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Role call

education Updated: Aug 27, 2013 17:33 IST
Hindustan Times
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The lowdown

A BPO executive’s work can broadly be classified into voice and non-voice. The voice BPO executives are responsible for handling inbound and outbound calls that includes dealing with customer queries and sales. The work of non-voice BPO executives ranges from performing data processing, research, human resources services to providing tech support. The BPO industry has evolved over the years and an executive’s job role has witnessed significant changes. A career in the BPO sector is no longer viewed as a stopgap option. According to various ­industry estimates, the BPO industry is growing three-fold and so are the opportunities in the sector. There has been an inflow of high-end work across the existing and new sectors, leading to increased job opportunities. Also, several global companies like IT, ­knowledge management and financial services continue to outsource work to Asian countries, opening up a wide array of opportunities for youngsters

Typically a BPO has three shifts — morning, evening and night. So an executive’s schedule might vary according to his/her shift. Usually, shifts are eight-nine hour long depending on the process. There is a quick meeting with the team leader (TL) to discuss the day’s strategy after which work begins. There are regular training sessions on various industries and changing ­technologies to keep employees updated. At the end of each day, there is a wrap-up meeting with the TL to inform him about ­activities closed and ­targets achieved

The ­payoff
A beginner’s salary can be as basic as Rs. 15,000 per month, which can go up significantly, depending on the level of his/her expertise and ­performance

n Good communication skills ­combined with technical ­knowledge
n Willingness to learn and work in shifts
n Ability to grow and lead a team
n Expertise in various verticals such as banking and financial services, telecom, healthcare and analytics

Getting there
You can get into a BPO after ­finishing school or college. The ­qualification of a BPO employee depends merely on the job profile required for particular ­operation/process. Once you are inducted, you will have to undergo dedicated ­training to match up with the ­business requirements. Students can opt business management ­courses with specialisation in ­business process management (BPM). Several ­universities have diploma/degree course in BPM which helps students learn ­everything about the BPO sector and other ­outsourcing industry ­paradigm

Institutes and URLs
Most of the BPOs have a ­compulsory training period, ­irrespective of the degree an ­applicant has. Some institutes that ­specialise in this segment are:
* Hero MindMine, New Delhi;
* Accenture, United States and Canada;

Pros and cons
* A lot of competition
* Even if you don’t ­perform well, you won’t be fired. Instead, you will be shifted to a ­different ­process or sent back for training
* You can imbibe a lot of ­knowledge, ­depending on the industry
* Constantly rotating schedules
* Decent remuneration packages, even if you are an ­undergraduate

The BPO industry is in a state of continuous transformation. As an industry that largely depends on human capital, shortage of skilled labour remains a challenge ---- Manuel D’Souza, director- human resources, Serco Global Services, Gurgaon