To cash in on growing demand for analytic services, credit rating agency ICRA is planning to expand its BPO operations and double its headcount by the end of this fiscal.
"Our overseas BPO arm is currently handling back end operations of Moody's, but very soon we expect another big client," ICRA Ltd Vice President P K Choudhury said.
Without disclosing the name of the company, he said, "we are in an advanced stage of talks with an Asian company for our overseas BPO business arm located in Kolkata".
ICRA Online Ltd, the BPO arm of the rating agency, provides outsourcing services to both domestic and global clients from different locations in the country.
The company is also in the process of ramping up the domestic BPO business based out of Mumbai that manages a dedicated site on mutual fund industry called mutualfundsindia.com.
Choudhury said, "based on our expected growth in outsourcing business we have planned to increase the headcount from 80 to 150 persons by the end of this fiscal".
The domestic BPO business mainly catered to the Bombay Stock Exchange but had potential for other works as well and hence was exploring other options, he said.
ICRA Techno Analytics Ltd, the recently formed IT arm of the company, is also looking at expanding its area of operation.
The software business currently focuses on the distribution network of software for global companies and will soon venture into design and development of software solutions for the financial sector.
IPO gradings were designed to help investors especially the retail or the small ones, who often may not have the expertise, resources or time to evaluate the quality of an equity offering or IPO, he said.
For grading, ICRA looks at all fundamental factors driving performance. Such factors cover aspects that are both internal and external to the issuer.
While industry and economic and business environment for the issuer are the main external factors, the internal factors are competence and effectiveness of issuer's management, profile of promoters, marketing strategies, growth of revenues operating efficiencies and hedging of risk.
IPOs are graded on the scale of one to five with grade five reflecting the strongest fundamental while grade one indicating the lowest.