More than the right skills required for optimal growth

In the ITeS sector, it is imperative to have more than the right skills for optimal growth. Experts of India Inc. talk about how training and re-skilling can help employees turn into well groomed professionals.

Experts claim that the ITeS industry will move up the value chain by building domain specialists and relevant vertical specific talent. We all agree that the Indian ITeS industry’s initial success was based on its low cost advantage. Eventually, it is the scale process and domain expertise that will help pull in new and more profitable business. In the above analysis it is felt that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will bring about synergies and fresh challenges that the world markets have been witnessing.

However, during the current economic downturn, experts say, uncertainty regarding job security, very high level of competition and increasing expectations from the organization will be a few challenges that candidates will have to deal with. A few trends that will be seen in the next year, the industry will see an increase in stability and maturity of the workforce increased diversification into areas other than voice and sustenance of only the most established service providers.

Given the challenging business environment, candidates would also need to have a combination of knowledge and a good grasp of business acumen. Young professionals should be more focused and goal oriented. In the early stages of their career, they should learn to analyze and be more adaptable. They should also have the ability to think on their feet provide value addition and have an open mind. The industry will definitely ride the storm and emerge victorious in the near future. Hence, candidates need to gear themselves to tap the opportunities this industry has to offer.

A few trends that we are witnessing in the industry that will define its shape in the coming years include flexibility of engagement models and outcome based solutions rather than just cost savings.

The industry will continue to grow despite the downturn. Perhaps at a somewhat slower pace, but this growth is expected to continue. Opportunities in this industry will exist across levels for people who are qualified. A possible shift that may occur is that the level of competitiveness for a role and the quality of potential hires will be significantly improved as more talent is available.

Based on the trends we are seeing in the industry, over the next few years, people seeking a career in the BPO industry will need to develop skills in various areas which include –

Industry Knowledge – understanding an industry such as retail, banking etc. will become important. Functional domain expertise in areas such as finance and accounting, HR, procurement, research, analytics etc. will be a pre-requisite.

The recent trends in the information Technology (IT) sector have brought in newer perspectives. Maintaining an optimum level of cross trained low cost workforce negligible bench concept which means just in time hiring to attract competent talent, out sourcing of most administrative duties and allotment of only key portions of projects to the internal workforce etc. are some of the latest trends.

The changing trends in the IT sector are bringing in changes on the career front as well. The industry is looking out for professionals who have multiple skills, domain knowledge and who are capable of multitasking. According to experts, software design and development, systems administration, software implementation analysis, testing and quality assurance, database administration etc. are some of the recession proof areas. Emerging technologies like telecom, SAP, embedded skills, CRM skills etc will be in high demand. Roles like solution architect business analysis, technology specialist etc., are going to rule the IT mantle. There are plenty of opportunities coming up in the remote infrastructure management space for professionals.

Managing globally distributed teams – Employees seeking opportunities in the industry will need to build skills in managing globally distributed teams both from a cultural sensitivity perspective and even a distance / proximity perspective.