New Guidelines for BPOs and ITeS

by Apr 4, 2022Governance0 comments

Amid growing competition from countries such as the the Philippines, Mexico, Malaysia and Canada, the government has decided to unshackle the multi-billion dollar Indian industry, removing the need for a plethora of regulatory approvals and compliances.

The move will also simplify the process of infrastructure and work sharing between different entities to build scale and speed.

The Department of Telecommunication (DoT), Ministry of Communications has eased the guidelines for Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) and IT enabled Service (ITeS) players by issuing the new guidelines for Other Service Providers (OSPs) on 05.11.2020 and revised guidelines for OSPs on 23.06.2021.

Some of the key changes to simplify the OSP guidelines are as under:

(i) Requirement of registration of OSP centers removed.

(ii) Requirement of submission of Bank Guarantees removed.

(iii) Submission of Annual reports/ Periodic compliances not required.

(iv) Work From Anywhere (WFA) within India allowed.

(v) Sharing of Internet by OSP centers from centralized locations allowed.

(vi) Interconnectivity between OSP centers of different OSP companies allowed.

(vii) Distinction between Domestic and International OSPs removed.

(viii) No restriction for data interconnectivity between any OSP centers.

These changes have reduced the compliance burden for the BPO/ITeS companies in the country and facilitated ease of doing business.

As per Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the revised guidelines for OSPs are based on self regulation by the OSPs and ensure that there is no toll bypass and infringement on the jurisdiction of authorized Telecom Service Providers (TSPs). However, as per the said guidelines, the OSPs are required to maintain a copy of Call Detail Record (CDR), Usage Detail Record (UDR), System logs etc. to be furnished and provided to DoT/ Security Agencies, as and when required. Further, in case of complaint of violations, action would be taken by DoT field units in the Licensed Service Areas (LSAs) under the Indian Telegraph Act.

It is said that the latest decision , which primarily impacts voice-based BPOs, allows companies providing outsourcing services of various hues to share work between each other, take domestic and international assignments on the same infrastructure, apart from providing ease of work for the employees who may have relocated to remote areas after the Covid 19 pandemic.

The revised guidelines are in continuation of a series of initiatives that the government has undertaken to liberalise the working of the Indian IT sector and allow them the option of remote working, or the ‘work from-anywhere’ phenomenon.

Reportedly, the new norms will boost $39bn IT-BPM sector. The government expects the liberalised norms will give a further impetus to the industry while being more agile to competition. The simplified guidelines will offer greater ease of business and regulatory clarity, further reduce compliance burden and help India’s tech industry.

OSPs are entities providing application services, IT-enabled services, call centre services or any kind of outsourcing services using telecom resources. The liberalised norms take away the restrictions on data interconnectivity between BPO centres, opening up prospects of easily building scale.

The norms have been substantially eased for remote call centre agents who can work from any location to connect with customers using any technology, including broadband over wireliness or wireless.

The term BPO (business process outsourcing) refers to delegating one’s back-end processes to another company (vendor). Major corporations and businesses outsource their back-office work to BPO companies to minimize overhead cost and maximize productivity. Business process outsourcing can be segmented into back-office outsourcing and front-office outsourcing.

India has been a top destination when it comes to outsourcing BPO services by the leading western countries, particularly the United states. There are many important reasons for this. These are :

1. Extremely Cost-Effective

Labour cost is much higher in western countries when compared to the cost in developing countries like India. The currency value of India is relatively lower than developed European countries and USA. Hence, outsourcing BPO services can be proven to be super-effective that will improve the ROI of the company. However, Indian outsourcing companies specialize in offering a wide range of outsourcing services to companies across the world and are consistent in maintaining the quality of the offered services.

2. Shared Risk Factor

There is a risk factor involved whenever an organization expands its business operations in multiple departments. It requires huge planning as you are going to launch a new product or service as it requires support services also. Outsourcing BPO services to India can be proven beneficial as you will not be involved in any repetitive tasks. Outsourcing agencies in India have a skilled workforce who are trained enough to handle challenges at work, hence the risk factors are being shared.

3. Best Quality Standards

Quality standards are something that Indian BPO agencies swear by that automatically increases the efficiency of the services offered by these companies. The IT outsourcing agencies are focusing on several quality standards along with a talent pool that gets combined to provide the desired output to their clients. Delivering excellent quality of outsourcing BPO services is one of the criteria that Indian BPO companies are following while maintaining cost-efficiency at its best.

4. Proven Track Record

Over the last decades, BPO service providers of India are constantly maintaining a strong track record and goodwill in the global market with their excellent outsourcing services in several domains. The image of the Indian BPO service providers in foreign markets is convincing enough to get more clients from global markets. The track record has made the country an ideal destination for BPO companies to flourish.

5. Improved Customer Support

As the Indian BPO service providers are providing 24*7 customer support, hence the level of customer support of their clients increased a lot. Regardless of time differences, BPO companies are practicing working in shifts so that they can provide customer support to their clients from different time zones. Indian outsourcing agencies are known for offering quality BPO services as they are well-trained in handling customer issues round the clock. The support agents are fluent in English, which is the major advantage of providing customer support to many countries.

6. Skilled Workforce

It is a well-known fact that Indian companies have vast access to a great talented workforce. The majority of the skilled employees are fluent in English and have domain expertise in handling critical issues. Every year there are millions of students who are graduating and joining the workforce thereby becoming proficient in the latest skills and expertise required in the professional field. Hence, the BPO service providers can hire a skilled workforce who have experience in relative technology and industry.

7. Round the Clock Service

Round-the-clock service is something crucial for any BPO service provider. Most of the companies that operate globally require round-the-clock customer support. Indian outsourcing companies which are renowned mostly provide 24*7 support while charging less cost compared to those companies which operate in Europe and America. The quality of the customer support is the same as Indian outsourcing agencies hiring people who are specialized in German, French, English, Italian, and so on.

8. Supportive Policies

Government trade policies matter a lot to the companies that are doing business with foreign companies. Indian policies are flexible and supportive enough that foreign companies are outsourcing their business processes to Indian BPO companies. Apart from that, Indian service providers also deliver the exact BPO services as the government policies are supportive enough while encouraging the growth of the outsourcing industry.

9. Faster Turnaround Time

Indian BPO agencies are known for meeting the committed deadline. Often companies deliver the outsourced project earlier than the promised date as Indians have a talented pool of workforce who are committed to delivering quality results. However, the advanced infrastructure, updated technology, and expert professionals are the added factors that become the prime reason for faster project delivery.

10. Updated Technology

The latest technologies and the rapid pace of digitalization is the main factor of development of the outsourcing agencies. Most renowned Indian organizations are successful in providing high-quality BPO services to their clients as they are using updated infrastructure and technology that gives the best result. Apart from that, Indian BPO agencies are ISO certified where the quality of BPO services never gets compromised.

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