Press Releases: Go for Quality, not volumes: STPI Chief

Business process outsourcing means delegating IT-enabled business process of a company to a third-party who owns, administers and manages the process. The processes commonly outsourced include human resources, finance and accounting, supply chain management, and customer care. According to Gartner, India is all set to become a global player for providing offshore BPO services. B V Naidu, director, STPI, Bangalore talks to Manisha Singh about how Indian companies can gear up to tap this goldmine.

How has the BPO evolved over the years?

The primary idea behind business outsourcing is to subcontract the non-core activities in any enterprise. The concept has grown rapidly over the years in the US and is presently emerging as a big business globally.

What according to you is driving new frontier opportunities in BPO?

The increasing pressure to reduce cost due to economic slowdown in the US has provided a big outsourcing opportunity for Indian companies.

Today, a large number of organisations are looking at outsourcing their entire business functions to a third-party provider. This not only helps them reap cost benefits and focus on their core competencies but also in standardising processes and measure service levels.

One of the most potential opportunity in BPO today looks in the area of IT-enabled services like call centres. Do you feel that the country has adequate expertise for this?

As far as call centres are concerned, India has already attracted a lot of business from US companies. Apart from the cost advantage India offers, the particular time zone the country falls in too is helping Indian companies leverage upon this opportunity.

US companies can outsource their jobs to India at just one-third of what it would have cost them in the US. The telecom revolution on the anvil, which would lead to the reduction in international communication charges, would further help India become the most cost competitive centre in the global scenario.

What according to you can Indian companies operating in this field do to improve their quality standards?

The Indian companies should concentrate on providing quality services rather than going for volumes.

Companies shouldn’t get into a price war, as that may lead to the dropping of the prices below a certain level thus affecting the quality.This happened in the case of medical transcription.

In the case of call centres, Indian companies should have a consortium approach where they would share the best practices in the call centre industry and probably adhere to standards like COPC 2000.