Dec 052012

Is BPO at the Bottom Of Career Options?

—It has been more than 15 years since the business of BpO made inroads in our life by offering career options in BpO. BpO has changed the skyline and lifeline in major cities in India and has started a new demographic shift in form of educated but jobless youth from B and C towns to the major metros like Bombay, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore etc. But in spite of all this and lakhs of people working in BpO companies the sector still is not the first choice of most of the employees. Take the case of Nishita Sharma a very smart well-educated girl from middle class business family from West Delhi. We met her and her parents in a social function some time back. On learning that we work for Café BpO, the blog and community about business, career and life in  BpO they started chatting. They had a few questions and some  notions about BpO career options.


Career options in BPO

Nishita- A BpO Aspirant

A little background about the Sharma’s is needed here. Mr. Narender Sharma is a business man who has a fleet of cars that he rents to five star hotels, Mrs. Sharma is a SAHM, ( stay at home mom), she has a younger brother who is in school. Nishita is pursuing her graduation and already planning what to do after completing her graduation.  We asked her has she considered joining a BpO company and then pursuing her PG simultaneously as some companies actually sponsor the same.

But she is still not sure if she would like to join a BpO, though some of her cousins work for companies like Genpact, Bank of America, Convergys etc. but she and her family don’t think BpO should be her first career choice.  Mrs. Sharma was worried about security in the cabs, and a host of other things that she has heard about BpO were not good in her opinion. We did not pursue it further.

Next day we were invited in a college to speak about the opportunities in a  college in a small town, with good private colleges. The hall had a good mix of 2nd and third year students and also some students who passed out last year. After giving our presentation about the Business, Career and Life in a BpO we asked the audience to ask any questions.

Initially the response was Luke warm but after some time some of them opened up and a pattern started emerging once again. The FAQs from the students were more or less the same as from Sharmas. What clearly emerges based on our interaction with the students, Sharmas and other people we interact in society is that there are still a lot of myths surrounding the BpO sector. People still do not consider BpO to be the first choice in career and in the  options available in front of a young aspiring potential employee like Nishita Sharma a hundred choices are available and somehow a job in a BpO appears very low on that list.

This is a big cause of concern in our opinion and points out that BpO is not top career option.

  1. Though BpO has made inroads into our life but it is still not the first choice like say a job in IT or Hotel management ( we are not even comparing it with medicine or IAS kind of professions)
  2. Myths, stereotypes etc still surround around job, career and life in a BpO
  3. Parents are still not comfortable about the same as a profession for their kids
  4. Companies are not spending any money on marketing the BpO as a profession though they spend tons of money on retention.
Bpo career options

Nishita with her parents-Mrs. Kiran Sharma and Mr. Narender Sharma

We think it is high time that a sustained collaborative approach is taken to make career and life in a BpO one of the top choices for young talented Indians if we want to continue to compete with other countries.  Feel free to share your thoughts on the same using the comments from below.

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 December 5, 2012  Posted by at 11:00 AM Career In a BPO Tagged with: ,

  2 Responses to “Where Is BpO in Career Options?”

  1. You have very beautifully captured the essence of the mindset of people around the Industry. I agree that the companies need to spend effort in marketing the BpO as a profession. But one thing the companies must do first is stop treating the BpO as a cost arbitrage profession and change the perception around BpO. The perception cannot be changed with marketing but by strong actions that rebutt the perceptions. Use marketing to communicate the actions that will in turn change the perceptions. So what are the perceptions: that it is a sweat shop where employees are hired for low incomes, very tight and stressful work environment, not very strong people friendly HR policies, job insecurity (you can lose job at the whim of a manager), culture of the BpO etc. All these add to the motivation factor. The companies need to make the job lucrative not just in terms of the money they offer, but in terms of the safe and stress free working environment and an employee friendly HR not by just saying but by formidable actions that are consistent. Use Marketing to send such messages out and you will see the BpO profession rising the ladder.

    • Hi Ravi… Thanks a lot for your valuable inputs..we agree with you the offshore locations needs to get the recognition they deserve. While companies are spending on retention, we hardly see anybody spending money on giving acceptance to BpO as a profession.
      The safety and stress free environment is that most employee and families still are not comfortable with in a BpO.

      Second thanks for adapting our style of writing BpO :)

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