Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) employee Ninad Pradhan (24) gave up a Rs 20,000-a-month job recently because he thought an MBA degree would fetch him a better salary, regulated work hours and a secure future. Ninad is not alone. Many like him working in ‘human factories’ say they are getting a B-school ‘call’ from within.
And if management institutes are to be believed, around 10-12 per cent students this year came from the BPO industry. While Chetna College says that the current batch has 17 per cent students from call centres, Wigan and Leigh claims that 9 per cent of its students are BPO drop-outs.
AK Sengupta, director, SIES Institute of Management Studies, adds that a few students were keen to simultaneously work and study, “so we enrolled them for our executive MBA programme”.
The trend is also catching up in A-rung business schools. Shubrodeep Bhowmick, student placement coordinator, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, said that 15 of its current batch of 230 were former BPO employees – “a promising number considering how tough it is to get into top B-schools”.
According to Young Professionals Collective — that works for the interest of call-centre employees — it is good news that this trend had taken off. “BPO is a dead end for careers,” says advocate Vinod Shetty, who heads the collective.
But many call-centre professionals disagree. Pune-based BPO I-Bridge Solutions’s Ruhinaz Sayyed says that although she took a break to do a full-time MBA, she’s back in the industry. “Youngsters are not quitting the industry because of exploitation. A managerial degree is just a ladder to climb up the hierarchy,” she says.