Jan 162013

Are your Ready for Income Tax 2012-13



Once the festivities of welcoming New Year are over, January becomes a painful month for most people who are salaried.  As a lot of employees in BPO companies are new and this could be their first year of generating income they are not well versed with the income tax laws and provisions.

A lot of us keep on ignoring the mails from HR and/ or Finance to submit proof of investment  and rent etc. and then when the tax is deducted in the January Salary we get a rude shock.

 Income Tax Department

This week should be the last week in most cases when you can submit the proof for your investments and other tax saving instruments to your company.

Here are the steps to follow

steps to pay income tax


  1. Find out your salary (Not kidding a lot of first time salary earners have no idea what is taxable and what is not taxable in their salary).
  2. You need not read further if your net income is less than 2Lakhs as income till 2 Lakhs is exempt from Income tax. If you are a senior citizen and reading this blog then your income up to 2.5 Lakhs is exempt from Income tax. Check here for your income tax slab.
  3. In most cases your company will have either an internal or external salary portal that will give you access to your Tax details go please log in to that to find your tax liability.
  4. Go online and check tax deducted till date. You can check it here by going on this link. You will need user ID and password. Or if you have online banking for banks like HDFC, ICICI, Axis, SBI etc. their website will also give you a link
  5. Now that you know what is your tax liability and how much tax has been deducted you will need to provide proof of investments photocopy attached in a prescribe form that your company would have circulated.
  6. Once you have submitted the proofs to the payroll team of your company, check your pay slip at the end of month to ensure no extra tax has been deducted, as human errors are always possible.

Given below are some of the investments that can help you save tax

  1. Most Insurance policies  both LIC and other private companies
  2. Rent paid to landlord by check. Remember your parents can be your landlord but not your husband or wife.
  3. Principal up to 20K and interest up to 1.5Lakh in case of a self occupied property.
  4. Some specific Fixed Deposits with banks
  5. Tax saving Mutual funds.
  6. National Savings certificate
  7. Public Provident fund

So dear reader if you have been ignoring your tax planning for the financial year 2012-13 this is high time you put your house in order get in touch with your payroll team and follow these basic steps.

Also please remember these are some very basic steps for detailed financial planning you should consult a certified financial planner or your tax consultant.

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Arrow picture by:  Brian Talbot

 January 16, 2013  Posted by at 6:48 PM Money Matters, Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,  Comments Off on Are you ready for Income Tax 2012-13 ?
Nov 012012


A Common Mistake Freshers Make

In last post we talked about the job search mistake experienced executives make online leading to rejection at resume stage itself. In this one we will look at mistake freshers make. Once the college exams are over and final year students have decided to take up jobs a lot of them are still exploring their options. Many choices are still not clear in their thought process if they want to take up a job or want to do an MBA. Even t hose who have completed MBA from not so premier institute are still struggling to decide between a sales job selling mutual funds and insurance or to join a BPO or take any other career opportunity.

Every single company that comes to the campus recruitment paints a very rosy picture promoting their organization as something to retire from, while the guys who have come to conduct interviews may be giving interviews daily for a job themselves!

Anyways that is not the topic of this particular post.

Let us focus back on a totally avoidable mistake that a lot of freshers make. This is very simple and basic and some of you may actually laugh at it considering it to be too naive to even make it. But let the truth be told we have been seeing this from last many years of recruitment. The simple mistake that freshers make repeatedly is having a not so professional email address.  Yes it is as simple and ubiquitous as the humble email address.  Your email in a lot of cases is the first contact you have a recruiter, unless it is walk in. But in a walk in also a printed is asked so that the recruitment team can put your email in the database for future contact.

Now just imagine a recruiter receives an email from KooolKaran69@…….com, or from sweet16sonia@…….com, they are all real email addresses that we have seen in past. Some of the less catchy but still unprofessional one are… dreamboyamit@….com, misspooja@…….co.in. I hope you get the gist, now these email addresses would have been perfect when you were in college trying to impress that hot chick in Chemistry honors, or that tall gymnast in the college canteen and scribbled on the napkin to be discovered by your dream boy/girl, but trust us the recruiter will not be very impressed with these email addresses.

It is not very difficult to change your email address and there are a lot of free email services like Gmail, yahoo, outlook, hotmail, yahoo.co.in, rediffmail, indiatimes etc are available in market. The best way to create a professional looking email is to have some combination of your first and last name followed by some nubmers like Amit.sharma3792@……. .com or email2arti.puri@……….com, the email service provider will give you a combination of email address based on your name and most of them are pretty decent options to pickup.

Please do yourself a favour if you are in job market change your email address that looks professional and makes a good first impression on the recruitment team

Know of some really wacky email addresses? Send them to us using the contact form. Also you can use the contact form to share your experiences and stories about your life in a BPO


 November 1, 2012  Posted by at 3:14 PM Uncategorized Comments Off on A Common Mistake Freshers Make
Oct 172012


One some of the big companies have started their operations in the big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai slowly every body started realizing that India does not have the infrastructure to support the big office space and world-class facilities needed to operate a 7X24 operation.Some of the typical problem faced in those early days were

  • No big class one office space was available except for some properties from DLF in NCR and a few from Hiranandanis and Rahejas in Mumbai. Most fo the big IT parks where BPOs are situated today were still at an idea stage in those early days (1997-2000)
  • Power situation was horrible, it has gone only worst but the office complexes are better equipped to deal with the same.
  • Early employees of BPO and Call centers were skeptical about the prospects of the business and there parents were more worried about what kind of job there kids are getting into.
  • Night shift was a big deterrent and most of the parents even in big cities were not willing to let their kids work in nigh shift.
  • Managerial bandwidth was not available, even if you were able to hire the associates there was not enough management talent available in the market to take up supervisory roles. As the people who joined at the ground level did not have any experiencing to manage team and the managers in other business who had managed large teams were not interested in coming and working for call centers.
  • This led to evolution of a very different kind of team structure in India which we believe that is very unique which led to responsibilities being divided between the management in India and at the client side or in the parent company.
  • Another infrastructure bottleneck was bandwidth, which was a scarce resource and you had that dinosaur called VSNL in those days owned and operated by Bharat Sarkar very inefficiently.

Remember those were the early days and the business models were still evolving.

Have you been in BPO business for a long time, do you remember those early day? How about sending us  your story and we will showcase it here.


Team Cafe BPO

Life, career and business of BPO


 October 17, 2012  Posted by at 8:14 PM Uncategorized Comments Off on BPO Business the early days-Part II
Oct 162012


In this series we will take you back the memory lane and try to dig a bit of history of BPO business in India. The earliest BPO business was set up by companies like American Express and British Airways and it was not called BPO or call centre or even ITES these terms were yet to be evolved.

The beginning of the BPO business in India was very slow and sporadic with no structured approach and it was more of a testing water type of approach as the infrastructure available to run the business was not available even in big cities

British airways used to call its India BPO office in those days as “International Telephone Sales Support Group”, phew! They had offices in Delhi and Mumbai. Some of this business were later sold and ended up as WNS. American express had one of its first offices in NCR and this office is normally given credit to be the first structured big name BPO in India. Raman Roy who is considered to be pioneer of BPO in India used to head this before joining Genpact that used to be GECIS in those days and later starting Spectramind and selling it to Wipro for a handsome amount. He continues to be a key figure in the BPO business in India and now has his fourth venture in BPO.

That was the structured part but BPO in small mom and pop shops was developing simultaneously and a lot of it was due to the efforts and enterprise of NRI in US and UK. The typical format was the cousin in US/UK will get some work and send it via email or FTP server to their relatives or friends in India who will hire locally and run a small shop totally dependent on work coming from their family member in US. A lot of these shops closed down over the period due to low   quality of work and high attrition rate.  These small early BPO, data entry centres proved  to be critical in success of the BPO business in India as they played a critical role in

  1. Proving that the idea works
  2. Learning about the infrastructure challenges
  3. Creating awareness about the business and opportunity both in India and US

We  will continue to explore the same in coming few posts in this series.


Team Cafe BPO

 October 16, 2012  Posted by at 7:27 PM Uncategorized Comments Off on BPO Business – The early days
Oct 152012

Life changes once somebody joins a BPO, as this is a a very specialized industry and the life that one observes is very different from what you typically will see or are made to believe.


General perception based on some stupid books as well as movies is that the BPO employees have it easy and this is what most of the people who have never entered a BPO think about BPOs

  • Cool job  hai yaar
  • Babes all around you
  • Every weekend daaroo party by company
  • Cab comes to pick from home.. what else do you need
  • And then they serve you “must food” ( I already see yukkk on somebody who works in a BPO
  • Big incentives over the salary
  • All you have to do is talk to Americans  most of them any way want to talk about sex only. What else do you want.?
  • Work for a few months do mustee and when pressure comes just join another company repeat this after a few months.
  • Do a little good job and get promotion in 1 year, then lots of trips to US.

So as you can see there are a lot of myths surrounding the life in a BPO and in our next post we will try to address the reality about the same.

Thanks for reading

Team Cafe BPO

 October 15, 2012  Posted by at 12:15 AM Uncategorized Comments Off on Life in A BPO
Oct 142012

The team at Cafe BPO are BPO professionals who have collective work experience of more than 50 years in BPO business. The team has worked with some of the biggest and the best names in the BPO/outsourcing business both in GIC ( Global In-house Centers) and third party centers also.

The team has extensively traveled in both India and abroad for both personal as well as there BPO job related work like projects, transitions, conferences, meeting clients and some time just to hang around to see what is happening at the other end of the pond.

Some of the domains that the functions that we have first hand experience are

  1. Quality
  2. Transitions
  3. Operations
  4. Human Resources
  5. Business development both direct sales as well as pre-sales
  6. Client Management
But the biggest experience that we have gained is the friendships that we have built with different people who work in the BPO business. Today we can proudly say that we have friends in every city of India all because our life has revolved and evolved around these very people who have been working with us in BPO business. We are still friends with people with  whom we gave our first job interview. We are still friends with the guys with whom we have shared a room during an onshore transition.  We still remember our first crush in BPO and sometime stalk her on facebook (oops..secret out).

We have had our share of success as well as failure, but we believe as long as you number of success is more than failures you are doing good. As life is equally about failures as it is about success we don’t think that any body can be successful all the time and equally we don’t think any body can fail all the time. The important thing ( repeat) is to succeed more times than you fail.

So as we were saying this blog will be about life and as we love to repeat career and business are just subsets of life.

Thanks for reading do visit again.

Team Cafe BPO

 October 14, 2012  Posted by at 11:48 PM Uncategorized 1 Response »
Oct 142012

Thanks for visiting Cafe BPO, a blog for those who are connected with BPO/call center industry in India and around the world. That is a very broad definition. But today in most of the major metros like Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad etc. there is hardly any educated family that does not have  some connection with BPO, call center or outsourcing world. For the purpose of this blog we will be using BPO as the generic world that will include the complete outsourcing business whether captive units or GICs ( Global In-house centers) or what we call third party BPOs.

But Cafe BPO is not a blog about business or career, it is a blog about life in a BPO and we here at Cafe BPO believe that business and career are a subset of life. So we will be talking about all three of them and  our aim is to make this blog as interactive with our visitors as possible. As we develop and we get your valuable feedback we will try and keep on improving this blog so that you keep on coming back to this blog and refer your friends also.

We will be soon enabling our contact and other information, request you to be please patient with our lethargy. We have a small team at the moment and we apologize in advance about the very basic nature of this blog to begin with. But once we got this idea all of us were too exited to  wait for a cutting edge website. So we decided to go and start blogging as soon as possible. We plan to blog about life in a BPO and how to make the most of it.  What challenges we as individuals face in this special industry that has taken India to new heights and also created a social change that has happened with lightning speed. What people like you and us can do to make sure that we make the  most out of our careers in BPO business.

We would love to hear from you what all comments you have to make will respond back as soon as possible.

 October 14, 2012  Posted by at 11:23 PM Uncategorized Comments Off on Welcome To Cafe BPO
Oct 142012

Welcome to WordPress blog Cafe BPO. We will soon start updating the same and hope to bring some value to our readers.

 October 14, 2012  Posted by at 9:32 AM Uncategorized 1 Response »