Business Process outsourcing is the commonly used term for contracting services of operations and department functions to a third-party. This has become a buzzword for the Indian industry since the advent of the millennium. Multi-nationals had begun to realise the importance of specific locations which had highly skilled labour force but limited opportunities, untapped industry exposure yet open mindset. Countries like India have a locational advantage of being working when the U.S/UK opens and is early enough for South East Asian countries and Australia. This and the eagerness of Indian employees and appreciation for the foreign ways of working created a conducive environment for foreign companies to set up low-cost skilled global centres.Earlier this phenomenon was restricted to the IT industry and specifically functions of a call-centre and customer care. Once this became saturated, the other higher skills came be exploited such as banking jobs, IT software jobs, Legal processing, Medical transcript and many more. So much so that now many of functions have become a stronghold of Indian employees and a foreign company opens up an office here to keep in the loop of the outsourcing developments taking place.
India has a revenue of about US$11 billion from offshored services and increasing many folds. Important BPO centres in India are Bengaluru, Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Delhi.BPO is a unique model which allows the company to become a flexible organisation and reduce some if its fixed costs by converting it into a variable one. The fixed cost remains the same no matter the level of operation. In variable cost, the company pays only for the services it is using. Hence its fixed nature of expenses disappears.The only kind of issue/risk in this industry is risk of exposure and lack of discretion in a new location. This is a concern most foreign companies live with. For this they have put in strict laws in these BPO facilities which are sometime even governed by the home country’s rules. Leakage of confidential information, inappropriate handling of personal information, unfair or illegal use of client information are various issues BPO industry grapples with today.To fight these issues, companies employ not only physical barriers, but electronic, software barriers such as access and control measures. Also in a new location, business continuity in case of unforeseen man-made and natural disasters is a must. Provisions are done for this as well. It’s not just a matter of protecting information but also keeping the trust and faith of the remote client alive. Incidents of cheating, theft and dishonesty have created a small dent in the image of responsibility levels of the BPO industry here. Yet, India and its employees have higher sense of commitment and dedication which keeps bringing back these companies. It’s a matter of maintaining the pride of work also getting a foothold in the strong export oriented, open economies while building strong connections with the international industry.
KPO – the latest and most employment creating sub-set for the educated MBA youth is a positive promise for the future.