Silence before the storm: Will BPOs follow Aviation? | india | Hindustan Times
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Silence before the storm: Will BPOs follow Aviation?

india Updated: Oct 20, 2008 12:57 IST
Qasim Ali
Qasim Ali
Hindustan Times
Lehman Brothers

The stroke of retrenchment has paralysed the whole world. After the collapse of the Lehman Brothers and other top investors like AIG, the US economy is plunging deeper everyday into the abyss of recession.

In the prevailing global scenario, India and other developing countries cannot remain insulated. The US may by trying to pull its economy back on track with a $700-billion worth attempt, but what will be the impact of the global slowdown on the BPO sector, especially after the Jet Airways retrenchment drama was played out in full public glare.

A major component of India's growth story, the BPO sector is also facing the heat. Facilities like free meals and cabs have been curtailed in most cases and terminated in some.

According to a recent survey, the industry will grapple with the tough situation for the forthcoming two or three quarters.

Around the world, in sectors like Aviation, Banking Insurance and Infotech, employees are being delivered pink slips without prior notices. In the US, as many as 159,000 jobs were cut in September alone -- the worst figures for retrenchment in a month since the past five years. And fears have peaked after it was reported that the downturn could well persist into the next year.

According to the experts, if the condition remains the same, the BPO sector will be worst affected. In India, thousands of people derive sustenance from the BPOs. And if the storm strikes the industry, the government will not be able to take the damages in its stride, as they may cripple the Indian economy.

Sumit Biswas, a 29-year-old Asistant Manager with IBM, has been asked to leave. The reason was the same -- retrechment. He was told that the company has lost its leading US process and now cannot keep the staff.

It's a future most of us dread, but it may well be the future we need to be prepared for and fight against.