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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

IT-BPO industry top brass bat for innovation to fight slowdown

Deevakar Anand, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, May 19, 2013
First Published: 01:01 IST(19/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:02 IST(19/5/2013)

Concerned over slowdown in business, the brass of the city’s IT and BPO firms are now emphasising on innovation.

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“We have hit an air pocket. Despite having niche expertise and strong fundamentals, innovation has stopped in the last couple of years which is a question of worry,” said Nitin Seth, chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) regional council, Haryana, here on Friday. Seth was addressing a gathering of chief executive officers and senior executives of over 25 firms during a Nasscom workshop and seminar.

Gurgaon, a city synonymous with IT and BPO industries - over 500 of them work out of here, including over 200 major American and European firms - contributes to more than 80 per cent of the IT and ITes (IT enabled services) exports from the country’s northern region. The city’s IT-BPO firms employ about 2 lakh people.

Amid the rise of alternative outsourcing locations like China and Philippines, the overall growth of the sector has plummeted to nearly 12 per cent from the 20 per cent during the heydays, rued the industry leaders.

“It’s time stress is laid on building a systematic innovation capability. Innovative ideas are getting stuck. If it continues, businesses will get stuck, too,” said Dr Rishikesh Krishnan, an author and professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

In face of competition, the Indian firms have diversified into being high-end analytic and research centres and the services they render are at attractive operational costs. A large number of engineers, PhDs, chartered accountants, statisticians and doctors are now engaged in BPOs. While five years back voice services constituted 85 per cent of business, today it is only 25 per cent with the rest being data services.

Vinod Sood, managing director, Hughes Systique Corporation, pointed that such innovations have helped keep the business afloat. “However, now is the time to bring innovations in a more concerted and continuous manner,” said Sood.


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