Life in India has changed, thanks to the growth in the domain of information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO). It has transformed an entire generation. The history of outsourcing dates back to mythological times. It is said that when Sage Ved Vyasa wanted to write the epic Mahabharata, he looked around for someone who would write down the words as he recited them. He approacched Lord Ganesha and asked him if he would do so. Lord Ganesha readily agreed to do so. Today this is called Data Entry. Ganesha had one criterion before accepting the job – the learned Ved Vysa coukd not take a break while reciting the epic. If he stopped at any time than Ganesha would stop writing and the epic would stay incomplete. Ved Vysa agreed with this condition, ‘I agree, but you must also agree to fully comprehend the meaning of the poems as you write and not just blindly write them as I recitethem.’ These were the first set of service level agreements (SLAs) that were decided between the outsourcing partners. What started in ages long ago has today become a thriving industry that provides a livelihood to millions. The only change is that the work has now become aggregated. As the organisation focuses on their core competency and the peripheral work gets outsourced to companies that specialises doing these activities by hiring and training people.
The BPO Market: An Historical Preview
Being an essential part of today’s global economy, outsourcing has been occurring for decades. Back in the early year’s of U.S. history, the making of America’s covered wagon covers and clipper ship’ sails was a job outsourced to workers in Scotland, with raw material imported from India. England’s textile industry became so eeficient in the 1830’s that eventually Indian manufacturers couldn’t compete, and the work was outsourced to England. More recently, in the U.S. in the 1970’s it was common for companies to outsource their payrolls to outside service providers for processing. This had continued into the 1980’s where accounting services, payroll, billingand word processing became outsourced job. The outsourcing history of India is one of phenomenal growth in a very short span of time. Since the onset of globalisation The seeds of the Indian BPO industry were sown in the early 1990s.Economic liberlisation of 1991 did open a new era for the Indian economy. It was later, due to a balance of payment crisis, that policy makers began the process of liberalizing the economy. However it was only from the early 2000s that the industry embarked on a journey that is making global news. The growth of the industry can be divided into three phases- a) Getting statred and building on the idea
b) Growing and consolidating
c) Growing exponentially
In other words companies look to outsourcers to provide process efficiencies and economies of scale, which can be more effectively cost-justified when spread across multiple oraganisation. The primary factors which were considered while deciding India as the offshore location were- Cost Competitiveness, which consists of cost labour, infrastructure costs and currency exchange rates Labour Competitveness, consisting of the size of the available labour, level of education, domain skills, fluency in the English language, cultural compatibility to western markets and attrition rates Other factors, which consist of existing business and ploitical risks associated with the country, geographic location (time difference), tax regime and regulatory considerations such as Data Security and IPR issues India has emerged as one of the bright stars in the Global Business Process Outsourcing market and has maintained its global competitiveness by offering the best combinatin of cost, quality, and scalability.
Infrastructure is a critcal link in every BPO firm. Since the work is done real time, the infrastructure needs to...