Centering on excellence: how India is adapting to a changing landscape
For over a decade the IT business process outsourcing (BPO) sector has helped power India’s economic growth, creating revenues, jobs and infrastructure.
In 2011, India’s revenues from IT BPO exceeded $88 billion, and in 2012, it will breach the $100 billion barrier. Around 300,000 new employees are predicted to start work at IT BPO companies in India over the next year. The industry continues to provide the backbone for India’s strength and emergence as an IT player on the world stage.
Until recently, India was dominant in all varieties of BPO and remained very much the go-to destination for contact center offshoring. However, with new areas such as the Philippines starting to attract more voice-focused contact center work, the industry in India started to look up the value chain. To meet these demands, India’s companies are adopting new skills and addressing new and emerging technologies to stay competitive and grow.
developing skills, diversifying services
India remains an attractive destination for western companies and global multinational corporations (MNCs) that want cost-effective BPO and contact center operations. Recent analyst reports predict that India’s GDP will grow at between 8 and 10 percent across the coming decade, while IT industry body NASSCOM expects 11 to 14 percent growth in the Indian IT sector overall in this financial year.
To support this growth, India is looking to improve training and develop new skills at a young age via the country’s education sector. New technologies are taking hold in India, which will keep India at the forefront of the Asia Pacific market. Cloud computing adoption is on the rise, with NASSCOM predicting it will be a $15 to $18 billion market by 2020. Similarly, mobile banking, e-commerce and m-health are all significant growth sectors within the Indian IT landscape.
As Bibek Padhy, Head of the Orange India Center of Excellence, comments: “The past ten years have seen industry leaders, global MNCs and network integrators come to view India as a genuine leading country that boasts high availability of skills and competencies. A decade ago, companies just outsourced customer services operations to India; today they have established research and development centers here. That’s because we have concentrated on building and growing the skills base accordingly and planned for the future.”
setting new standards in APAC
The shift in approach was made not just in recognition of the competition in the BPO space, but also because of the changing workforce in India. A new generation of technology-proficient, English-speaking graduates was graduating and wanting to make use of their new skills.
One burgeoning area is remote infrastructure management (RIM). RIM is a key growth area in the Asia Pacific, and India’s government has an initiative in place to promote the country as the region’s preferred provider of RIM services.
NASSCOM believes that India’s re-focusing of skills to address growth services like RIM will see it harness around one-third of the country’s total IT revenues by 2020 – almost half of the global market of $65 billion.
“It became clear that a shift away from just BPO offerings was required,” says Padhy. “There has been a change in attitude as well as in skills. Service providers recognized the need to move from being ‘just’ a low-cost destination where cheap human resources were available to one that could draw on a deep pool of talent. We are still a relatively low-cost resource, but the skills base is huge.
The next generation workforce will graduate from university into a market that is no longer only about offering telemarketing and contact support center jobs.”
education driving quality
Indian industry is working in partnership with the country’s near 500 universities to ensure high levels of spoken English as well as a wide range of core ICT and software engineering competencies. Finishing schools have even been set up to support the needs of these expanding industries and to make sure that workforces are well-prepared to address the demand for new technologies and competencies.
“Back around 2000, service offerings were perhaps limited to Microsoft, desktops and low-level infrastructure support,” explains Padhy. “By 2005, it was high-end technologies like UNIX boxes and mainframes. Today, India can offer support for managed services, cloud computing, smart cities and more under one RIM umbrella. This is very much due to industry and government focusing on making the offering more sustainable and keeping it growing through the education system.”
Orange in India: Center of Excellence
Orange has established its Center of Excellence in India. With its skilled resource pool, the center specializes in unified communications, remote infrastructure management, application management and consulting. It provides best-in-class solutions and services to customers of Orange Business Services, which are leading global IT, telecom and logistic companies.
The Center of Excellence is a cost-effective resource that complements the existing global Orange portfolio, while also bringing new capabilities to market via:
- new technology skills development
- and qualifications
- high levels of English-speaking graduates and professionals
- focus on continuous improvement, such as the ITIL® framework
- high-end certification across multiple technology disciplines and brands
- roadmap in place for the future and for consistent, sustainable growth