The outsourcing industry is a rapidly expanding industry and shows no signs of slowing down in the nearest future. It consists of in-house business activities such as finance and accounting, human resources and customer-related services among others.
Firms and shareholders alike stand to gain a lot through outsourcing processes. There are several BPO industries that are doing well, two of which are India and Eastern Europe.
India’s stake in BPO
India has a population of over one billion people and has a fairly good educational system which produces a lot of graduates, hence it has enormous human resources. India ranks among the best outsourcing countries in the world. The BPO industry in India employs around one million people and makes up for close to 10% of the total worldwide revenues of the BPO services market, based on information obtained from the BPO Services Global Industry Almanac 2017.
However, while it can be said that things are currently looking good for the BPO industry in India, there is a possibility that it will encounter a lot of difficulties and challenges in the future. A recent study in India concluded that although Indians have a high opinion of the outsourcing industry, foreign organizations continue to see the industry as a cheap sector made up of mostly unskilled labor where employees do not necessarily render quality service.
In addition, the social and cultural issues in India is not helping while the government has done little to support the industry. Also, other industries in Southeast Asia are upping their game with strategic plans coupled with a prompt implementation which is aimed at advancing their BPO industries. The Philippines, for example, intends to surpass India in terms of the number of employees and revenue. Strategies such as government incentives, tax holidays and tax exemptions on imported equipment are already being employed to a large degree of success. All these factors may combine and undermine the dominance of India’s industry.
The Rookie in The Market – Eastern Europe
Countries in eastern Europe have a very strong potential to hit it big in the BPO industry in the future. All indicators look promising at the moment.
Certain factors militate against the established industries such as India and China when companies make consideration on outsourcing. These include social and cultural beliefs, very little or no cost advantage, poor supplier performance, government incentives, etc.
Eastern Europe, on the other hand, provides solutions to these problems. It is a nearshoring option for Western Europe, has time zones that are exactly the same or just slightly different from western Europe. It also has a multilingual workforce which makes communication easier. In addition, Eastern Europe offers a quality-to-cost ratio which is very much higher than what obtains in India.
Furthermore, Eastern Europe has a higher number of people with tertiary education which makes it attractive for the more daunting projects. There is a stable atmosphere in Eastern Europe leading to low employee turnover. The workers are also highly motivated. All these have led to an unprecedented growth of the BPO industry in Eastern Europe.
The Role of BPaaS and RPA in BPO Industry
There is a serious fear by BPO companies that RPA and BPaas (Business Process as a Service) will take away jobs in the BPO industry because the sector is growing due to a lot of things now being automated. There is no need for fear because all these claims are overstated. They should instead embrace RPA and BPaaS which can be used to perform the irrelevant and monotonous tasks and free up time and resources for the more serious aspects of their business.
The Battle of BPO Titans Continues
Presently, India’s BPO is at the top but Eastern Europe is steadily catching up. At this rate, it will not take long before they topple India as the leader in the BPO market.
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