“India will be a growth driver in 2012.” Notwithstanding competition from countries like Philippines and Vietnam, India remains an attractive destination for outsourcing services on account of its talented workforce, according to BPO major Convergys. “The world has moved away from looking at outsourcing to places like India just as a cost arbitrage. The focus is now on transformational work, helping clients not just save costs but also increasing efficiency,” Convergys Senior Vice President (Customer Management) Nancy Pryor told PTI.
She added that while there is competition from other nations like Philippines and Vietnam, India still has a lot of factors working in its favour. “India has a large pool of talented workforce who also have a good understanding of technology as well. They can easily deal with the requirements from clients across the US, Europe and Australia, which also happens in case of other locations, but India still has an edge,” Pryor said. With increasing labour costs, there have been fears that India might lose its numero uno position when it comes to outsourcing. However, a lot of BPO players are now expanding to small Indian towns and hiring less expensive workers, while adding centres in other countries as well to make most of the opportunity.
With its global headquarters in Cincinnati, US, Convergys has about 70,000 employees in 67 customer contact centers across the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Of this, about 12,000 people are spread across six locations in India — Delhi-NCR (three facilities), Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. It has clients across verticals like financial services, communications, government, healthcare and retail. Though the company does not have plans to enter the domestic market here in the near future, Pryor said the company is bullish on using India as a centre for excellence. “India will be a growth driver in 2012. While we do not have plans to serve companies here (in India) as of now, we are always examining opportunities,” Pryor said.
Convergys added about 1,500 jobs last year and the plan is to hire about the same number this year, which shows the company’s commitment to the Indian market, she added. Asked about the demand environment globally, Pryor said the economic uncertainties throw up opportunities. “It is these times that companies look at partnering firms like us and want to not just reduce cost but also improve their performance. There are new opportunities that come up and we are well-positioned to cash in on the opportunities,” she said.