Call Center In India - Call Center Industry in India
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Call Center India – Call Center Ads boost biz Revenues

Have you noticed the recent plethora of ads for openings in the ever-growing
Call Center Industry? Chances are you’ve been recipient of these ads too.
Well, there has been a recent upswing in the advertising segment by
Call Center firms as high as, six to ten times faster than the ad industry average. This Call Center-led advertising is estimated to be expanding at 60%-100% rate though the overall ad industry is growing at a normal 10%-12%.

As per Nasscom, there are more than 425
Call Centers in India that are expected to cross $5.1-billion revenue mark this year. The collective spend of Call Centers in advertising is estimated to be between Rs.40 crore and Rs. 50 crore currently, as per market estimates. In 2005, it is expected to reach the Rs. 100-crore mark.
So, one may wonder as to why there has been a recent rise in these Call Centers Ads. One of the main reasons for the escalated rise is the extremely high growth rate and equally high employee attrition rate.
Call Center firms are constantly required to keep looking for quality bulk manpower. Big players including WNS GROUP, Wipro Spectramind, IBM Daksh E-services, Convergys India, HCL Technologies BPO Services etc dominate the Indian Call Center market.
Another reason that’s being citied is that --- Until recently, most of the
Call Centers were based in and around major metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore were able to reach out to the potential candidates due to the major national English dailies. However, with the growth in business Call Centers are expanding their base by moving to places like Jaipur, Chandigarh, Vizag, Kochi and Ahmedabad.
“With so much negative publicity about BPOs, the city folks are not coming in hordes to join BPOs as was the practice before. So BPO firms are luring small town people to metros and even setting up their operations in small cities. Which means that BPOs will be investing more in the local media in smaller cities in the near future," says Subrato Chakroborty, business director, Brand Curry Inc, which handles
Call Center firm Vertex's ad account.

On the other hand, it’s being noticed that most of the big players in the Advertising Industry prefer to stay away from the world of
Call Centers. Lowe (Convergys account), RK Swamy BBDO (GE account) and O&M (3 Global Services) - Mumbai – are just some of the exceptions.

Another reason could be that compared to the total Indian ad industry of Rs 11,815 crore (as per TAM Media), the Call Center division is worth only Rs 50 crore. Usually, it’s the smaller and upcoming ad agencies that handle most of the Call Center ad accounts. Vanguard account -- Bharat Advertising and Wipro Spectramind - Jabro Advertising are the other examples.
To sum it up, the coming together of the Ad world and the Call Center Industry only mean fulfillment of both their needs, in terms of publicity and revenues respectively.

Thursday, February 17, 2005
Call Center India – Indian Call Center bans usage of Camera phones!

As a security measure against leakage of data, Indian Call Center have banned the usage of mobiles with cameras at the workplace.

Reportedly, a vast majority of employees in the fast spreading
Call Center industry are in their early or mid twenties. Furthermore, a significant portion of the attractive salary they earn is spent on clothes, food and electronic gizmos.
Protection of client’s information is the top priority for these
Call Center firms. Mobile phones that come with sophisticated features and capture images are therefore, perceived as a threat to data confidentiality and security.

Agents at Transworks – a
Call Center firm are expected to leave behind their mobile phones in their locker. The company’s senior vice president-human resources, K P Nair, says that as agents know the importance of protecting client’s data, there has not been any resistance to ban of mobile phones.

A view echoed by R Mohan, president and CEO, IT division of HTMT who says that agents are supportive when company takes them into confidence on the steps taken to protect clients information.
HTMT however allows agents to carry non-camera/video based mobile phones into the work spot. They should however be kept in the silent mode. Mobile phone sellers say that there are no visible signs of uptake slowing in feature rich mobile phones’ market as camera phones are now available at around Rs. 7,000, the demand for it is growing they point out.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Call Center India -- ‘Price’ matters in Call Center biz

In a virtual race to clock huge growth rates and increase headcount till now, Indian
Call Centers are finally looking at the big picture -- Price.
The bigger Call Centers are finally putting their foot down and saying no to business if it doesn’t come at the right price or are simply not big enough.

Today, pure logic seems to be the name of the game in the
Call Center Industry as, the vendors are busy chalking out a systematic program that monitors every decision ranging from -- The kind of work they should not do to the Kind of deals to sign and how much commitment in terms of volume or time-period should be insisted up on.
“When you create value and assure them that you’ll consistently outperform their best global center by 10% of more, then they don’t argue with you for a few cents and dollars.’’ says S Nagarajan, founder and COO, 24x7.

Furthermore, A Delhi-based
Call Center recently said no to a large American company because it wanted to outsource only for six months and a Bangalore-based company said no to low pricing.

On the other side, desperate players have been offering what many call suicidal pricing to fill up their orders books and unutilized capacities. Prices have dipped by 50% to 60% of even more in the last three years to about $10 an hour and sometimes as low as $5 per hour.
You can expect the pricing to move up.
Call Center majors are already talking about some kind of volume commitments for a specified time-period or volume of business,’’ agrees Sunil Mehta, Vice-president, Nasscom. Maintaining quality standards is not easy either, if you are offering services at rock-bottom prices, he adds.
Though prices are yet to see a big jump, but at least these
Call Centers are refusing to undercut beyond a point. To sum it up, Getting contracts from global bigwigs is not the only point here. In the end if there's a good price, vendors can expect quality work.
Priyanka. S

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