Ever since BPOs have been introduced in India, their popularity has spread like wildfire. According to various studies, the growth in revenue generated by the BPO sector in the nation has been estimated to be 54%. It seems, the BPO industry isn’t going anywhere, yet. The demand for their services has seen a steady rise over the last few years. The sector is a favorite not just because of the services they provide but also because of generation of employment opportunities that BPOs have brought about. In fact, the industry has given direct employment to 2.2 million Indians and indirect jobs to about eight million. A BPO’s business verticals include outsourcing, customer support, data entry and IT.
Despite the favorable conditions that the industry has taken advantage of in India, there are several other nations that are exceling in this sector. India faces stiff competition from countries such as Ireland, Canada, Philippines and Malaysia, despite the fact that the skilled workforce available in these places is almost negligible. Such rivalry raises a concern and points towards certain areas of the business that Indian BPOs should improve upon.
- Language Competence
Despite having more number of graduate employees than any other developing nation, India finds it hard to seek out talented workers who are aware of the American culture. Philippines and China can boast of executives who are well-versed in foreign tongues such as Japanese, German, Spanish and French, an advantage that India seems to lack.
- Attrition Rate
A BPO undoubtedly generates a large number of job opportunities. However, it has an equally high rate of attrition. From the very beginning, employee retention has been a major worry for this sector. It has been found that larger companies have an attrition rate of about 15% while newer firms have more than double the employee exits. Unless this problem is addressed on a more serious note, the BPO industry in India might just be in for a shock.
- Well-Planned Infrastructure
When it comes to the sound infrastructure required for a BPO to sustain, India is lagging behind, especially in segments such as telecommunications and electricity. A BPO that is being set up in India has to have a backup plan for alternative sources of power whenever there is a power-cut (which of course is quite frequent).
- Cultural Differences
Though the effort put in by employees in India might not have much lacking, the country’s cultural diversity often plays a crucial role in a BPO’s slow growth. Owing to ‘n’ number of festivals round the year, BPOs lose out on several important working days. To account for the resulting absenteeism, companies need to employ additional manpower on those holidays. Such untoward hiring not only adds on to expenses but also decreases productivity.
- Information Security
For most clients that Indian BPOs deal with, information security is a cause for concern. The nation has a long way to go before the industry can efficiently tackle cyber-crimes and threats to data privacy.
- Government Policies
Most often, though we do not realize it, the Indian government plays a detrimental role in the market value of BPOs in the country. The rates of taxes is unreasonably high, hence India becomes an expensive ground for doing business. Compared to our nation, South Africa, China, Sri Lanka and Philippines offer tax breaks that range anywhere between 10 and 15 years.
Though there are quite a few areas of improvement, Indian BPOs understand the importance of generating revenue. Hence, they are doing their best to live up to the challenge, taking one steady step at a time toward guaranteed success.