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National Issues/ Economy/ Politics

BPO Outsourcing goes rural in India….

I would not be surprised, in case, I receive a call from a ‘vernacular’ speaking tele-marketer who would be struggling in English language to sell his home loan or car insurance scheme or to conduct market survey of a new product – in the next couple of months!

Oh! wait a minute…why English? He could be even talking in the ‘local state’ language, if he is working in a domestic call center – knowing well…the BPO outsourcing is going rural. There is a huge ‘undeveloped’ market potential in India and communication will not be a problem for any company from the fast growing BPO industry, if they are outsourcing using the ‘right language’ option… State-wise! So, Bengalaru based BPO center will have their sales promotion schemes churned out in ‘chaste’ kannada language or Orissa based BPO center employee tele-marketing in typical Oriya language with local accent and mannerisms. I am not trying to ‘paint’ a dynamic segment of the BPO industry. I am getting aware that Outsourcing is not going to stop at all in India and several more ‘sweat shops’ will open everyday in the remote corners of rural India.

What is driving this scorching pace of growth in the BPO industry? It is a combination of enabling technology and cost benefits that created the BPO industry in the first place. Now, after high costs – rent, wages, employee attrition in the urban areas – market situation has forced the BPOs to look at the Tier II towns or ‘C’ class cities. In rural areas, there is ample ‘unemployment’ and costs of operating a BPO center are 50% of what it is in urban areas. You could get a tele-marketer for a low salary like Rs 4500 per month!

Technology is enabling this to happen to create virtual large centres at a fraction of the costs being incurred currently. But, look at it in a very ‘positive’ manner….there are jobs being created in small towns/ villages, people are developing themselves in their communication skills etc. In larger villages/ towns, ‘enterprise’ is happening by setting up BPO centers in a way that could not be imagined earlier. Hundreds of thousands of rural youth would find organised sector work, and even larger number of indirect jobs ( like back office, administration etc.) are being created. In simple words – data entry, bill processing and document verification jobs can be entrusted to rural youth who have just completed high school. And, Urban BPOs could concentrate on more ‘difficult’ assignments – and leverage the more ‘analytically skilled’ urban youth to higher value BPO work.

State Governments can play an effective role to set up more and more ‘rural BPO centers’. For example, Karnataka government gives 50% rebate on internet connections in rural areas and Rs 10000 per candidate to the entrepreneur who plans to set up a rural BPO center. With Broadband developing in a big way in India, other State Governments may follow suit – Karnataka’s way!

The British built Indian railways to move low costing ‘Indian’ raw material or finished goods from one corner to another to enable imports or exports but that is helping India now, having retained the infrastructure built by them. This is the same with BPOs – it will create more opportunities with increasing ‘young’ population in the coming years in India. There would be more jobs, better communication skills, wider global exposure, increasing consumer ‘wants’ as an aftermath of such exposure! oh! I can think of so ‘many’ market opportunities that will be shaking the ‘reality’ at large in India, in the coming years!

It is happening.. India is growing fast!


About Raman Ramamurthy

I am a Management consultant, an avid reader, play Lawn tennis in my leisure time and love Music. Presently, I am settled in India along with my wife and my son.


3 thoughts on “BPO Outsourcing goes rural in India….

  1. well said .. its funny how things have worked out. As a few western nations got rich (by any means necessary), they invested all that money into technology hoping it will keep them rich. what it has done instead is it has begun to level the playing field. India is certainly becoming the beneficiary of this trend. I am not surprised that BPO is going rural, that is the next stage of this revolution – as long as educational reforms are reaching the poorest of the poor.. education and training are the ultimate ‘equalizers’ in this modern age; which is why the CEO of Google is richer than the queen of England (who has amassed that wealth over many generations)..


    Posted by avalok ishwar | August 7, 2010, 11:22 pm
    • More than technology developed in here ….the job opportunities have shifted…still, the ‘foreign’ BPO company is earning more than its Indian partner/ counterpart who is ‘sweating’ it out for them. Yes, if this continues, jobs will shift here a lot. Then, it becomes a uneven scale again because outsourcing will change the equations once for all. So, ‘manufacturing’ will go to china and ‘services’ industry to India, Philipines etc. This happened with Britain – that had set up colonies everywhere in the world to benefit themselves in business and the opportunities shifted then too… It is a cycle, I feel.


      Posted by rambuna | August 8, 2010, 7:00 am
  2. Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.


    Posted by 關鍵字行銷 | August 31, 2010, 11:17 pm

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