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An Indian call centre plans to acquire a similar facility in the US, the core outsourcing market for India.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2003 20:06 IST

A call centre based here plans to acquire a similar facility in the U.S., the core outsourcing market for India.

iSeva, an eCRM (customer relationship management) company headquartered in Texas but operating out of India's tech capital, plans to acquire a call centre in the U.S. in a bid to offer a greater comfort level to its American clients.

"We are looking at a 1,000-seater in the U.S. for acquisition because 20 per cent of the work outsourced to India is, in any case, retained by customers in their home country," Vybhav Tiwari, CEO, iSeva India, told IANS.

"It helps from the business perspective to build long term relationships with customers. Large companies look at India as an extension of their existing call centres in the U.S.," he added.

iSeva, set up two and a half years ago with $8 million from e4elabs, has been generating "cash flow positive" for the last eight months and has posted profit after tax in the last three months from its 500-seater call centre manned by 1,000 agents.

But Tiwari declined to give out financial figures of the privately held company. There are said to be not more than a dozen call centres in India, out of the 340 in the sunrise industry, which have reached the level of earning profit after tax.

"We are planning to raise $5 million in the first tranche to start a 500-seater in Mumbai in the next three months and follow it up with another tranche of $10 million for acquisition in the U.S.," Tiwari added.

"The other advantage of running a call centre in the U.S. is also that we can transfer some work to India while the customer retains whatever it wants in the U.S. It provides more comfort to the client and, in the long run, it certainly helps," he said.

But Tiwari made it clear that this does not mean the call centre in the U.S. would be made redundant. "We can offer a cost differential," he said. Most outsourcing work comes to India because it is cost effective and provides quality in service.

The ISO-9001 certified call centre, apparently the first in India to get such certification, has been servicing U.S. and Britain-based customers, providing voice and web-based support for financial services and technical support for software product companies.

First Published: Apr 09, 2003 20:06 IST