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.

Please use Contact CafeBpO  form to get in touch with us if you would like to contribute content for CafeBpO

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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 ?
Jan 022013


Our Experience in Interviewing Fresh MBA Graduates

—In the course of interviewing fresher’s one comes across a lot of youngsters who are about to enter the job market.  We have always enjoyed interacting with them as they bring a fresh dose of energy to the organization.Unfortunately a lot of fresher’s we meet have absolutely no idea what they are doing or even what they are studying and why. Our experience has been that out of 100 candidates we meet only about 10% are worth hiring.Without any prejudice let us give some examples below of some real life interview candidates, most of them from local B schools where they have shelled anywhere between 4 to 12 lakhs to get 3 alphabets MBA.

 But it seems these MBA from local colleges are not of much use as most of the students we have met had no clue what they studied and they were appearing for interview for just to check the options without any clue what a BFSI BPO is all about. Most of them were actually not even ready with a proper CV before appearing for the interview. One wonders what the placement office of these colleges was doing.

As an experiment we decided to ask questions only related to the project the candidate submitted in in MBA and below are some examples

  1. Project-Comparative analysis of Mutual Funds. Question asked: Explain different kinds of mutual funds.

Some of the answers received are given below

a)      There are different kind of mutual funds like HDFC, Reliance, LIC

b)      Indian and Foreign mutual funds but the foreign will close if FDI is not allowed

c)       We were not told different type of funds just asked to sell as part of project (AMFI are your reading this?)

  1. Project-Capital Budgeting for a manufacturing company. Q- Explain working capital concept

a)      Ah my project was not about working capital only capital budgeting

b)      The money needed to work ( no explanation about work)

c)       What the bank gives as

  1. Project- GAAP in Indian companies.  Question asked Explain the concept of double entry accounting

a)      The first prize went to the candidate who said “Was it not abolished when computers came as with computers there was no need to do double entry as they are very accurate!”

We can go on and on but the idea is not to make fun of anybody but to highlight the pathetic state our private MBA colleges are in and what kind of education they are providing to the youngsters. But the problem is not with the Fresh MBA Graduates it is with the education system and the private colleges who are not interested in long-term success of their students and only want to collect fees.

Most of these private MBA colleges do not have proper faculty or curriculum and the aim is to get as many students as possible and take the fees from them. Only today we were checking the headlines that 99% of school teachers fail the test for Central Teachers Eligibility test. If that is the state of primary school teachers one can imagine the condition other private institutions will be in.

Without going into much detail if you are a youngster who wants to enroll into one of the private MBA college and going to pay around 3-5 Lakh Rupees in Fees and other expenses and then after two year you will be applying for jobs that pay you 2.5 lakhs per annum then you need to do your ROI and see if the MBA school is worth applying to?

It will take 2+ years just to get your money back that provided  you are able to get a job based on that private local MBA you paid for.

So our dear reader it is very important that before you apply for private MBA schools and shell out lakhs of rupees either from your parents or from taking a student loan from a bank do some calculations and check the past record for the MBA School in placement.

Please do note that we are all for higher studies specially MBA but from a college that will not only offer you a good placement but will also help you learn in those two precious years of your life. IF your aim is only to get a degree without any learning then we have nothing to offer you just like the B school  who have sent some of these candidates to us. (Though reading CafeBpO does not costs anything  J

We are planning to do a series on some of these things and would love to hear from you. Please use Contact CafeBpo  form to get in touch with us if you would like to contribute content for CafeBpO

If you have liked this article feel free to share with your friends, and colleagues on your social networks like Facebook LinkedIn , Twitter etc. If you would like to receive regular updates from CafeBpO please use the subscribe by email option on this page (We do not sell, rent or donate your email address to spammers)


 January 2, 2013  Posted by at 1:38 PM Career In a BPO, Case Study Tagged with: , ,  Comments Off on Interviewing Fresh MBA Graduates For a BFSI Process
Jan 012013
–Happy New year to all our readers.New Year is the time of new resolutions for personal life and goals for 2013 at work.. Every year each one of us makes and breaks a lot of New Year resolutions.Some of the most popular personal resolutions that are broken by most of us are:

  1. I will lose weight this year.
  2. I will start saving for my future.

These two are the most popular resolutions broken by most of us, why are they never kept? Because in most cases these are the promises that we make to ourselves and nobody is watching them or reminding us about the same.

So what is the benefit of them? Actually none as we are not accountable on them. The other reasons are that none of them is a SMART goal. Just to refresh our memories

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. Since in both the resolutions we are starting it wrong as there is no specific value given to any of these goals they are bound to fail. A better version of these goals will be:

  1. I will loose 10 Kilos by jogging 2 KM, 4 days a week by 31st December 2013.
  2. I will save 20% of my salary every month for next 5 year.

I hope you get the difference.  Anyways this post is not about personal goals, we want to talk about some professional goals.

Most of us don’t even plan any professional goals and let us give some examples ( not all of them are SMART mind you, that is for you to do)

  1. Learn a new skill/process
  2. Get that promotion you have been eyeing
  3. Get that certification so relevant to your domain
  4. Join an online resource to help you in your career e.g. if you are in Mortgage business you join MBA.
  5. Volunteer for the company CSR initiative.
  6. Aspire for the CEO award for the employee of the quarter and work for that.
  7. Read that management book you bought 3 years ago.( first you need to find it though in your closet)
  8. Have the courage to say no to your boss for something you believe is not correct.
  9. Take that vacation you so badly want ( you need to plan it now if you want it in May)
  10. Relook at your career where it is going and change jobs if this is not the right fit for you.

The challenge is most of us don’t even bother to plan our professional goals and are what we call drifters in our career. A drifter as per us is somebody whose career is just going through motion like a twig in a river it just goes where ever the flow is taking it. That is not a very good career strategy. One needs to actively plan each and every career move and work on adding that extra zing to the career. It can be added by actively doing things that will lead to your twin objective of

a)      Higher Salary

b)      Higher designation

A lot of us may not want a higher designation but still want a higher salary and that is a perfectly legitimate goal. But remember if you are the highest paid employee in the team and the least productive you will be replaced sooner rather than later. Also you need to remember for every position of a supervisor or manager there will be many applicants and you need to be better than each one of them to achieve the same.

So even if you are happy in your current role just to justify your higher salary you need to be most productive and need to have skills that others in the team do not have. If you fail to do this then some body else will get that dream increment or promotion that you have been eyeing so long.

Our aim is not to scare you but to remind you that it is a new year and only you have  ability and the power to plan your career and any career planning begins with goal setting and what better day than the first day of new year to do some introspection and start moving in the direction  you have always wanted to.

you have liked this article feel free to share with your friends, and colleagues on your social networks like Facebook LinkedIn etc. If you would like to receive regular updates from CafeBpO please use the subscribe by email option on this page (We do not sell, rent or donate your email address to spammers). If you would like to contribute for Cafe BpO please use the Contact CafeBpO form to get in touch with us and we will be  happy to run a post by you.

Once again a very happy new year 2013 wishing  you great goals and success in achieving them.



 January 1, 2013  Posted by at 9:01 AM Career In a BPO Tagged with: , ,  Comments Off on Goals for 2013 at Work
Nov 192012


A Perfect Candidate for the Call Center


Most companies have learned the hard way to go for rigorous employee background check in the BpO business. Every one is looking for a perfect candidate for the call center who will be happy to work in night and give productivity with quality. It became even more rigorous when reports emerged in media about some employees in a bank back office in BPO were found to be misusing the credit cards of customers to do online shopping. This is serious fraud and not just fudging the CV, fortunately a lot of employees are restricting to just lying on the CV,  fortunately a lot of employees are restricting to just lying on the CV. No we are  not condoning the practice of giving wrong information on CV, but only saying that it is very common and practiced in both BpO and ItO. While companies have put in processes to do verification for lateral hiring a lot need to be done in case of freshers. A case study is given below.

Take case of Amita S. (name changed).

Amita is what we call the perfect candidate and trainee for call center. She is willing to work in any shift, is an energetic fresher, speaks very well comes  and is a perfect candidate for the voice process of the call center as per the recruitment team of the call center who hired her. Why we say candidate and trainee? Because that is all she does, you see she comes from a family where night shift is not permitted. This leads t o interesting things. Amita wants to work and make some money but her family will never let her work in night shift. She is not very keen to work in a back office process and wants to work in a voice process where the money is supposedly better.

Solution? Simple.  Amita joins a company as a fresher undergoes voice and accent training for 15-days to month, scores very high. Then undergoes process training for another 10-15 days, by this time she has received about 20-30 thousand rupees in form of salary depending on one or two salary cycles with the company. Now comes the time to join live process and that is in night shift and suddenly she develops cold feet and vanishes. The cell phone is off and she is not traceable the HR team is able to locate here land line number with great difficulty or a cab is stopped at her home one day to find out about her. The gentleman who opens the door is not very receptive and shoos the caller away.

In the mean time Amita has joined as trainee in another call center as a fresher trainee and undergoing voice and accent training.  If you are part of a recruitment team or training team of a call center this must be a familiar patter you would have noticed. Perfect candidates just vanish after receiving a salary or two. What can be done to avoid these things?

Well we will talk about this in a future post, before that would love to hear your inputs on the same. If you have liked post feel free to share it with your friends and follow us on Facebook.  If you would like to receive all future posts then subscribe to our  free email alerts for our readers.

 November 19, 2012  Posted by at 4:59 PM Career In a BPO, Case Study Tagged with: ,  4 Responses »
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