Nov 092012


Help Shagun decide which BPO company to join : A Case Study

 BPO life is a unique life and that impacts the career choices one makes. As one has to not only look after the career progression but also how it will impact the life based on multiple factors like shift, process, distance from home, which shift spouse works.

We received an email from Shagun ( name changed), who wanted some clarity as to which company she should join as she has 2 offers. Both in the city she currently lives with her husband. She needs some help to take a call on which company to join as she has 2 good offers after a rigorous interview process.

Offer 1. A large captive for an asset management company to work in financial Analysis and budgeting. Shift timing 2 pm to 11 pm India time

offer 2. One of the top IT and consulting companies 3rd party BPO center with a profile in project management. Shift timings are 11 am to 8 pm.

Salary is slightly more in the first company, but second offers chances to visit client site in US as promised during interview stage ( nothing in writing) Both positions are at SME/Sr. Analyst level.

A little bit about Shagun:

1. She has a work experience of 6 years and currently took a break due to her father’s illness. Her position with the current company was filled so she can not go back.
2. Her husband works for a MNC captive BPO center as AM and works in 4pm to 3am shift, which is a fixed shift. Some times due to work pressure he reaches home around 7 am. Both of them have also worked in same company for some time and are used to BPO life.
3.They do not have kids but may plan in future.

Now in order to help Shagun please suggest which company she should join and why. She has about 15 days to return to the prospective employers before joining date.

You can give your inputs through the comments form below. We will share your inputs with Shagun and also share which company she joined once she makes up her mind and joins her new employer.

 If you would like some inputs or ask a question feel free to use the Contact CafeBpO tab to get in touch with us. All the best to Shagun and to you in your career and life choices.

 November 9, 2012  Posted by at 3:33 PM Case Study, Life In a BPO Tagged with: ,  1 Response »
Nov 072012


Let us continue discussing which Outsourcing company in India has most valuable employees.

In last post we identified 3 companies

  • EXL
  • Genpact
  • WNS
as they are 3 biggest players in BPO space from India, majority of headcount is in India but all of them are listed in US, so their numbers are avaialble to anybody on their website and on the respective stock exchange.

One very interesting fact that emerges after comparing the revenue of the top 3 players is that the average revenue per employee for Genpact is around 35K US per annum that is far ahead of EXL and WNS. Om quick reverse calculation the average revenue per employee per hour for Genpact is $16.75 taking in consideration 22 working days and 8 hours a day month. The revenue per employee of WNS and EXL pales at 8.33 and 10.62 respectively.

Also point to note is that WNS is the only company in last quarter where income growth is slipping. While EXL and Genpact are growing at appx 30% per annum WNS had shown an income growth of negative 30%!

Maximum revenue per employee for BPO companies

Highest Dollars per employee for Top BPO companies

No wonder the investors in WNS are looking to sell heir stake. The other challenge that WNS is facing is that it has highest attrition rate of 33% as per their financial disclosures. Which basically means every third person in the company will probably leave within a year. That is finding a replacement for almost 8000 employees, that itself is a big drain on the resources. No wonder there margin is the lowest in the group at 3.46%. ( The FD rates now days are close to 7% depending on tenure).  The challenge with such thin margins is that with even a minor exchange rate fluctuation the company can go into losses.

What also appears from the  highest revenue per employee from Genpact is that the company has added more complex processes and is moving in a direction where it is able to charge a premium for its services compared to a few years ago. We think all the investment that Genpact is known for in making its employees in form of training seems to be paying well now.

The only saving grace here is that Convergys one of the largest US listed outsourcing company has margins of 2.21%, but please remember Convergys still does not have 75% of its workforce in India  compared to the Indian players.

Well we  hope this post has been able to help you understand how employees add value to the company and how companies can add long-term value to their top line by investing in their employees, and attrition remains the joker in the pack that can tilt the scale from profits to losses.

Feel free to share this post with your friends and leave some comments. If  you would like to contribute to CafeBpO please use the contact CafeBpO form to get in touch with us.

Coming soon: A post on Captives or GICs as NASSCOM calls them.

 November 7, 2012  Posted by at 3:21 PM Business of BpO, Case Study Tagged with: , , ,  5 Responses »
Nov 062012


Q: Which outsourcing company in India has most Valuable employees?

Mr. Narayanmurthy the legendary founder of Infosys once mentioned that his employees are his biggest asset. This is very true in the IT and BPO business as the maximum investment and the only revenue source an IT or a BPO company has it are its employees. Even product companies need employees to develop and market products. For any outsourcing company in India or anywhere the success depends on how much revenue each employee is generating and  how many of them are revenue generating as a ratio of total employees.

In this post we will examine which BPO companies have the best assets i.e. employees by virtue of producing highest income for their company. The three companies that we will compare in alphabetical order are

  • EXL
  • Genpact
  • WNS

Genpact, WNS and EXL are 3 of the top 3rd party BPO companies that are based out of India but listed in US. While Genpact and WNS are listed on NYSE, EXL is listed on NASDAQ. The three companies are bell weather of outsourcing business and pioneers in the outsourcing business. We are not including Convergys in the same as though listed; India is still not its largest location headcount wise. While the other three have more than 75% of their workforce out of India and are led by people of Indian origin.

We compared the financial result of the top 3 listed BPO companies from India. Please note we are saying from India and not in India, due to which we have excluded Firstsource. Also the results of Firstsource for the last quarter are yet to be declared so we are excluding it, but may update this article at a future date.

We working on the data of these three companies and will present the same to you tomorrow. In the mean time would you like to guess which companies employees have highest revenue per annum? Per hour? Let me give some revenue numbers to you to start the comparisons

Annual revenue of Genpact is 1.8 billion dollars and both EXL and WNS are in the range of 420 million dollars. But revenue is only the begining point we will go a little deep and analyse the numbers with respect to employee contribution. This will be our starting point and in the next post we will examine following

  • No of employees
  • $/hr achieved by doing some reverse calculations
  • Attrition and its impact

Find out which companies employees have maximum revenue on an annual as well as per hour basis and what it means for others. In the mean time how about doing some research on your own. All data that we are  using has been taken from publicly available information from the respective website or press release of the three companies.

 November 6, 2012  Posted by at 11:04 AM Business of BpO, Case Study Tagged with: , , , ,  Comments Off on Which Outsourcing company in India has most Valuable Employees?
Nov 052012



One Skill Every First Time Supervisor Needs to Excel in

Well this post is first in what we will tentatively call how to get ready for bigger role ( I know sounds kind of big so please suggest a good one).

Most of the companies in BPO and Call centers like to promote from within specially for the first time supervisor role. There are many reasons for the same. Let me write some of the over here:

  • Process and domain knowledge are key to the first time supervisor
  • Understands all the applications used in the process
  • Familiar with the Quality measures in the process
  • Learning curve to take over supervisory role is squeezed
  • Acceptance by clients

Hopefully you are convinced that there is a lot of merit in promoting somebody from the team to the supervisory level. Now once the supervisor is chosen  a lot of companies just through them in the  waters with the expectations that since they know the process they can cope up with it. This puts the first time supervisor under a lot of pressure. Not only she has to please the clients and her boss she is also under tremendous pressure to win over her very friends who are reporting into  her now, and that is not easy. We are sure all of us have gone through the same when management role came our way. But this post is valid for those also who plan to apply for supervisory role.

Let us come back to one skill that every first time supervisor needs to Excel in, and it is learning and excelling in MS-Excel. Yes we are not kidding, every first time supervisor needs to learn and master MS-Excel. Even in organization with 100% automated reporting Excel is still used for “n” number of things like

  • Shared files to track the daily productivity of individuals
  • Incentive tracking
  • Target vs productivity of teams and individuals
  • Client reporting etc.

The challenge is most of the first time supervisors only exposure to excel till this date is copying and pasting there work in the files given to them by there boss, and one fine day he is supposed to distribute, collate and report the very files which till date he had rights only on a few tabs that too only to paste data. So a lot of them struggle and reporting is not accurate or delayed and suddenly she is considered to be bad news just because of not knowing MS-Excel very well.

Once you start learning excel try to learn the latest version and focus on following aspects to begin with

  • Use of formulas
  • Conditional Formatting
  • Pivot Reports
  • Creating Graphs like Pie Chart, Bar Chart etc.

You will be surprised how easy they are and once you master them you will be surprising not only your boss and client but also  yourself. One of the best online tool to learn excel is a website about all things excel. If yo still have doubts why excel is still relevant check this presentation about why excel is still relevant and then take your call.

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Do leave your comments to help us make this blog better.


 November 5, 2012  Posted by at 11:53 AM Career In a BPO Comments Off on One Skill Every First Time Supervisor Needs To Excel In
Oct 312012


It is very easy to ruin an Interview chances

A lot of freshers and first time job seekers ruin their chances in an interview without even meeting the HR team of the potential employer ( read the BPO or call center) they are trying to join. The worst part is they ruin chances in interview without even knowing what they are doing. Now you may wonder how is it possible to ruin your impression on the recruitment team of the BPO without even meeting them? Well the answer is very simple. Now a day by the time you meet a recruitment or the HR team of a company specially the BPO company they have already done a little bit of research about you on the sly. While we will talk about the freshers in the next post let us focus on expereinced people trying to switch job and what they need to be careful about. Some of the sources a company will try to gather information about you is from

These two are by far the most commonly visited sites by the HR team of any company just to check a little bit about you before you are called for interview  Any information that looks like you are not a serious player or can not be trusted with confidential data or money related matters will become a negative for you without even you ever realizing the same.
So be very careful what you post on the internet specially on Facebook and LinkedIn  more care is needed on LinkedIn as it is the professional networking site and any comment, etc. that you leave there will be there for eternity for the universe to keep on discovering.

So are you sure you want to post that really offensive comment about your certified idiot ex boss? Even if the certification was issued by you. Not a very good idea as a potential employer will take it as a very negative trait and may not even call you for interview. We do remember one of very mature lady mentioning in a burst of anger on Facebook that her boss can never be satisfied no matter what she does. We need not say how many interpretation of this message were made in the 30 minutes it was online before some body called her and suggested to remove it. Fortunately good sense prevailed and she removed it before her boss and other office colleagues could see. The saving grace in this case was FB was banned in office and she has used her android phone to post the message so only her circle outside of the office has seen during those 30 mintues. But those 30 minutes were enough for the message to be seen by 73 of her friend circle of 600+ friends.
Well with this we will close this post with the understanding that we need to be very careful how we present ourselves on the social networking sites as the big brother is always watching.

Next post: How freshers ruin their chances before meeting the HR team, keep watching this space.
Team Cafe BpO

 October 31, 2012  Posted by at 2:30 PM Career In a BPO Tagged with: , ,  Comments Off on It Is Very Easy To Ruin An Interview Chances
Oct 222012


So after looking at what some of the complications for a BPO jobs are let us try to understand what are the basic requirements for working in a BPO or call centre are. Please note that when we say working we mean looking for a long term career in a BPO company. This post is not for somebody who is looking for a filler job till he gets a better opportunity.

A typical BPO employee should have following qualities and qualifications

  • First and foremost is willingness to work in any shift including night shit, Australian shift, UK shift, India shift and anything in between.
  • Minimum a graduate though a higher degree will not hurt and will help in getting a more complicated process where the salary may be higher.
  • Good command  over both spoken and written English language.
  • Basic understanding of principles of finance in case you are joining a BFSI BPO or a Banking, Financial Services, Insurance BPO company.
  • Basic understanding of computers and basic applications like Word, Power point, MS Excel,  outlook etc. as most of these are required in the day to day working in a BPO.
  • Willingness to learn new process and applications as most of the  processes will have its own nuances and specific applications that no training company in the world can teach you.
  • You should be good at both written and oral communication this is irrespective of the fact whether  you will be working in a voice process or a back office process at some stage you will be required to communicate with customers or with your internal colleagues.

So friends these are are some of the qualities and qualifications that you will need to join and succeed in a BPO company. They offer a lot of career opportunities but one must remember that the competition is also very tough and the very best survive in this business too just like any other industry which is highly competitive.  We will be analysing some of the points given above in more detail in the coming posts. Keep coming back for more posts on life, career and business of BPO

Team Cafe BPO

 October 22, 2012  Posted by at 11:28 PM Career In a BPO Tagged with: , , ,  Comments Off on Are You Cut Out For A BPO Job-III
Oct 212012


In the last post we talked about why it is a myth that BPO job is an easy job. Part of the reason to believe that BPO jobs are easy is as a lot of companies have expanded at a very rapid pace in last 10 years, leading to an explosion in the growth of jobs in the BPO  field. But as we analysed it is not an easy thing to perform in a BPO and one need to have different skills. This post we will look into why the back office jobs are also not as easy as they are made out to be.

Typically the BPO jobs are divided into 2 categories at 30,000 ft. level.

  • Voice jobs
  • Non voice jobs

This is a very high level division of the BPO jobs, and of these the non voice jobs are typically considered to be easy jobs by most people.  We would like to break this myth, as whether a job is easy or tough has got nothing to do with voice or non voice. In our opinion it is based on the  decision-making authority vested in the person performing the job that should be decide if it is an easy job or a tough job. We will analyse these jobs later in a future post. Today let us analyse one of the jobs that is considered to be easiest in the BPO industry namely data entry.

Data entry process is considered to the most easiest of the jobs in the BPO industry. A typical data entry operator is supposed to Key in the information she sees on a scanned form into a software. Sounds easy? Sure let us look at it at a more granular level.

You have a scanned form in writing from a loan applicant who has scribbled his application on a paper with a hundred cuts, over writing, entries into wrong field etc. you get the gist. Now the Data Entry Operator is supposed to not only understand what the applicant has written, decipher the cuttings and over writing, and also find out if the written information is in the right field. All this they have to do when typing at a speed of 45 wpm with an accuracy of 99% or above. I hope you get it.

So our point is not that you can not do it, thousands of people in India do it day in and day out but it requires specialized training, discipline and dedication. On day one no body who joins a BPO company is geared up for all this. Due to which all BPO companies maintain training department who work round the clock to train the new hires into the basics of a process before they are handed over to the operations team for more in-depth training.

The point we are trying to make here is that while BPO field is full of opportunity it is not a cake walk and it is a tough job which requires specialized training and discipline. If you are geared for the rigours of training and hard work and follow the process nuances every single day only then come and join the BPO business. Please so not think about getting a BPO job considering it to be easy money. Trust us it is not easy money it is a lot of hard work, as we will demonstrate in future posts.

Team Cafe BPO

 October 21, 2012  Posted by at 10:57 PM Career In a BPO Tagged with: , ,  Comments Off on Are You Cut Out For BPO Jobs-II
Oct 202012


One of the common question we are asked is whether they should join a BPO or call center or not. Our typical response is you need to a ask a few questions to yourself first:

  •  Do you think BPO job is easy to get?
  • Do you think BPO job is easy to do?
  • Do you think it is VISA to US?
  • Do  you think it means easy money?
  • Do you think it means less competition to get promotion?

If your answer to any of the questions above is “YES” then  you are for a big surprise.  Neither BPO jobs are easy to get nor are they easy to perform. All BPOs have very strict standards when it comes to hiring and success rate of a typical hiring campaign is never more than 15%. You may wonder with so many jobs around our numbers are wrong. But our numbers are based on discussion with recruitment teams of various top BPOs and call centers and they have all confirmed the same. Why you may wonder?

Let us look into the same.

A lot of people who apply for a BPO job have no clue what they will be working on most think they will be talking to Americans on phone, which may be true in some cases, but in a lot of cases it is much more or beyond that.The other challenge is even if you have to talk to Americans on phone it is not an easy task, write from making them understand you and to understand what the guy on the other side is saying. Once you are able to understand each other than there is a problem to solve  or money to be collected.

If you are not in a voice process then things take a different turn. Which we will analyze in the next post.

Team Cafe BPO

 October 20, 2012  Posted by at 9:40 PM Career In a BPO Comments Off on Are you cut out for a BPO job ?