The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

September - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature

BPO Next Decade Will India BPO Inc make a difference?

Jagadish Dalal
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Jagadish Dalal
It has been less than a decade since the “offshore” revolution shook India and the world. India rode the wave of Y2K, created an industry, put Bangalore on the world map, generated a robust middle class, and made a fistful of millionaires. Recently, India IT Inc has been the catalyst for creating the BPO industry with the same lofty goals as once dreamed about in IT. So, will India BPO Inc be the same type of dominant player in the world? Where is world BPO going in the next decade and what role will India BPO Inc play in it?

BPO in next decade will have at least two distinct characteristics:
* Business transformation to a “boundary free” corporation will be the cornerstone for BPO
*. BPO will broadly span the process chain and not just be transaction driven

BPO and “boundary free” corporations
In 1995, I published a monograph (Price Waterhouse Review Research Report titled: “Business Process Outsourcing: Shattering boundaries, maximizing shareholder value”) identifying that in the future, companies will create an atomic structure where expert BPO providers will offer services to support the companies’ business. BPO will be the basis for creating this new model of business. We have seen some examples of this already: Dell and Cisco with their manufacturing, Amazon with its distribution. For established companies, this is achievable but it will require them to create strategy and manage change successfully in order to transform themselves. For many corporations, this transformation may mean the difference between surviving and succeeding. Their approach to BPO will be completely driven by long term change agenda, dependence on the service provider to provide flawless execution, and their joint ability to implement the change seamlessly. Their selection of the BPO provider will be driven not by just the cost advantage but by their ability to “partner” with them in creating and managing this change.

What does this mean for India based BPO providers? First of all, a strategic change in business is driven by the senior most management. Therefore, an external provider has to be a trusted advisor to them. This requires access to the Board and “C” level executives and an established reputation for being an expert in advising customers on not just the subject matter but also in managing change. A business transformation decision is driven by a longer strategic view and not just a tactical cost saving incentive. Businesses will expect their providers to be experts in their process domain, experienced in creating and managing the change, and be a long-term strategic player in process delivery. Given this future playground for BPO providers, India based BPO providers need to begin investing in this capability now and gain credibility over the next decade. Subject matter expertise, depth of industry knowledge, and robust technology platform will be the basis for competing for business; and a sound plan for gaining access to the senior executive’s offices will be the rule in their new environment. Today’s providers, who are competing on cost advantage and transaction process capabilities, will have to refocus their business plans and approach to gaining business.

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