BPOs focus on creation of talent pools in smaller cities

By agencies   |   Thursday, 24 August 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: To nullify the impact of having exhausted the talent pool in the metros, leading IT and BPO companies are now tying up with colleges in smaller cities to introduce BPO-related curriculum.

Leading the move is Genpact, a Gurgaon-based BPO that recently opened its second centre in Jaipur and 24/7 Customer, a Bangalore-based BPO. While 24/7 Customer has tie-ups with 50 and 80 colleges in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka respectively to train the teachers under a program called ‘Train the Trainer’, Genpact has tied up with 20 colleges in Rajasthan to introduce BPO-related courses for students. “The students will attend 40-60 hours of classes spread over a certain time period. We have also chosen some commerce colleges to educate the students on US GAAP accounting principles,” says Ashok Tyagi, senior VP, Genpact.

“Teachers will be given three days training. Thereafter, they can teach students about basic skills required to enter the call center industry like accent neutralization,” S Nagarajan, COO, 24/7Customer. According to studies by BPO analysts, employable talent in the cities has come down from 16 percent in ’00 to a mere 4 percent in ’06. “With BPOs increasingly going to smaller towns, there is a need to create an eco-system so that young people there can be at par with big cities’ crowd,” says Tyagi.

24/7 Customer is looking at getting at least 4000 students with necessary skills over a period of one year from 200 colleges in South India. Genpact on the other hand has set up ‘Career Desks ‘ in colleges across Rajasthan to make students aware about careers in the BPO industry.

The response to the three-month-old pilot project has been good, with 15 students currently undergoing training in colleges that have tie-ups with Genpact. “It is a long term initiative, may be after a year, we will recruit some students from these colleges,” says S Nagarajan, COO, 24/7Customer.

Additionally, large IT companies have already started outsourcing work to rural areas. Byrraju Foundation, an independent trust operational in Hyderabad works with rural people to get them employment in various fields. Satyam Computer Services, a Hyderabad-based leading IT company, has outsourced data entry work to many villages. Satyam’s one-year old program, GramIT, has already given employment to 250 people with a basic salary of $80 plus performance-based variable.

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