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Friday, May 27, 2005

BPOs temps data security risks

More worries for overseas BPO clients in India. With the massive churn in Indian bums on those BPO seats, the high leakage of confidential data /non-existent screening of employees / zero computer security audits is causing heart-burn for MNCs operating in India. Several criminal complaints under the IT ACT have already been filed against MNC companies and their CEOs and now the Boards are questioning if its worth all the risks to operate in India.

BPOs temps data security risks
Thursday, 26 May , 2005, 10:56

New Delhi: Exhausted from dealing with high attrition, BPOs are now turning to temps for sanity. That helps in two ways: Temps make more sense for snappy projects like handling Christmas sales or short-term data process job.

More importantly, it is the temping agency's headache to ensure a steady stream of bodies to keep the seats warm. Temp hiring for third-party BPO operations, that was negligible in the past, has spread like wildfire in the last few months.

Temping companies say almost all third-party BPO service providers have latched onto the concept in the last one year.

Temping isn't particularly new. MNCs have always had temp workers for Indian back-office operations. But it had bypassed the BPO industry till now because third-party contracts clearly stipulate that BPO companies will have permanent employees to ensure data security and provide adequate employee benefits. That has now changed. Due to high attrition rates, Indian BPO outfits are asking their foreign clients to allow temp workers in their back-office jobs.

There is a comfort level now, as overseas clients understand that it's not exactly a 'hire and fire' policy out here that might otherwise impact data protection and the overall quality of work. So they are comfortable with a third-party service provider with a temp workforce.

Besides, they also understand that finding the right people has become a challenge after the initial rush and the industry is facing a high attrition problem. Some third-party BPO service providers are even emphasising the strength of their temp workforce when they pitch for a contract, as evidence that they can handle short-term projects.

According to industry estimates, the per centage of temp workers in core BPO operations (excluding popular support jobs like administration and HR) is between 2-3 per cent and may inch up to 5 per cent this year. There are about 6,000 people in core BPO work in the country at present. This is less than 10 per cent of the total temp workers across sectors in India.

The per centage of temps in a BPO can easily go up to 15-20 per cent, as the global norm is about 12-15 per cent. The growth would also reflect the maturity of the model because traditionally, companies have maintained a distance from temping. With an increase in the overall acceptability of the concept, it could easily absorb more people.


Blogger payal said...

Hi Sarabjit,

I work with a UK-based TV channel. We are doing a news story on data security in Indian call centers and would really like to get in touch with you. Please email me at if you get this message.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Qadit System said...

Great post! Thanks you so much for the share. It is indeed a helpful one. I am looking forward of reading more article with the similar topic as this one. Good luck and More Power.

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4:54 PM  

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