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Article : Future Trends of Indian BPO/ITES Industry

The existing Indian BPO industry is very nascent and clear future trends are emerging. Although the industry is very dynamic and is dependent on multiple factors like the fate of various bills in the US and UK government, economic recession etc. it is likely that the industry would continue to grow at 50-60% annually. NASSCOM predicts that there would be at least 8 BPO companies with revenue in excess of $ 100 million by 2005. The industry is undergoing a paradigm shift and following trends are emerging.

  • The future model is 'solution delivery'based and provides significant value enhancement on a consistent basis. It will adopt a solution delivery strategy as opposed to just a service-delivery one, and is based on four key parameters: adding value to offshore process, adopting business process management approach with operational transparency, customer value-driven commercial models and delivering value for the complete process cycle.


Amalendu Das
Manager,
Business Development
Hughes BPO Services

  • Consolidation in the industry has already started and a lot of VC funded companies have already been acquired. BPO is the big boys business and achieving scale in a limited time period is the key to success. The coming future would see increased activity in mergers and acquisition and some company which could not achieve scale would shut down.

  • Emergence of Vertically focused niche players: Today the industry is horizontally focused and there is very little re-engineering capability, services provided are platform based and little value addition is done. Most of the players are surviving on cost arbitrage and this is not a sustainable differentiator. The future would see the industry taking a vertical approach where niche players with extensive domain knowledge would emerge and dominate that industry.

  • Emergence of Captive units: More and more companies particularly the larger companies having economy of scale would enter India as captives or adopt stickier engagement model like BOT or JV. As these companies gets convinced about India they would like to make long term commitment and invest in captive units instead of outsourcing to third party players.

  • Focus to shift on Back office:India's true potential lies in back office and not much in call center and back office opportunity represents around 90% of the total BPO opportunity as per Gartner. Although, 60% - 80% of the existing 400 BPO players in India are today focused on call center the shift is imminent. Back office offers several advantages like increasing the shift utilization, manageable attrition, lower capital investment etc.

  • Prices to stabilize: Today the industry is facing severe price pressure at a time when it is growing contrary to common knowledge. The reason for the same could be largely attributed to unhealthy competition and immatureness of the industry leaders. Most of the players are under loss and this would change as the industry matures and bottom-line gets precedence over top-line.

  • Fixed Price model to get prominence: Today most of the deals in India are on a time and material basis where in the payment is made on FTE/Hr. basis. However, the future would see the emergence of fixed price model where-in Price per transaction, price per customer would be the pricing model. This is already an established phenomenon in the developed countries and provides an incentive to the service provider to improve productivity.

  • Emergence of VOiP Technology: VOiP is the technology of the future and as the technology stabilizes would position itself strongly against traditional technology of IPLC, IGX etc.

  • Manageable Attrition: The industry as is growing is facing rampant attrition in excess of 60% unheard of any Indian industry before. As consolidation takes place and the industry matures this is likely to subside and become more manageable. The industry as such has to attack the problem as this affects all the players.

  • Focus to shift on operational excellence: Today, the focus of the senior management in the third party BPO industry is to acquire client and operations take a back seat. This is likely to change as operational excellence is the key and getting repeat orders and ramp-up is extremely important.

  • Indian companies to become global: International acquisition or Greenfield expansion to provide onsite service delivery capability would increase to provide business continuity, multi-lingual support and near-shore services.


About Amalendu Das:
Amalendu has more than 5 years of experience with leading companies like Hughes, Siemens and Patni. For the last three years he is in the Call Center and BPO industry and working in various areas like corporate strategy, business development etc. His current engagement is with Hughes BPO Services in the call center division of Hughes Software Systems as Business Development Manager. Amalendu holds a PGDBM (equivalent to MBA) from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar and is an Electrical Engineer from Jadavpur University.

About Hughes BPO:
HNS, a unit of Hughes, is a provider of broadband satellite network solutions for businesses and consumers, with over 400,000 systems installed in more than 85 countries. With the opening of the Indian economy in the early nineties, Hughes was attracted by the long-term potential of outsourcing software development and chose to set up a subsidiary in India to supplement HNS' R&D efforts.

HSS began its operations in New Delhi with a team of about 20 professionals and was initially focused on developing software solutions in the areas of VSAT-based networks for voice and data, cellular wireless telephony, packet switching and multi-protocol routing. Within three years, HSS grew to 240 professionals and in 1995, shifted to its present campus to a New Delhi suburb. Today, over 2500 professionals work on cutting edge technologies at six state-of-the-art facilities.

Today's Tip of the Day - Answering Customers’ Questions

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Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2004

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