Since the 2000s it has become a trend in India among fresh-out-of-college graduates to relocate to cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Gurgaon to join call centers to earn easy money. According to a survey conducted by India Today, call centers in India are responsible for employing 1.98 million people directly and 7.5 million by indirect means (like those providing transport, security and other services) per year. Also according to the same reports, Indian call center scenario was witnessing a steady growth of 30 percent plus prior to the Lehman-brothers collapse era.
In the past 15-20 years, many US based companies have outsourced their call centers to India. In fact many well established and reputed companies like Amazon and Dell depend upon Indian call centers for their customer service functions. Why India? Answer is simple. As mentioned in the beginning, India has emerged as a giant in the area of call center outsourcing with years of experience in the said field and availability of motivated youth throughout the country. In addition to this, cost effective workforce and liberal government policies are the factors that have motivated numerous global companies to set up their call centers in India.
Following are the perks a company enjoys by having outsourced its call center services to India:
1. Large, Motivated and English Speaking Workforce: according to a latest UN report, India has the largest youth population in the world. More than 40% of Indians fall under the category of “working age” group. Thus, India has a huge educated workforce, highly educated and willing to learn college graduates inclined towards working for multinational companies directly or through call centers. In addition, we Indians seem to have an affinity towards western culture and English language. This gives India an edge in terms of diminishing the cultural and language barrier between the caller and the customer.
2. Cheap Labor: In America, a company spends an average of $20 dollars per hour (including technology and telecommunication costs) on a single call center employee as compared to $12 dollars per hour spent on a call center employee in India. (Data courtesy: Technology Manufacturing Corp.) Apparently, Indian workforce is available for cheap, providing the same services at equal or even better standards. Thus, providing greater value for money.
3. Different Time Zone: The time zone difference between Indian and western countries is between 5 to 12 hours. This provides the customers with an option of around the clock support and services from the India based call centers. Also, since Indian call centers have trained employees and workers who have expertise in dealing with clients throughout the globe, clients get A-grade and sleek quality of service.
4. Liberal Government Policies: Indian government has introduced drastic reforms to reduce the licensing requirements and exercised tax exemption on the export of ITES and made foreign technology accessible. Other policies like promoting FDI and realizing the importance of venture capital funding have been introduced by the Indian government (in addition to implementing more transparent and investment friendly policies), to ensure that call centers in India continue to thrive and contribute to the fast growing economy of India. (data courtesy: Government of India website)
5. Technological Advancements: the amalgamation of topnotch telecommunication technology, great software infrastructure and reduced call rates and phoning routes, with highly skilled and motived experts has made India to stand out in the field of call center outsourcing.
Recently, India has been getting a lot of competition from other pan Asian countries, especially from Philippines and Malaysia, despite these countries having lesser population than India. What is the reason? It is believed that Filipinos and Malays have a better fluency in English as compared to that of Indians, which to some extent appeals to an English speaking caller.Another reason maybe that these countries are new to this business and have just started out.
It’s obvious that they will charge less. But numbers are still in India’s favor.This competition is nothing but a slight slump in profits.With the kind of technological advancements and experience we have, it’s quite evident that India will bounce back to gain the crown of call center outsourcing king it once wore proudly.