Young Professionals Collective, a group that works for the interest of call centre employees, said a walk back was waiting to happen and it was a good sign that it had finally begun. “We have been telling youngsters consulting us that BPO is a stop-gap industry. It is a dead end for their careers,” said Advocate Vinod Shetty, who heads the collective.
“Many BPO employees are applying for the full-time courses. Also, a few employees asked the institute if they could simultaneously work and study. We enrolled them for our executive MBA programme,” said A.K. Sengupta, director of the SIES Institute of Management Studies. Ten per cent students from its current batch had quit BPO jobs to study.
The trend is also prevalent in some A-rung business schools. Shubrodeep Bhowmick, student placement coordinator with Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Vile Parle, told HT its current batch had 15 students among 230 with BPO work experience. “It is promising considering the tough competition involved in entering top B-schools,” he said.
Aashish Kakkar, one of the early movers from the industry, is happy with his white-collar job and a good package at Ugam solutions. After college, he, like many fresh graduates, took calls for Transworkz — a BPO-based in Andheri. This was before he quit his job to pursue an MBA.
Also, the recent slowdown in BPO processes has become a concern for the young workforce. Last year, Reliance lost Soviet Bank, their only overseas client. Around 250-odd staffers working in the outbound process are now serving mutual fund and insurance customers.
“I quit the industry because there is no uniformity in work. Today I might be doing cash application for a UK-based logistics company, tomorrow the company may ask me to service a German bank,” said Vishal Gandhi, an ex-BPO staffer, who is currently doing a post-graduate diploma in marketing.
Madhusudan Khatri worked with Reliance Infostreams in Mhape and Epicenter in Belapur for a year but he is much happier pursuing an MBA in finance from the Lala Lajpath Rai Institute of Management Studies at Mahalakshmi. “I entered the industry because at that time I did not have anything else on my mind. After a year I felt it is good for making quick money but you need to settle down on a solid career path,” he said.