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India, a natural hub for BPO

March 24, 2005 10:48 IST
Building on the trust generated over years of delivering offshore IT services, India is now the natural destination for business process outsourcing in the world, director general of the Commonwealth Business Council Mohan Kaul said.

"If a company wants a quality software product to be created, then the leading global software experts are located in India. This is now an accepted fact," he said. 

The city of Bangalore has become synonymous with technology and other regions, such as Gurgaon have become huge centres of excellence for BPO," he said speaking at the launch of Mark Kobayashi-Hillary's book, 'Outsourcing to India: The Offshore Advantage' in London on Wednesday.

"BPO alone was worth almost $4 billion to India last year, yet these direct gains in sales to Indian companies also generate other effects that assist in the development of the country," he said.

Dr Kaul said the concept of outsourcing to India has been a popular business strategy for several years, however the growth rates in the sector are continuing at a strong pace.

"The software services sector grew in the past year by around 23 per cent and the business process outsourcing sector continues to grow at a phenomenal 50 per cent year on year," he said.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Dr Satyabrata Pal, deputy high commissioner of India, Pavan Varma, director, Nehru Centre and author 'The Great Indian Middle Class' and 'Being Indian' and David West, UK Head of

NIIT Technologies besides Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, Global Research Director of Commonwealth Business Council Technologies.

Pointing out that industry analyst Evalueserve has estimated that the present $4 billion BPO industry in India could grow to almost $50 billion in the next five years, Kaul said "This is an astounding prediction and if it becomes a reality then we are certainly all focused on the right industry and the right country at present".

"As Mark's book has outlined, India has the right people. India has the right blend of skills and India has the support of the international community. If this head start can be maintained - and even capitalized on - then India will be at the forefront of the global information and communications technologies and technology enabled service industry for the entire 21st century."

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary said, "When the UK media has discussed the India backlash, it has often failed to mention the huge numbers of people hired by the Indian firms that are being criticized. Tata Consultancy Services employs over 1,000 people around London. Infosys has announced a new strategy where they will actively recruit in customer countries."

Mark said India-owned businesses now account for 5 per cent of the London economy and employ 49,000 in this city with an annual turnover of 14.5 billion dollars. India was the seventh largest investor into the UK in 2004.

"There is an enormous global opportunity for India to take on more and more ICT work from wherever it can find contracts, but this is not the end of the ICT industry in the UK," he said and pointed out that there were around 934,000 people employed in ICT sector in the UK last year.

"Job vacancies advertised were up 22 per cent throughout 2004 and unemployment in the sector is now at the lowest level for several years."
H S Rao