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BPO - breaking the myth!

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Once upon a time, during my B-school placements, I had to decide whether to join a BPO or not. I made an informed decision and am convinced that there is more to it than the general perception that a BPO is just a call center and no more. Here is what I have to share from my experience!
I still remember the day I was appearing for a campus interview for a BPO firm during my B School's placement week. To add to the misery and pressure of the placement week, there was this big internal debate of joining a "BPO" firm or not. The stereotype thought about this industry was putting lot of questions in my mind. Fortunately for me these doubts were cleared through a frantic call I made to one of my seniors who was part of this industry and helped me understand the true nature of this business.
 
But even today I get this question very frequently from folks around me about being in the BPO business (or "call center") and then I go on to give my now well-rehearsed speech on the depth and breadth of offerings which this industry has, the various levels of complexity we work on and the process improvement we bring to a client's business. I always emphasize on the complexities of voice support especially given how it's the liveliest floor which needs very active on ground management and the fact that voice support processes have evolved to supporting various complex transactions.  I still feel that there is a lack of awareness around the kind of work done in this industry and unfortunately it's more so in a country like ours which pioneered the BPO movement.
 
Research shows that outsourcing business processes actually builds a company's process capabilities. The business process is optimized thanks to the outsourcer's experience and expertise. The industry has moved much beyond the cost arbitrage benefit BPO initially used to sell. Growing competition & shrinking margins have made clients sit up today and look for a partner who can deliver continuous improvements in an optimized, yet affordable manner.
 
The BPO as we know today has emerged to be a global phenomenon spread across multiple geographies catering to different client requirements across traditional areas like finance & accounting, order management, call center etc. to emerging areas like "social media support", "promotions management" etc.  The fact that our work not only makes processes better for our customers, but also improves the experience for our customer's customer showcases the powerful impact we have in helping our clients build "Tomorrow's Enterprise".

Comments

A very well written and apt post.I completely identify with the perceptions around a BPO and face these questions often on what I do when I mention that I am working in the BPO. What needs to go out is a fact that BPO is much more than a calling centre to sell products or remind on payments, it is way of bringing in process improvements and the need of many corporates seeking business transformations.

Very nicely put. BPO industry has come a long way from being just a call center or tech support. Totally agree with the point that a BPO today compliments the business process and is a very core part of the business strategy.
We still have a stereotype around the BPO industry that really needs to be broken. Looking forward to more such informative articles from you.

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