Demand for Game Changing Ideas

Date:   Monday , July 12, 2010

Cost reduction dominated the mind space of outsourcing companies in the last decade. India is past that stage, when we could provide basic cost advantage to service our clients. In our conversations with clients, the over-arching theme is around using BPO not just as a survival tool but also one that serves as an engine for growth. Itís about helping companies weather the storm by reducing their cost structure rapidly and using these cost savings and efficiency improvements to set a foundation for fueling their growth as the economy starts to recover; truly partnering with the client to drive competitive advantage. The customers now demand that service providers come with game changing ideas that ensure revenue continuity and winning over competition.

The scope of outsourcing too has widened beyond belief. There is a high level of activity in finance and accounting across all industries, a lot of new companies are willing to outsource for the first time, especially in the F&A space. There is also significant activity in the CPG, logistics, and media and entertainment industries. New industries like retail are now open to outsourcing.

But the BPO industry still remains highly under-penetrated. According to the latest Nasscom reports, the addressable BPO market is estimated at $180-220 billion, of which offshore was just $29 billion. So the head-room to grow is tremendous. For this, client focus is going to be the paramount requirement and offering customized solutions will be the way forward to bridge this gap. This may mean providing onshore, near shore, and offshore services to clients that are going global.

One of the biggest challenges Indian BPOs will face in the future is a crunch of employable talent. Of the 4 to 5 million students that graduate each year, the industry is able to employ only about 10 percent. That causes the crunch. The industry and the government need to worry about the un-employability of the remaining 90 percent. It is important that we, the industry leaders, take measures along with the government to build strong education programs specific for this industry across India including in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

The author is the CEO of WNS Global