Rea­sons to cheer in 2013

The in­dus­try has evolved from busi­ness process out­sourc­ing to busi­ness process man­age­ment

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Guide - - JOBFUNDAS - Shailja. puro­[email protected] hin­dus­tan­times. com

Shailja Shah Puro­hit

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent NASSCOM report, the busi­ness process out­sourc­ing (BPO) in­dus­try is ex­pected to grow be­tween 12% and 15% this year. The report states, “2013 can be con­noted as the year of rapid tran­si­tion and the BPO sec­tor is likely to see a trans­for­ma­tion in terms of the em­pha­sis shift­ing from tech­nol­ogy part­ners to strate­gic busi­ness part­ners." This in ef­fect has char­ac­terised a fun­da­men­tal op­er­a­tional and busi­ness shift. In other words to­day it is no longer BPO. Rather it is BPM (busi­ness process man­age­ment).

Key chal­lenges

“The BPO busi­ness model was built on the foun­da­tion of cost ar­bi­trage, but cost no longer re­mains a dif­fer­en­tia­tor." says Nitin Bhat, global hir­ing and HRSS leader at Gen­pact. The key chal­lenge to­day is to de­liver a busi­ness out­come. Hence, there is a need to rein­vent the busi­ness model through in­no­va­tion and a re­newed fo­cus on the use of new tech­nolo­gies. SMAC (So­cial me­dia, Mo­bil­ity, An­a­lyt­ics, and Cloud) tech­nolo­gies are the key fac­tors that will fuel growth of this in­dus­try in 2013-14.

Hir­ing too is ex­pected to be be­tween 12% and 15% this year. There is an in­creas­ing de­mand for tal­ent which is aligned with growth. How­ever, there is only a small per­cent­age of ready-tobe- em­ployed tal­ent and this is an­other key chal­lenge faced by the in­dus­try.

Build­ing the tal­ent

Talk­ing about the way in which this key chal­lenge is be­ing ad­dressed by var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions, Bhat says “At Gen­pact we are ad­dress­ing the key chal­lenge in two ways — one is by a tie-up with ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tutes, where we are col­lab­o­rat­ing to in­tro­duce in­dus­try rel­e­vant cour­ses, so that when a stu­dent passes out, his em­ploy­a­bil­ity level is higher. Sec­ond, we are hir­ing semi-skilled tal­ent and then train­ing them to meet in­dus­try stan­dards. Last year we hired al­most 3000- 4000 semi-skilled em­ploy­ees and trained them within the com­pany.”

Subrat Chakravarty, HR head, busi­ness ser­vices, HCL Tech­nolo­gies, elab­o­rates, “At the en­try level though our ex­pec­ta­tions are based on the min­i­mum skill re­quire­ments for the role (rang­ing from do­main aware­ness, an­a­lyt­i­cal skills, writ­ten and ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion and tech­ni­cal skills as well), we lay a lot of em­pha­sis on ca­reer ori­en­ta­tion, as we wish to sig­nif­i­cantly in­vest in train­ing to groom them in spe­cific ver­ti­cals and com­pe­tence ar­eas.”

EXL Ser­vices, too, is part­ner­ing with pre­mier aca­dem- ic in­sti­tutes to fill the skill gap in the in­dus­try and en­able can­di­dates to meet clients’ de­mands. It also in­vests sig­nif­i­cantly in up­skilling em­ploy­ees through var­i­ous in­ter­nal train­ing mod­ules.

Emerg­ing job op­tions

As BPO or­gan­i­sa­tions move to­wards man­ag­ing pro­cesses, the de­mand for non- con­tact cen­tre jobs is on the rise. Chakravarty of HCL elab­o­rates, “BPO hir­ing is no more about large num­ber hir­ing at the en­try level, but some very spe­cialised skills in var­i­ous do­mains like bank­ing, fi­nan­cial ser­vices, me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment, sup­ply chain, health­care, HRO and F&A and th­ese de­mands are across lev­els.” In Gen­pact too, al­most two-third of jobs are now non- con­tact cen­tre, and in­clude do­main

ar­eas of en­gi­neer­ing, an­a­lyt­ics, fi­nance etc.

An­a­lyt­ics ap­pears to be an at­trac­tive emerg­ing ca­reer in BPM, as Sub­hen­dra Nath Saha, coun­try head - de­ci­sion an­a­lyt­ics, EXL Ser­vices, con­firms. “Stud­ies have al­ready pre­dicted that the next big job boom in In­dia will be in the an­a­lyt­ics do­main. In the past two years, the an­a­lyt­ics prac­tice at EXL has seen a tremen­dous in­crease in the num­ber of in­surance, bank­ing and fi­nan­cial ser­vices clients. Our head­count in the an­a­lyt­ics prac­tice has al­most dou­bled in this time frame, which is tes­ti­mony of the in­creas­ing de­mand for an­a­lyt­ics pro­fes­sion­als.”

At­tri­tion on downslide

At­tri­tion, ear­lier a key chal­lenge in this sec­tor, is de­creas­ing with more ac­cep­tance of the BPO in­dus­try. The av­er­age age of em­ploy­ees in this sec­tor to­day is around 28 years. Bhat says, “The chang­ing macro- eco­nomic el­e­ment has also made an im­pact on at­tri­tion, and in our com­pany at least, peo­ple can see longterm ca­reer growth and se­cu­rity, and so are not will­ing to move out.”

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