Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Call Center Services India - High attrition rate a problem

Call center service providers in India have become the hottest sector of job availability and opportunity in the last few years. It has given jobs to nearly 160,000 professionals who work normally at nights to adjust to US time zones. The call center services business often referred to in India as the IT-enabled services and outsourcing sector is responsible for nearly a quarter of the software and service exports from India.

On the downside, the night shifts, lack of proper sleep and sleeping disorders has created health problems for call center employees. It is also not viewed as a long term career option and many such professionals feel that they are not paid according to industry standards. This has resulted in high attrition rates in the call center industry. The call center has risen to address employee stress. The current attrition rates in the call center services industry in India is 30-35% with attrition being lesser for non-voice based jobs.

Many call center service providers wish to address this problem because if companies dont adopt responsible behavior the industry might become a victim of its own actions.

More on call center services india...

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Call Center Services India - A new optimism...

The Call center services sector in India has blossomed into one of the most popular industries in the last few years. Call center service providers have not only sprung up in metro cities but also in smaller cities like Pune, Chandigarh where they get cheaper land rates and lesser overheads.

Call center service providers have also given a thrust to the industry and a new optimism as it has created numerous jobs for fresh graduates. Fresh graduates, till a couple of years back, have had to struggle through lack of job opportunities and requirements for higher skill sets. But the call center industry has given a new hope to such probables to seek new opportunities and get a start to their careers.

With industry experts very optimistic about this sector and the Indian government sees it as a means to improve
industry movement, it has become one of the fastest growing sectors in India. The call center industry has created a new bouyancy in the market with many software firms entering into the business drawing massive investments into India.

More on call center services in India, tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Call Center Services India - Attracting business from other countries

Most countries consider India a threat or an opportunity(its the way you look at it) in the call center services and outsourcing business. While America and Europe went to Wales, Ireland, Scotland and such regions before, India has emerged as the front runner in this business, so much so, that they can become a global threat to any country that does not upgrade its skills.

In the latest warning in this direction, a leading economist has warned the Welsh call center services industry that their business will move to India if they do not improve on their skill sets and technology. they also need to concentrate on moving skills up the value chain by constantly investing in training and development.

More on Call Center Services India, tomorrow...

Monday, August 18, 2003

Call Center Services India - A taxing affair!

While the government of India has made it clear that call center income would not be liable for tax payment, call center service providers in India might be caught in another net.

Now, the government is examining whether a non-resident company is liable to pay tax for outsourcing business process to a call center in India. Call center service providers, which often conclude contracts for their clients as dependant agents or agency permanent establishment, will have to look out for the kind of policy that distills out of government boardrooms. The competitiveness of pricing depends on this taxation policy which is not clear at the moment.

If clients of Indian BPO outfits are taxed, they will consider it as an additional cost. This will surely alter the competitiveness of the call center service industry in india with respect to its counterparts elsewhere.

More on Call Center Services India, tomorrow...

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Call Center Services India - News has reported an increase in its revenue from the same period last year. A 21% increase for this international supplier of software and e-commerce solutions to the property and casualty insurance industry in the second quarter, is good news. Comanies sources have stated that this revenue increase is mainly due to their call center services provided, hosted ebixASP services, and consulting services.

Call Center services have become a trend in the outsourcing business with many companies opting for such companies to handle their customer care and support departments. Many American companies use call center service operators from India to get professional customer handling expertise at a fractional cost compared to the call centers in America.

More on call center services india, tomorrow...

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Call Center Services India - Health services

Market research firm NFO has stated that more than 50% of Call center staff in India quit due to tough working condition. The erratic work hours, accent change, changes in social life and fake identities during work hours have a negative effect on the health of the call center professional.

Call center service providers have set up shop in India because of the low cost and easily available talented work force. The call center staff in India have to work at odd hours because the western daylight hours coincide with Indian nights. This has started having negative effects on their health with stomach and sleep disorders. Call centers that have been able to lure a large portion of fresh graduates to work for them with good pay packets, will face a serious problem of staff health in the future.

This gives an opportunity for the call center and BPO ancillary industry to join hands to create a special health care services industry catering to call centers and BPOs alone. The BPO ancillary industry already has transportation, training, food and consultancy generating a fair bit of revenues. With the call center and outsourcing sector in the consolidation phase, this sector has immense potential to generate revenues on a long term basis.

More on call center services india...tomorrow

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Call Center Services India - News

Do-not-call registry to hit business

Call center service providers have become the most cost effective method of co-ordinating telemarketing businesses, but with the recent do-not-call registry, business will be affected. The registry was started to prevent outbound 'nuisance' calls from Indian companies for their American vendors. These calls are normally for selling products that people dont want to hear about.

This curb will affect small telemarketing firms that make calls to attract new clients. Recognized call center service providers in India that have direct contracts with American companies won't be affected directly.

More on call center services in india, tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Call center services india - a new problem for HR.

Call center services in India has emerged as a major industry in the last few years. It has been able to increase the availability of jobs and offer better for fresh graduates than ever before. On the downside, call centers have taken their toll on the individual with high stress levels and burn out. Erratic work hours, assumed identities and fatigue resulting from this has made the call center executive quit due to the tough working conditions. These are the main reasons of the high attrition rates in the call center services industry.

Industry and HR experts are now keen on helping their employees cope with the high levels of stress and workload. In an industry where retention and motivation wane with time, it is a problem that the management will have to solve sooner or later.

More on the call center industry in India... tomorrow

Monday, August 11, 2003

Call center services india - news

State contracting to India viewed seriously

With government agencies in America running on a tight budget, they are using the outsourcing route to get work done at cheaper rates. last year, when South Carolina wanted its unemployment tax system revamped they outsourced it programmers in India. Many such cases of outsourcing to BPOs and call center service providers in India have created discontentment among the legion of Americans who stand to lose their jobs.

Moreover a section of the media has created a fear pshychosis among Americans with news like "United States will lose $136 billion in paychecks by 2015 as it sheds 3.3 million service jobs overseas". This has also created a panic reaction to ban outsourcing to India, but its the only viable method of cost cutting for American companies, at the moment.

Many states in America are trying to pass legislations to protect jobs in the US. This came to a head, when companies like eFunds moved their EBT call center work to India from its call center services operation in Wisconsin. It upset welfare administrators in the state, which contracts with the company for food stamp and welfare EBT.

Undoubtedly America is having its problems with unemployment but until they find solutions to the core issue they will not be able to ban something that is profitable for American companies.

Gartner analysts expect government IT outsourcing to grow to $7.15 billion in 2006, or 15 percent of total IT spending, from about 9 percent this year. This has caused concern in political circles over the outsourcing and call center services sector. but as long as American businesses are making a profit out of it, it will be impossible to build a political consensus on the issue.

Call center services and BPOs in India have become the new controversial subject in America with many of them taking projects that have resulted in Americans losing jobs.

More on call center services in india, tomorrow...

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Call Center Services india - More potential in the future...

As consolidation phase setting in the call center services and outsourcing industry, call centers and BPOs will have to adapt their strategy to innovative business models. They might have to provide ideas to facilitiate outsourcers to increase business instead just implementing tasks provided to them. In a sense, they will be become true outsourcing business process providers rather than just providing 'out-tasking' services.

Call centers, in the future might have to improve, redesign and suggest changes to the entire process they were, until now, just implementing. This can change the entire job profile of the call center industry professional who was doing mundane repetitive tasks until now. It's not just good for the industry but also an opportunity for employees to get more exciting jobs.

India, with its huge talent pool of graduates holding technical degrees, has been and will play a very important role in this transition period. It could also be testing times for change managers to cope with cost cutting and recruitment hassles. But this will surely give call centers their due, in the course of time.

More on call centers...tomorrow

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Call center services india - transition time...

The volatility in the call center services is forcing a consolidation in this sector. Big players are being forced to compete with slashing of costs by some small players by acquisitions. This has become necessary to counter many small players who are in the call center industry to cash in on the boom in this sector. Achieving economy of scale has become very essential in this regard.

In the future, take overs and partnertships will be norm with major players coming under pricing pressure with the downturn in the global economy.

More on call center news from india, tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Call Center Services India - News

With call centers and the bpo business getting into the consolidation phase, big players are getting into the acquisition phase. ICICI OneSource Ltd, an Indian business process outsourcing unit has acquired FirstRing, a Bangalore-based call center services provider with a 650-seat facility. This acquisition takes OneSource's staff to over 3,500.

In the near future it's very likely that one sees many such acquisitions in the call center services domain in India. Many fly-by-night operators entering this industry for short term profits will find it difficult to generate revenues in the long term and might prefer entering into partnerships or becoming part of some other bigger operation.

Call centers and BPO units have sprung up all over india to cater to the huge business in the financial and non-strategic processes from America companies. The competition in the call center services industry from both Western and Indian suppliers in countries such as India, China and the Philippines, is threatening to force consolidation in the market over the next few years.

More on call center news tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Call Center Services india - Fear of unions

Industry experts say that what happened to the monotony of manurfacturing jobs in the 60s, 70s and 80s could happen to the BPO and call center industry. The primary fear in this is that in India most unions are political inclined. This is one of the reasons that call center CEOs should opt for smaller units, say industry sources.
Further, 20% of functions will never be outsourced and the customer will prefer to retain 30% of outsourced function close to shore. That means IndiaĆ¢€™s possibility reaches its limit at 50%.

Call center news - Acquisitions

ICICI OneSource declared its intention to buy FirstRing, a Bangalore, India-based customer-care outsourcing company. It is one of the earliest companies in the Indian call center outsourcing market. Founded in May 1999, it has one 650-seat call center located at Information Technology Park Limited (ITPL) in Bangalore, with 800 total employees. The combined company, which will be branded under ICICI OneSource's name, will have more than 3,500 employees and 2,000 seats in four call centers in Mumbai, and Bangalore, as well as international business development offices in New York and London.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Call Center Services India - from cost cutting to profit center

Call center services in India have started making a mark in every day life. Most of us have interacted with a call center executive sometime or the other, either at the bank or someother service provider. Though still in or about to enter the consolidation phase in India, call center services have come a long way in America and Europe. Starting with the airline industry where it was first adopted in the 70s, call centers went on to a second phase in the 80s, with more productive call center agents. But even then, call centers were still considered an expense, an expense to provide better service, not ever a part of corporate strategy. With the advent of the internet age of the 90s, call centers became for visible and many call centers hit wall street and our daily lives. Outsourcing and call center service providers became the new mantra.

The millenium has brought with it a new vision and strategy and corporates have started using call centers as a part of a more wholistic strategy. Small changes in corporate vision has resulted in huge changes for the call center and outsourcing industry. For example, if a call center executive was seen as a problem solver before, now he/she can even suggest a product to a client if he/she sees the opportunity for a sale. In fact, more profitable customers can be targeted for more human interaction while less proftable customers can be shifted to automated services. So, you have more opportunities to make a sale and optimize the time spent per call. Besides, you also make your employees job more interesting. A satisfied customer, a more stimuted staff, more profits makes for a happy ceo, surely. Common sense used in the corporate world, often becomes a revolutionary idea, emulated by all!

With call centers mushrooming in India and other Asian countries and consolidation right at the corner, it's become pertinent that Indian companies view call centers as near-future profit centers than as just service providers or as a part of corporate strategy. The future of the call center and BPO industry depends on the innovative management practices it can affect...

Friday, August 01, 2003

Call Center Services India - a high potential industry

Plenty of columns and inches of space has been devoted to 'scathing' remarks about the outsourcing and call center industry in India. 'Americans losing jobs', 'America to lose 3.3 million jobs by 2015' are often headlines that cause more panic than is due. America still employs 6.5 million call center workers compared to 0.15 million in foreign countries. So theirs no reason to panic. Everyone will get his share of the booty and a large part of it will remain in the US, in spite of this statistics-created brouhaha.

This trend of outsourcing business processes and call center services in India started in the late 1990s with software jobs moving to India. In recent times, companies have found it a necessity to cut costs to cope up with the slowing global economy. They have also found the potential to get better returns per employee in Asia.

India has always been a country of low wages compared to the US. With starting salaries as low as $174 (Rs.8000) per month India is a goldmine for call center service operations. Added to this, a $2 billion industry of simple but critical jobs has made India the capital of the call center services and business process outsourcing industry.

Call Center Services News

Hinduja Group acquires 930-seat call center unit from Manila-based Benpres Holdings Corp.

Hinduja TMT Ltd. the technology arm of the Hinduja group had said that it was exploring the possibility of acquiring a call center services operation in Philippines. They are also planning to expand this call center seat strength to 2000 agents. The company has plans to expand its IT-enabled services in Mauritius.
Started in 2001, Manila-based Benpres had invested 100 million pesos in the call centre business of Customer Contact.