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Thursday, June 09, 2005

MNC BPOs dumping India for Africa ?

Not the great rollback, but BPOs losing big business

Prerna K Mishra

New Delhi, June 8, 2005

With companies across the world spending more and more of their IT budgets towards engineering and automation processes, Indian BPOs are feeling the heat.

A few months ago, Daksh eServices lost some of the business from Sprint Corp after Big Blue (incidentally, Daksh’s parent company) automated the processes for the long distance major doing away with the need to outsource them to India.

Raman Roy, CEO, Wipro Spectramind, admits that there has been some reversal in the BPO space. “But that is happening because of two reasons: in the low-end of business (where automation is easier), or because of poor capacity and capabilities of Indian partners in implementing projects, which is a performance issue.”

The larger Indian players have already geared up to face the challenges of automation. Progeon CEO Akashay Bhargava says: “Any BPO worth its salt today offers re-engineering services as a value proposition in its sale offering. If clients are automating, prudent players would seize the opportunity to do it themselves than allow a third party to cannabalise the business. So automation, if anything, is a greater opportunity for us.”

Nasscom president Kiran Karnik also doesn’t look at automation as a threat. “It is well established now that the social experience of customers is less satisfactory when talking to a machine.”

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