Indian cos spark reverse outsourcing trend
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Indian cos spark reverse outsourcing trend

SlashSupport, an India-based tech support company, has big plans towards the new trend of reverse outsourcing.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2005 21:22 IST

SlashSupport, an India-based tech support company, which has opened a small outsourcing hub in California, is spearheading a new trend of reverse outsourcing.

Recently, it opened a small outsourcing hub in San Jose, California to meet the needs of American companies on their own soil, but it has big plans in what some might call the beginnings of a trend towards reverse outsourcing.

While the 2004 hue and cry about outsourcing to cheaper places like India and China has been relegated to the backburner in the US, the debate might re-surface in 2006, the critical election year for change in both the White House and US Congress.

SlashSupport Executive Vice President Sanjiva Singh, said the new call centre had employed just 25 people to field calls from its clients, which included a large number of big companies, but was expected to multiply to at least 100 within a year.

This is the company's sixth centre (adding to its existing four locations in India and a redundancy centre in Singapore). SlashSupport is a part of the Cybernet Software Systems (CSS) Group.

In India, the company employed more than 2000 representatives, at four distinct support centres spread across 180,000 square feet in the south Indian city of Chennai.

A company release said the new state-of-the-art SlashSupport facility was capable of handling support calls of all levels and complexity - level zero to level three.

SlashSupport currently executes 30+ technology support programs of varied sizes and complexities, hitting overfive million inbound support requests every year.

"It is small but the time had come for us to basically start now rather than wait for something to happen and then start. We expect it to grow quite substantially and become quite large," Singh said.

Singh said as the company had so many US clients, it made sense to have a call centre here, dismissing claims that it might be reversing the outsourcing trend.

"Our basic objective is to focus on the business, to do what's right for it. We pride ourselves on being extremely customer-driven. So it is resulting from what our customers need. There was a need from our customers for a place like this on shore, as it would help them," Singh emphasised.

The employees were all locally hired, belying the common American belief that companies outsourced to save money.

"When you hire locally, you hire as per the local requirement, you have to pay local salaries and local everything according to local conditions," Singh said.

Singh contended SlashSupport's focus on technology companies made it unique among Business Process Outsourcing companies.

With some 30 clients in the US, and 90 per cent of its business with US companies, Singh said these "highly branded" companies got and gave back more to an in-country call centre.

As an on-site company, SlashSupport got to have close interaction on product marketing and engineering with its clients, including interacting closely with the customers of that client.

"You end up not being able to fulfil those requirements if you do not have on-shore facilities. By having that capability ourselves, we go to our clients saying we have a full bouquet of services, we can do end-to-end solutions for you," said Singh.

First Published: Oct 28, 2005 16:16 IST