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BPO jobs go a-begging in Gujarat
Mitul Thakkar |
December 29, 2004
ou're dying to get a job in a call centre.
As you send your resume around, and hope for that much-awaited call, you might find it difficult to believe call centres jobs are going a-begging in Gujarat.
BPOs there are finding it difficult to recruit or retain staff.
The key reason is the fact that several bigger Business Process Outsourcing firms have kicked off aggressive recruitment drives in the state to staff their centres in bigger cities.
Wipro Spectramind, Satyam Online and Convergys India Services, for example, have organised a number of interview sessions in the last few months.
Canada-based human resource outsourcing major Sterling Hoffman Software Consultant, which announced its plan to commission a 25-seater (the number of people working at one time) call centre in Vadodara, has not been able to recruit more than 25 people against its capacity of 75 employees in three shifts.
Same is the case with Futura Convergence Centre, which requires about 85 employees. It has a capacity of 27 seats. Futura is facing an attrition rate far above the industrial average of 30 to 35 (as mentioned on the NASSCOM Web site).
"It is difficult to recruit and retain people in Gujarat as candidates find big BPO centres more attractive. Recruiters from outside Gujarat are visiting the state frequently, head hunting with pay packages that are unheard of here," said an official at Sterling Hoffman.
Vadodara, which has a big English-speaking population, has a total capacity of less than 500 seats in its BPO industry. At the same time, its biggest call centre -- which has about 35 seats -- has a capacity of employing less than 100 people.
According to the NASSCOM report on ITES-BPO growth, the industry is expected to generate employment for about 95,000 persons in 2003-04.
"People with the right potential and attitude as far as the call centre industry is concerned prefer to work in major centres, where the possibility of growth is much higher as compared to Gujarat. Due to the limited penetration of the number of call centres and the lower salary standards, it is difficult to sustain the talent pool in the state," says Pankaj Verma, a former manager with Futura. Verma himself is on the lookout for better opportunities and plans to move to a bigger BPO centre.
"The big players in the industry have zeroed in on Gujarat to attract English-speaking people. And it seems easy to settle in new and big cities as recruiters are willing to take responsibility of accommodation, food and travel. The recruiter, too, is sure the new employee would prefer to wait and watch before changing the job," he says.