April 2009 News

  • April 2009
    • Poor call centre service: Indians angered too
      The other day, after her cell phone stopped working during a trip, Beth Tomlinson used a pay phone to call her cell-phone carrier. Her call, like so many others around the world, was answered in Noida, an outsourcing-driven boom town about 20 kilometers outside New Delhi. Tomlinson, a Kansas-native who has lived in India for several years, didn’t really care. After all, she was in Noida, too.
    • Leo Burnett to outsource from India
      Hit by the global economic slump, Leo Burnett one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, is planning to make India a global outsourcing hub, as clients look at cutting costs.On a week’s visit to India to plan for business in 2009 and also to attend the wedding of India chairman Arvind Sharma’s daughter, Tom Bernardin, chairman and chief executive officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide, announced changes in its global leadership council for a tighter integration of Asia Pacific with the Chicago headquarters.
    • Offshore Outsourcing: Will Recession Cause a Bangalore Backlash?
      Several prominent offshore outsourcing customers have made a big show of announcing the cancellation of some of their business process and information technology services deals and what could be described as a “backshoring” of those jobs to the U.S.Delta announced that it will no longer be routing calls overseas to Wipro. Sallie Mae said it will shift jobs from India and the Philippines to cities in the U.S. JPMorgan Chase officials announced that it will stop using Indian call centers to answer customer service questions from Floridians on food stamps. AT&T claims that it has brought back 4,000-plus previously offshored jobs this year.
    • India’s publishing BPO industry to cross USD 1.2 billion by 2012
      A recently released report by ValueNotes estimates that the Indian publishing BPO industry is expected to grow to a value of USD 1.2 billion by 2012. This growth is expected to come from rise in the number of publishing companies that will outsource…
    • Wipro BPO to hire 1,000
      At a time when pink slips are flying in the IT and IT-enabled services sector, Wipro BPO, the business processing outsourcing arm of Wipro Technologies, is planning to hire 1,000 people in the next six to eight months.Ashutosh Vaidya, vice-president and head, Wipro BPO, said the expansion was felt to be a necessity due to increased activity in the last few months.
    • The success story of rural BPOs
      Rural BPOs (business process outsourcing) as social business are attracting a lot of young explorers. Last year, Kartik Raman, an economics graduate straight out of a college in the US, joined hands with two young men in India, one younger than his 26 years and another slightly older, to start a rural BPO in Bagad village in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan.
    • Infy BPO to buy captive operations of clients
      Infosys BPO, the back-office arm of India’s second-biggest software exporter Infosys, plans to acquire captive operations of Infosys customers, as the company seeks to grow its share of the $80-billion global BPO market.Almost two years ago, Infosys BPO acquired back office operations of Philips, which assured around $250 million in revenues over the next few years. The acquisition helped Infosys gain entry into Poland and other European countries.
    • Standard Chartered to expand Scope Intl operations
      Standard Chartered is looking to expand its call centre operations in India through its outsourcing hub Scope International. ” Scope International will seen an increase in the size and scale of its call centre operations in Bangalore and Chennai, which currently service customers in India and UAE respectively, SCB said in a statement on Monday.Further, it said, ” Currently, both the centres handle in and out bound customer calls and Chennai handles collection related services for UAE. This will be expanded by March 2010. The staff strength in the call centre operations could double over the year from the current 1100 people. This number will rise in the medium term as the call centre services more markets across the Standard Chartered footprint”, it said.
    • Early detection helped Genpact tackle slowdown
      Everything was hunky-dory for India’s business process outsourcing industry back in 2007. Business was growing at a breathtaking pace; prestigious contracts were being announced every other day, and all top-notch BPO firms were adding employees by thousands . So when the country’s largest BPO firm, the Gurgaon-based Genpact, started belt-tightening , several eyebrows were raised.
    • Women’s era dawns at rural Rajasthan BPO
      It was 2007, and Meera Saini felt her career was going nowhere. The 24-year-old primary school teacher in Bagar, a dusty hamlet in northern Rajasthan, felt the zing was missing in her life. Until the day she heard an autorickshaw in the side lanes of Bagar inviting candidates to join a new business process outsourcing (BPO) centre.Saini jumped in and became one of the early recruits of Source For Change (SFC), probably India’s only all-women BPO. “The pay was lower than what I was getting, but I liked the idea of working at an all-women outfit that could teach me computers. So I quit my job and joined the BPO,” she says.
    • India’s Revenue From Outsourcing Could Be $225B in 2020
      India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) said Tuesday that the country’s outsourcing industry can potentially earn revenue of US$225 billion by 2020, of which about $175 billion will come from exports, and the balance from the domestic market.The country’s revenue from outsourcing in the fiscal year to March 31 was about $60 billion, of which $47 billion was from exports, a Nasscom spokeswoman said.
    • Outsourcing deals down 22% in Q1
      Despite guiding a lower Q1FY10 revenue and profit, the Wipro management sounded more optimistic than its peers on the outsourcing scenario turning positive.Confirming the widespread view, the closely-watched TPI Index of global contracts released on Tuesday shows the global outsourcing mood is likely to continue to be soft.However, clients in some verticals are more prone to outsourcing to beat the slowdown. Houston, Texas based TPI, the world’s largest sourcing data and advisory firm, tracks commercial contracts worth more than $25 million.
    • Forrester: Room for Indian Outsourcers to Lower Prices
      Benefiting from a depreciating Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar, lower staff costs, and internal cost-cutting measures, Indian outsourcers can provide up to 12 percent discount on current rates of offshore contracts, according to a report by Forrester Research.The report is in response to a number of queries to Forrester from clients who wanted to know what discounts they should aim at in their negotiations with Indian vendors, said Sudin Apte, senior analyst at Forrester Research on Saturday.
    • India Offshoring Market to Decline, Says Gartner
      The growth rate of offshore outsourcing to India is expected to come down considerably, as new clients are increasingly including other countries in their evaluation, according to research firm Gartner.”In the past, 80 to 90 percent of clients would automatically source from India, when they decided to go offshore,” said Gartner analyst Frances Karamouzis in a telephone interview on Friday. “That number is down to 60 percent,” she said.Brazil, the Philippines, Mexico, Vietnam, and some East European countries are getting a larger share of offshore outsourcing, Karamouzis said.
    • Delta Airlines to close Indian call centres
      Delta Air Lines Inc no longer is outsourcing reservation calls to India after years of complaints from customers who preferred to speak to someone in the United States.Chief Executive Richard Anderson told employees in a recorded message late Thursday night that the world’s biggest airline operator is in the process of bringing all customer calls back in-house in the US.Customer calls were no longer forwarded to India as of the first quarter of this year, Anderson said. Foreign call centers remain in Jamaica and South Africa, though Anderson indicated that staffing at those locations likely will be reduced in the future as the global financial crisis cuts call volume.
    • BWIR to acquire two Indian firms
      Barry Wehmiller International Resources (BWIR), a US based engineering services outsourcing firm with 90% operations in India, is in the process of acquiring two Indian firms in the same sphere. Together, valued at US $ 5 million, the acquisitions will enable the company to expand its customer base to markets in West Asia and Europe.“Our customer appetite for our services has decreased in the past six months, thanks to the global economic slump, resulting in a 25% drop of yield per customer,” said BWIR president Vasant Bennet. Also, captive work done for its US-headquartered parent company, Barry-Wehmiller, comprises 50% of the company’s business, BWIR’s revenues has taken a hit as a result of its parent being affected by the recession.
    • We expect a 5-15% drop in prices: Gartner
      The overall IT outsourcing market is slowing down but some segments like infrastructure and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) are still showing positive traction. Richard T Matlus, VP Research, IT sourcing and services, Gartner, says that India is well positioned to gain major marketshare in the infrastructure outsourcing space as corporates are pushing more work outside to cut costs. However, this time around the challenge may not be just to cut costs but to provide innovative service delivery.
    • IT-BPO union wants to halt Satyam sale
      A union of IT and BPO workers has written to the Election Commission to halt the sale process of fraud-hit Satyam Computer until a new government takes over and current investigations being carried out by CBI reach a logical conclusion.”We have asked Election Commission to intervene and shelve Satyam’s sale process until a new government takes over and current investigations being carried out by the CBI reach a conclusion,” general secretary of the union ‘Unites’ Karthik Shekhar said in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner of India N Gopalaswami.
    • BPO jobs going back to US: Sallie Mae
      Sallie Mae, America’s biggest student loan provider is planning to shift around 2,000 jobs from offshore facilities in India to US cities like Newark in New Jersey.This reverse offshoring move will be completed in about 18 months. Albert Lord, Sallie Mae CEO said, “The current economic environment has caused our communities to struggle with job losses. They need jobs, and we will put 2,000 of them into US facilities as soon as we possibly can.”
    • New telcos may ring in $2 bn IT, managed services deals
      IT firms could bag outsourcing contracts worth up to $2 billion from new telecom players like Swan Telecom, Unitech Wireless, Loop Telecom, ByCell Communications and Datacom, readying to launch their services. The telcos have initiated talks with several IT vendors such as Tech Mahindra, IBM, Wipro and Infosys to sign multi-million dollar contracts.“We will outsource all our IT operations, including setting up of IT networks and managing services. We have shortlisted four IT players and are in advanced talks to finalise one of them. The size of deal will be around $600 million for about 10 years,” Unitech Wireless executive director Rajeev Bawa said. The firm is expected to close the deal next month.
    • Poor pay drives dentists to BPOs
      Dr Meena (name changed) is a BDS graduate. But unlike her classmates she decided to not pursue a career in dentistry. Instead she joined a BPO. Reason: Being a dentist would have fetched her a miserable Rs 2,000 monthly salary against Rs 8,000 plus she is earning at her BPO job.Meena is not alone. Many fresh BDS graduates are hanging up their white coats and opting for better-paying jobs. Even those are not easy to come by. When they do, it is to work as tutors, medical transcriptionists and in health insurance agencies.

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