Going by the adage 'necessity is the mother of invention', business process outsourcing knowledge process outsourcing units in Gujarat keep finding unique ways to cut cost amidst economic slowdown.
In order to reduce infrastructure costs and optimise on available resources, these units have been encouraging their employees to work from home or offer flexible working hours.
"Cost cutting measures are ubiquitous in these turbulent times. Therefore, BPOs and KPOs have been innovating in order to cut costs. Which is why options like working from home and flexible hours are being offered to employees. While this may not be possible for voice-based BPOs, the non-voice BPOs and KPOs have been looking at these options," said Nirav Shah, president of Gujarat Electronics and Softwares Industries Association (GESIA).
For instance, Contech BPO Services Pvt. Ltd. has been offering flexi-hours to its employees. It also plans to introduce home-based work projects once it takes up expansion of seats, said Rajan Vasa, chairman and managing director of Contech.
"By offering flexi-hours, we can optimise the existing resources and manage time as well as fulfill our commitments towards our clients. If and when needed, we may also opt for home-based projects in future when we will go for expansion of seats," he said.
The trend is already prevalent since sometime in US, where now almost 50 per cent of employees in BPOs and KPOs work from home. In India, the share of such employees working from home could go up to 30-40 per cent in the next 5-10 years.
Nonetheless, there are certain concerns raised over issues like privacy and security in some KPOs. However, the salaries do differ to some extent for employees working from home.
If the company is not required to offer much of the infrastructure like PCs, internet and some softwares to the employees working from home, then they do receive some incentives in return.
The BPO/KPO industry in Gujarat had pegged a turnover of around Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) in financial year 2007-08 and is expected to grow by another 10 per cent.