
    • Indian legal offshore biz up as US slumps
      Bad times for some American companies is turning into good times for India’s legal offshoring industry.For reasons largely economic and partly cultural, India’s legal process outsourcing, or LPO, services providers have seen a sizeable uptick in business since the US economy has faltered. In particular, firms that handle support functions, such as reviewing documents and researching witnesses for US litigation, have enjoyed the biggest increases amid mounting disputes over who knew what and when in the mortgage and related markets meltdown.
    • Telecom outsourcing deals under Trai lens
      The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has started monitoring changes in the contractual agreements of operators to ensure that they do not adversely impact the annual licence fee earned by the government and follow licence conditions.The government gets part of the revenue earned by operators as licence fee under the revenue-sharing agreement with operators
    • Future of BPOs lies in rural India: Karnik
      The future of India’s BPO sector lies in moving more of its operations to rural parts, according to Kiran Karnik, former Nasscom president and member of IDG’s global advisory board. Rural India not only offers lower costs but also an abundant pool of highly-motivated talent.”Indian companies have been setting up BPOs in various countries including Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China, and Thailand. However, the biggest unexplored market is here. The future destination for the Indian BPO industry is within the country,” he said.
    • Now doctors jump into BPO bandwagon
      After engineers and lawyers, now doctors are also gearing up to join the BPO brigade, with the outsourcing firms opening up alternative career options for medicos.With more and more outsourcing firms moving into healthcare sector and medical transcription, the job for doctors and nurses in the country are getting widened, an industry expert said.
    • Pune BPOs face major cab strike
      More than 35 prominent Pune-based business process outsourcing (BPO) units might face a severe staff-crunch on May 19, when around 6,000 call centre cab owners and drivers will go on strike.The drivers and owners are demanding immediate clearance of dues more than Rs 1 crore by various transport vendors appointed by city BPOs. More than 80 per cent of Pune’s BPO staffers used company-appointed cabs for transport to and from their workplaces.
    • Manpower shortage hits Indian animation industry
      The Indian animation industry is expected to double its revenues to nearly $1.5 billion by 2010 but is still hampered by lack of skilled manpower, mainly due to lack of facilities and preference for traditional career options.”At the close of next year, the industry will require at least 25,000 more trained hands to fill the gap and by the year 2012, the industry will have room to accommodate 300,000 professionals, if not more,” Atul Vohra, in-charge of the education division of the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC), told reporters.
    • Lloyds TSB says 450 IT jobs to move to India
      British bank Lloyds TSB is to transfer up to 250 information technology staff and 200 contractor roles to India, it said on Wednesday.The bank said the staff are part of its IT division’s technical delivery function, where they design and develop software, and will start moving from June.
    • IT biggies, buyout funds join race for BPO firm Aptara
      A couple of large buyout funds, foreign strategic players and Indian IT & BPO players, including Infosys Technologies, are learnt to be in the race for Aptara, a third-party BPO in technology publishing. Promoted by US-based Indian, Rakesh Gupta, the firm is one of the oldest and established players in the industry, having started in 1988.No official confirmation was available, but sources said six players have been shortlisted and the sale could be concluded in a couple of weeks. Avendus Advisors is advising the firm on the sale process. The final deal could be around $150 million, a source said.
    • US BPO to tap Indian global firms
      Outsource Partners International, a business process outsourcing company that provides finance and accounting services to clients in the US and UK through offshore resource centres in India, plans to target Indian global firms to scale up business.The US-based company, which started operations in India in 2002, has set up centres in Bangalore, Delhi and Kochi and employs around 2,500 people with accounting backgrounds. The company is all geared to tap the Indian accounting market which has been witnessing hectic activity.
    • KPOs could see US slowdown impact
      The US slowdown coupled with rupee appreciation, talent crunch and rising salaries, and the 2010 sunset clause on tax holiday for IT firms, is putting knowledge process outsourcing firms in a bind.Some experts predict that KPO revenues will fall as the ir US clients’ growth could be affected. Others feel that because of margin pressures, companies in the US will outsource even more.
    • Infosys BPO to set up KPO hub in Gurgaon
      Infosys BPO, which started knowledge process outsourcing services as a part of its BPO offerings four years ago, is aiming to make Gurgaon the hub for its KPO business.The company is setting up a large centre for ‘knowledge services’, capable of accommodating 800-1,000 people. It will be operational by the end of the current financial year. Currently, Infosys has a team of about 200 people in Gurgaon.
    • HOV services ranked in top 15 of IAOP’s global outsourcing 100
      HOV Services, Inc, a proven provider of business process and knowledge process outsourcing solutions announced on Wednesday that they have received a ranking of 15 on the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals’ (IAOP) Global Outsourcing 100 list for 2008.This is the third consecutive ranking for HOV Services within the top 25, and moves HOV Services up nine positions from last years ranking.
    • Tier II cities to account for 40% BPO jobs
      Second grade cities in the country are likely to account for about 40 per cent of the total projected IT-BPO jobs by 2018, if the government in tandem with the industry provides a conducive environment, a study has said.However, big cities Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, National Capital Region (NCR) and Pune are still the preferred destinations for setting up an IT or a BPO company, a NASSCOM-AT Kearney study on `Location roadmap for IT-BPO growth’ said.
    • US slowdown to hit new deals: Genpact
      With fears of economic uncertainty in the US gaining ground, Genpact, India’s largest business process outsourcing firm, says it is witnessing delay in getting new contracts.”We continue to watch the business environment carefully. We are witnessing some postponement of contracts in the IT as well as BPO business. The cycle-time for deals has certainly increased from three to six months to nine to twelve months, especially for firms outsourcing for the first time,” Pramod Bhasin, president and CEO, Genpact, told analysts during a conference call.
    • Now clinical research opts for outsourcing
      After business, knowledge and legal process outsourcing, the Indian industries are now eyeing ‘diagnostics jobs’ outsourcing from other countries.According to industry experts, a number of hospitals in the US and Europe are outsourcing laboratory and diagnostic tests to India as it helps in saving cost and money while maintaining quality.
    • Indian IT & ITeS market to cross $50 bn by 2012
      A market intelligence agency expects India’s domestic IT and ITeS market to cross the 50 billion dollar mark ( Rs 2,00,000 crore) in 2012, recording a compounded annual growth rate of 18.4 per cent in five years on Rs 90,014 crore in 2007.IDC India says the total IT and ITeS industry size will grow to Rs. 5,29,976 crore (132 billion dollars) by 2012, representing a CAGR of 16.5 per cent. The company’s India manager Kapil Dev Singh said, “the domestic IT and ITeS industry CAGR of 18.4 per cent (during 2008-12) is expected on the back of a robust growth of the past five years (2003-2007)”. “We expect the industry to achieve this by offering innovative services to the evolving domestic buyers,” he added. IT market grew at 22.4 per cent to Rs 2,46,609 crore in 2007 from Rs 2,01,413 crore in 2006.
    • Indian BPO to offer 800 jobs in Ireland
      Indian BPO major Firstsource has spread cheer by announcing plans to create more than 800 jobs in Northern Island.Firstsource, which operates from two bases in Northern Ireland, is among a growing number of Indian companies like HCL, polaris, PixTransmission and Tech Mahindra who have chosen to set up offices in the region.
    • Outsourcing: 20 Indian firms among world’s top 100
      Reflecting strong industrial growth, 20 Indian firms, including Infosys and TCS are among top 100 outsourcing companies in the world.The latest ‘2008 Global Outsourcing 100’, compiled by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals that features at least 20 Indian firms has five of them — Infosys (third rank), TCS (sixth), Wipro (seventh), Genpact (ninth) and Tech Mahindra [Get Quote] (tenth) in the top 10.
    • Westpac denies reports of job outsourcing to India
      Australia’s leading bank Westpac Banking Corporation has denied media reports of outsourcing its 3,000 back office jobs to India during next three years.”I haven’t seen any piece of paper with that kind of number,” Westpac Chief Executive Gail Kelly was quoted on Friday by Sydney Morning Herald as saying.
    • Now WNS forays into platform-based BPO
      India’s second-largest third party BPO firm, WNS Global Services, has decided to carve out a separate group from its existing services called the ‘business technology group’ and has moved its chief information officer, Atul Davda, to head the effort.The move will represent the first serious foray by a pure-play BPO firm into ‘platform-based BPO services’, business processes that are run on a unified technology platform owned by the vendor rather than on separate client platforms.

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