Delhi has become the hub of business processes being outsourced by companies in the US and the UK. The Western world condemns the outsourcing of call centre jobs to India but what do their Indian employees think?
Thousands of graduates are nowadays working in the Indian call-centre industry. In order to sound more European, they have been encouraged to adopt western names. A recent book by Chetan Bhagat 'One night at a call centre', gives an insight into the lives of these call centre employees in India.
Delhi being the capital of India has seen an unprecedented rise in the call centre industry. It has also opened doors of employment for thousands of eligible graduates from all over India. According to a recent survey, around 30% of Indian graduates do not succeed in finding jobs. But the growth of call centers and BPOs in Delhi has brought some respite for a large group of English speaking graduates in India. The lifestyle and culture of the call center industry is very different from other industries. Working in a call center brings in you a feeling of the western culture because most of the time you are interacting with foreign customers. Call centers in Delhi generally work all through the day and night.
Call center job have always something to lure aspirants in the form of better working environment, free meals, free transportation, on job incentives, parties and recreational outings. The odd midnight shifts and rotating duties often take a toll on one's health but good growth opportunities make people stick to the BPOs.
The cost of hiring skilled professional in US or UK is very high as compared to the same level of skill and resources in India. This is the reason why multi nationals like British Airways, GE Capital, Dell Computers, and IBM are outsourcing their businesses to countries like India where labor cost is comparatively very cheap. Several other multinational firms like Lehman brothers, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Aviva insurance, and HSBC etc have already set up their international call centers in India, opening up several new opportunities for the young graduates here. If some predictions are to be believed, the revenue from call centers in India would exceed $17 billion by the year 2008.
There are several cultural obstacles to working in a call centre. Although English has been adopted by the educated elite in India, the majority speak the Hindi-English combination, known as 'Hinglish'. The call centre trainees have however overcome these barriers with good training and sincere effort. Trainees in these call centers have to apply themselves to the tough foreign accent.
This is a revolution brought about due to the improved international communication and ease of travel. In short, outsourcing is a win-win situation for both the outsourcing firm and the client. The job however, is monotonous in nature but the culture and work environment in these call centers are some of the reasons why young graduates are embracing BPO as a career option.
With the outsourcing business increasing day by day, the workers or the employees in countries like USA and UK are raising their voices against such jobs being outsourced to India. Political parties and people from several activist groups in USA have often raised this particular issue. The subject of outsourcing still finds a place in US elections and the entire political gamut seems united on the issue. Well, what does this imply? Is the future of Indian call center industry daisy? The answer is a big "NO" because the call center or the BPO industry in India has developed as a strong force, contributing a lot to the revenue of foreign multinationals. Also, in the current scenario of globalization and open economy in some businesses, the existence of these very BPOs becomes imperative.