Call Center In India - Call Center Industry in India
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Call Center Industry breathes relief : Govt. scraps Controversial CBDT Circular
Date: 30th September 2004

In a major relief to the country's Call Center Industry, Government today exempted it from tax by withdrawing the controversial CBDT circular issued in January.

The withdrawal of the circular follows representations from NASSCOM and industry that the controversial January 2nd circular imposing taxes on
Call Center Industry would strangulate the largest and most promising Call Center Industry that earns over 10 billion dollar of foreign exchange annually.

This circular earlier sent out by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on the taxation of Call Centers in the country had been a cause for concern in certain sections of the Call Center industry. Company officials have been holding teleconferences with tax experts throughout the day after reading about the challenging circular. The circular does remove some of the old problems; but introduced several more complications, including the concept of independent and dependent agent for the first time.

The latest definition would bring domestic Call Centers into the purview of taxation. Till now, Call Centers like Daksh, Spectra mind and WNS were exempt from taxation. This means adverse effects on brand new start-ups or newly-set up Call Centers as they typically start with only one client. The circular also introduces a new term called “habitual conclusion of contracts as the basis for taxation.”

Thus, if a Call Center is involved in all the processes — from marketing to the conclusion of a sales contract in India — it would be liable for paying taxes in the country. International Call Centers with captive units like Dell, HSBC Accenture and Convergys could become liable to pay taxes.

The circular envisages that even if the Call Centers follow an arms length policy of reporting revenues and taxation, they would not be exempt from taxation. The
Call Center industry had been expecting the circular to give them a tax holiday if they follow the norms and principles of transfer pricing, while reporting their revenues in India.

Friday, September 24, 2004
Mellon Financial to set up Call Center in India

US-based giant Mellon Financial is all set to become a growing part of the hub of Call Center operations in India. Dealing in back office operation for its European businesses in India this financial services giant has approximately $3.6 trillion in assets under management and custody globally.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based giant is setting up the new Call Center in a 50,000 sq ft office in Magarpatta, Pune. According to sources, this Call Center will have strength of 500-600 people and can grow up to 2,500 in the future. Mellon Financial said that it would transfer some functions (in Europe) to the Call Center operations in India.
It indicated that there would be no job losses in Europe in its subsidiary Mellon European Fund Services (MEFS). MEFS plans to relocate its existing employees in Europe to other departments within the region. The Pune Call Center will follow the course of the European operations in four cities, which include Edinburgh, Brentwood, Dublin and London.
According to Mellon officials, MEFS’ Edinburgh office will be the Call Center while Brentwood will become the administration centre for its transfer agency business. Dublin will remain MEFS’ offshore funds centre, while London will continue with the investment manager solutions business. Fund accounting will continue to be carried out in each of the centres. MEFS currently employs 800 people in Europe. Mellon Financial’s asset management companies include Dreyfus Corporation and UK-based Newton Investment Management.

Friday, September 17, 2004
Aussie Orange to shift its operations to India

Aussie telecom corporation Hutchison Telecommunications has reportedly taken a decision to shift its call center operations to India. According to a report in The Australian, the group's management has decided to do away with the 40 contract staff hired from outsourcing agent Hallis, and is conducting a two-month trial for automating Orange customer connections.
"Orange is the last mobile company to do this. '3' did it late last year. But even with an automatic provisioning system there is still some need for human support," the report quoted Hutchison stakeholder relations chief Steve Wright as saying. Recently, Hutchison's other Australian business, third-generation network '3' shifted the remainder of its Call Center staff to Mumbai. "If we go ahead with the new system, their (Hallis staff) contracts won't be renewed," Wright added. Hutchison's Mumbai Call Center is run by Hutchison Telecommunications Services, a subsidiary of Hutchison's Hong Kong parent, Hutchison Whampoa


Friday, September 10, 2004
Voice Loss- A New Industrial Disease

A new industrial disease has emerged among call center workers: repetitive voice injury. The news of this latest disease has been brought to light by the London-based College of Speech and Language Therapists. This ailment is afflicting an increasing number of call center workers who are being referred to speech therapists because they are losing voices, literally.

Continuous conversation, not enough opportunity to drink water and long work hours is the main reason for this condition. Voice therapists in the United Kingdom say that the problem is acquiring large proportions as many people are losing their voice to such an extent that they can no longer hold their jobs. Experts are of the opinion that call center workers literally push their voices to the limit, giving little time for their voice boxes to get back to normal.

Till date, teachers were the most affected group by repetitive voice injury and underwent therapy, but call center workers are now the fastest growing ‘at risk’ group. Although call centers deny that it is a growing problem, they do agree that they make their workers aware of the occupation hazards and make sure that proper care is taken to keep them happy and healthy.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Cupid Doesn’t Strike For a Longer Period in Call Centers

Call Centers have changed the way the youngsters earn giving them the flying start that only an IIT Graduate can expect! However, call centers have also brought about a massive change in their lifestyle. Industry sources and psychiatrists fear call centers are changing the way the young BPO executives view commitment in relationships!

It would not be an exaggeration to say that both men and women are equally inclined to go into a relationship without making any commitment. Though commitment is a subjective issue and varies from person to person, cases of relationships taking a backseat are on a rise. Odd working hours of the call centers are to be blamed for the chaos in personal life.

A call center executive who makes a commitment to meet someone on a particular day, for instance, has to call if off in between, as his shift may change without prior information. The problem worsens if one is staying with family, because on working days his or her family hardly gets to see them, so obviously they want to spend time with their kids on their off days. So when one gets stuck between work and social obligations, one hardly gets time to carry on with a relationship.


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