IT is hit


Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) as a business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is emerging as a key investment market in the country, estimated at 37% growth for the financial year 2005-06. There are over 400 companies operating in the Indian ITES-BPO space.

In the last decade, the IT and BPO sector has witnessed substantial off shoring. India has been the leading off shoring destination during this period, and now accounts for 65% of the global off shoring IT and 46% of the global BPO industry. According to the centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, the offshore IT and BPO industries accounted for nearly 95% of the absolute growth in foreign exchange inflows associated with service industries between 2000 and 2004.

From an outsourcing perspective, low- medium risk processes have migrated significantly. New growth areas are emerging such as research development services, knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) remote infrastructure management and product engineering services. Front end service areas such as sales enablement outsourcing (SEO) where one provides sales and marketing management for small to mid-size IT and ITES companies is one of the most promising areas to specialize.

The ITES industry is focusing on finance and insurance. Content development, legal services, HR, payment services, administration and customer care are other segments set to experience major growth.

Over 200 personnel are hired every day in the Indian ITES sector. Based on recruitment trends, employment will end at around five lakhs by the end of the fiscal year. By 2008, the ITES-BPO industry is expected to attract one-third of all foreign direct investment and generate $60 billion a year in exports. Nasscom predicts this sector will throw open 1.1 million jobs by 2008.

The industry offers options like voice processes, business development, quality assurance, workforce management and technical support among others.

Areas driven by ITES include healthcare accounting, sales, enablement, collections and recovery, analytics and research, logistics BPO, pharmaceuticals and even bio-engineering.

Avenues are vast in this sector as it is still in its nascent stage. While voice or tele-calling is the most commonly known option, non-voice processes varying from data entry to underwriting are gaining popularity too. Qualified employees are required across all lines of business for information management products.

Remuneration is compatible with industry standards and perks designed to enhance the employment experience. Managers can get up to Rs12 lakhs annually and an assistant vice president can fetch Rs 18-22 lakhs per annum.

ITES sector has tremendous opportunities for personal growth unlike any other nascent industry. An agent may become a team leader after two years, a manager after another year or two and can get promoted to a director level position in five to seven years with compensation to match. Even a graduate with only three and a half to four years of experience can move to the managerial level. He/she is eligible to handle a team of more than 200 at the same time. The eligibility criterion in this field varies according to function. Certain functions require qualified CA or MBA or a specialization in HR. The ITES industry essentially seeks good communication skills from aspirants. The interesting trend is that there is a shift from hiring fresh qualified talent to professionals and business analysts with specific skill-sets. This reflects the new emphasis Indian companies are placing on high value services.