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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

BPOs around NCR cautious after car-jacking incident

Ishita Russell in New Delhi | August 08, 2007 12:08 IST

The recent car-jacking incident of a call centre employee has raised concerns about the security of night travel in and around the NCR region. So much so, that the multinational firm IBM has issued security guidelines to its employees.

The incident has raised issues of safety for employees of BPO companies in the region. Local authorities as well as the companies agree that the local support structure has not caught up with the expanding NCR region.

The result has been that companies like the IBM had to issue security guidelines to its employees. Other IT-ITes companies, too, are not far behind in initiating measures to ensure security.

Elango R, the head of human resources at MphasiS, said: "Though we haven't faced any major security problem so far, we advise our employees to use office transport for their safety, especially at night. We also have control towers in the four major cities where we are in touch with radio office for any unforeseen contingency."

To address the rising concerns among the companies, the business process industry association of India, formerly known as the Call Centre Association of India, has formed a new Infrastructure and staff safety committee, to tackle such issues.

"We have provided all our members and some non-members with safety guidelines, we also send out regular bulletins in this regard," said BPIAI president Samir Chopra.

The irregular working hours and isolated working locations of the BPO employees have raised apprehensions regarding the safety of the BPO employees. With services being provided to the western part of the world primarily the US and the UK, the BPOs work night shifts.

Working night shifts enables the employees to work at a time suitable to its clients. And with a decent salary package and no requirement for an extensive academic background the BPO industry lures its employees to travel to regions like the NCR to work at irregular hours.

However, the industry seems non-committal on the fact that whether the security issue is an industry only phenomenon.

With companies taking stringent safety measures and local authorities on alert, the alarm bells are not yet tolling.

DCP incharge of the IBM case, Maharaja Singh of Haryana police, rubbishes the issue of BPO employees being more vulnerable, "this is one of the rare cases relating BPO employees and it is not fair to generalise the issue, we have not received any other complaint of such nature from any of the companies."

He added, "Where there is prosperity there is bound to be crime, how much security can we provide?"

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