Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
At the Reuters India Investment Summit we asked Managing Partner of IBM Global Services Sandip Patel about the first thing he would like to outsource from his daily life. His response, perhaps instinctively, was automating the cleanup of thousands of his emails.
Anantha Radhakrishnan, Vice President at Infosys BPO, yearned for extended telecommuting to cut down on travel time (and probably cost as well!!) when asked the same question.
Evidently, productivity improvements and radical cost-cutting measures are weighing heavily on the minds of corporate big wigs these days.
The BPO services industry, which was once able to fund disproportionately high wages and lavish perks for employees, is now plagued with rumours of disappearing stationary and depleting entertainment budgets all in the name of cutting costs.
Hollywood and Bollywood screenwriters must beware. Their creativity stands no chance against the “cataclysmic” global financial crisis’ talent for script writing if Infosys BPO’s Anantha Radhakrishnan is to be believed.
In these “turbulent and tumultuous” times, the script being crafted by the crisis promises to “differentiate the men from the boys” in the business process outsourcing industry, with deep-pocketed firms expected to brace their way through the storm, according to Radhakrishnan, a vice president at the outsourcing firm.
One would expect a top executive of the world’s largest software services provider to hang out with the latest gadgets. Sandip Patel, Managing Partner for IBM Global Business Services in South Asia, seems to be quite the contrarian.
He is antagonized by even the most common gadget to adorn executive pockets in these times.
As the global economic turmoil rages on and shows no sign of abating, Genpact Chief Executive Pramod Bhasin believes “wait and watch” is the flavour of the season for business process outsourcing firms.
The flavour seems bitter for now.
Over the past few years, BPO services firms armed with competitive, English-speaking professionals working for relatively cheap wages have cashed in on an outsourcing boom. But they are now experiencing a lull in growth as the U.S. economy faces one of the worst crises in history.
Nothing works in India, Bhasin said, and rattled off a list of public utilities from water and power to security and transportation.