Indian ITES-BPO continues to grow from strength to strength, witnessing high levels of activity – both onshore as well as offshore. Continuing pressure on cost bases at a time of growing competitiveness is driving companies to look at offshore outsourcing as a strategic alternative.Access to global talent, economies of scale, process engineering and enhancements, wage arbitrage, increased profit margins and improvements in quality are some of the gains that companies have realized.Complementing the growth in ITES-BPO exports is the spurt in domestic demand for BPOs especially in the BFSI and telecom verticals.
The Indian BPO industry is now maturing from BPO to BPM – Business Process Management industry. It has experienced key transformations over the past few years, gaining experience, maturity, and gravitating towards higher-end services and global competitiveness.
Knowing, understanding and spreading awareness about this changing landscape has remained a big challenge for the industry and its stakeholders. The re-branding of the industry as BPM represents the change in identity of being a full-service value provider rather than an industry that plays only in the lower-end of the services spectrum. At the same time, the Indian industry is beginning to leverage the low-end skills available in other emerging destinations, while itself moving up the value chain.
The industry has seen a steady movement from cost, quality, and productivity in early 2000 to specialisation, process reengineering and technology-enabled platforms. The industry now provides platform multi-tenancy, non-linear growth, and a business outcome-based revenue model instead of following the earlier model of achieving operational SLAs. There is an increased depth and breadth of services being offered, which include data analysis and real-time processing and more end-to-end services like consulting, business transformation and optimisation. The industry is also providing value-added, domain-centric solutions with process optimisation, process engineering, specialisation and technology-enabled platforms like cloud computing, social media, mobility, etc. In this way, the industry has matured, providing 360-degree services that have resulted in its increasing its sphere of influence among clients.
This will give India a seat on the high table, even as it broadens the ambit of the services that the BPO industry currently provides. It no longer matters whether those services are outsourced, shared, managed, collocated or captive. All these are simply the different delivery models that customers can continue to choose from. Today, the industry has a more strategic and intellectual role to play.
The BPM model will continue to evolve and drive the sector, which has since its inception in the early 1995, been tuned to a dynamic global business landscape. Changing perceptions is a crucial step in that evolutionary process, so the sooner it begins, the better it is for the industry’s growth.
The Indian knowledge industry has, from the very beginning, been very cohesive in its thoughts and actions. This is what has made it strong and unshakable. Identifying and looking for collective opportunities in newer services and newer business models is something that the industry has traditionally done. Long before the murmurs began, the industry had already shifted gears, from providing pure-play call centre and process outsourcing services to more serious, sophisticated and mature offerings.
The industry continues to grow in double digits and has crossed revenues mark of US$ 25 billion, which comprises of US$ 23 billion of export revenues and US$ 4 billion of domestic revenues. It is expected to commands a 38-40% share of global pie with over 3,500 firms employing over 1 million people.
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