News : Proposed Legislation in US to Affect Call Centre Jobs
Hyderabad, India, March 22, 2018 -- Apart from automation, which will directly impact BPOs, the call centre legislation which was introduced in the US Congress, will have noteworthy influence on Hyderabad, if passed. India is the largest offshore base for BPO firms employing over 1.4 million people, followed by the Philippines and Mexico.
Hyderabad has a significant number of call centres and has recorded an increase in hiring activity in BPOs in 2017 to an extent that IT-BPM industry growth has been conventionally about three to four per cent higher than national average.
According to the legislation, call centre employees need to disclose their location and allow customers to transfer their call to a person physically stationed in US. It may be mentioned that such a proposal came up in 2013 when Congressman Tim Bishop introduced a similar legislation. One of the reasons it did not materialise was the high costs involved.
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"Around 30 per cent of the headcount in the city comes from BPOs. Human resources are key assets and any step forward will affect people. Costs will increase and it is easier said than done," according to Sundeep Kumar Makthala, president of Telangana Information Technology Association (TITA).
Experts are certain that there is no immediate threat as call centers always had an option to get it transferred to an agent in the caller’s country. This will only impact pure call centre services. Call centres have evolved from answering simple queries to answering specialised questions. Keshav Murugesh, Group CEO at WNS, said, "Call centres are no longer about someone calling for a simple query. Call centres in the country are answering specialised queries wherein the person answering the call has to be an expert in that area".
The Bill also proposes to create a public list of companies that outsource BPO jobs. Consequently, it will give preference to companies which did not ship jobs to overseas contracts. "Client organisations which are global marquees decide to work with partners after lot of thought," Murugesh said.
However, if there is uncertainty among the employees, experts opine that employees should become multi-lingual. "Since communication is an important skill parameter, learning multiple languages like German and Japanese will give a better edge to people in this industry and sustain such changes," Makthala said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, March 23, 2018
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