- In addition to major IT giants in our country, there is a large number smaller companies in the BPO / KPO business. They make good profit and also employ a large number of persons (which is these smaller companies also take up a number of sub contracting jobs from the Indian major companies.
- But most of these business activities are in the Metro cities, their nearly suburbs and in some of the Tier 1 towns.
- It has been tough to take the BPO / KPO business activities to Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 towns and rural areas. There are lots of lip service to bringing business to these areas from the top leaders, business associations and even top business persons. The irony of the situation is that most of the human capital for Indian ICT companies come from the colleges located in Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 towns. These towns offered fairly large amount of cheap land for educational institutions like engineering colleges to open new colleges, over the past two decades. Many students in the nearly villages and towns (and even from outside) come and get professional degrees from these colleges. Some colleges have been upgraded as Universities.
- But there students have to look for jobs in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai where most IT companies operate. If there are BPO / KPO’s available nearby these towns, then most of the outgoing students would opt for jobs there as their cost of living can go down. Of course after some work experience some of them may move out, even abroad. But the new supply chain will be continuous as the colleges keep on educating and graduating more students every year.
- I have worked with many colleges and a few BPO industry linked persons, to try to bring BPO into these Tier 2, 3 and 4 towns, let alone rural areas. Many talk nicely but avoid later. I have been given several reasons for their reluctance:
- Quick facilities for travel / airport access etc...
- High bandwidth access
- Marketing etc...
Some local banks were ready to give loans too. Many colleges / Tier 2, 3 and 4 towns have high bandwidth. Airports are nearby, say 3 to 4 hours through good roads. Still many business persons are elusive. Govt. persons and big persons as usual, make statements or appeals and then forget it afterwards.
- But I had been thinking about it and also discussing with a few knowledgeable persons. It appears that the unspoken worries of many business persons who have to give orders to such BPO / KPO’s is whether these remotely located small. BPO / KPO’s will deliver to them the agreed products (services) as per schedules and quality standards stipulated to them. Such a worry is understandable. Those who promote artisanal products to really help remotely located poor persons in rural / tribal areas have confident in me their problems of keeping up schedules. They would have committed an export order but these remotely located persons do not keep up schedules.
- Therefore, Schedule and quality assurance to outside customers about the BPO / KPO’s located in remote areas is a good business opportunity, if some of you who read this piece are desirous of and capable of taking up the challenge. The outside customer from Metros / Tier 1 towns or abroad would like a reliable legal entity with which they can transact business. So you start up a shell company in a METRO or TIER 1 town. Let your workforce be in Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 towns preferably in a campus of a college to begin with. In a way, it is like doing a WALLMART type sale in the BPO / KPO domain. You have to think of various types of business models and monitoring systems.
Any persons to take up the Challenges?
Y.S.Rajan 6/4/2010 Bangalore