Trends in BPO: Now & the Future

The Indian business process outsourcing (BPO) market will witness a 9% decline in value this year due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 related restrictions and the challenges faced by service providers in moving their operations to work-from-home environments, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData forecasts BPO services market size in India to drop from US$8.6bn in 2019 to US$7.9bn by the end of 2020 with most enterprises engaged in third-party service providers to manage their key business processes like telemarketing, customer support, and data processing suffering widespread disruptions in their operations due to COVID-19.

Even though the market of BPO will see a sharp decline, the industry of BPO was seen as a lifeline for the country. Over time, the main characters which drove the BPO industry were the agents. For these individuals, nothing much has changed. their basic educational qualification requirements remained the same: diploma or high school, with fluent english speaking ability. Some of the other skills included good computer skills and multi-tasking ability. Other skills and specifications included: technical expertise in computers, responding calmly in emergencies and ability to maintain customer confidentiality.

The millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000 now entering employment in vast numbers, will shape the world of work for years to come. Attracting the best of these millennial workers is critical to the future of your business. Their career aspirations, attitudes about work, and knowledge of new technologies will define the culture of the 21st century workplace.

Millennials are a digital generation that feels at home on the Internet. Technology, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, have revolutionized the way they connect and interact with one another and the rest of the world. 85% of Millennials access the Internet from their phones. Moreover, Millennials spend a lot of their free time on their smartphone, and they expect to have access to their work-related tasks from their mobile devised as well.

Millennials are the generation that buys from and works for businesses that have a purpose at their core, and they want their core values to be aligned with their company's core values. Millennials tend to be uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures and turned off by information silos. They expect rapid progression, a varied and interesting career and constant feedback. In other words, millennials want a management style and corporate culture that is markedly different from anything that has gone before – one that meets their needs.

India is a young country; nearly 65% of its population is younger than 35. It has an opportunity to drive economic growth on the back of its rising working-age population (those aged 15-64). This population has boasted a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% since 2000, a situation often referred to as India’s demographic dividend. The nation is expected to add almost 10-12m people to its workforce every year over the next two decades, with the working-age population crossing the 1bn mark by 2030.

Millennials care about their paycheck — but it’s been shown that they care equally (or more) about their values. This means that if you want to win this generation over to your organization, you’ll first need to tap into their motivations and build a company culture that embraces their ideals. This culture change requires buy-in from leadership at every level of the organization. It can be a daunting prospect, but if done right, Millennials will reward your company with loyalty. Data from Great Place to Work® shows that Millennials are 25 times more likely to plan a long-term future at their workplace when expectations of an excellent company culture are met.

Rise of the Emerging Middle Class

When people change their purchase behaviour, the result is often nonlinear shifts in demand. The aggregate demand may look linear, but at an individual level, there are usually demand spikes that are difficult to explain. For instance, a consumer who typically travels using low-cost options may inexplicably buy an expensive TV with many fancy features or demand high-end facilities from his or her educational institution. Such consumers’ numbers are growing rapidly in India. And they could ultimately become one of the largest voices for change in the nation, owing to their aggregate economic power and their informed, discerning nature. The growth of a young population that’s enjoying rising incomes is creating a large emerging middle class in India. According to PwC estimates, this cohort could be nearly 600m strong in 2021. Meanwhile, the Indian population overall will likely move up the income curve, as the lower-middle class dwindles from 460m to 290m, and the emerging-middle, middle, and upper-middle classes increase in size. (See Figure 1.3.) By 2021, India’s emerging and middle-class segments combined will comprise nearly 900m people — and will open up new opportunities for businesses. Recent research by India’s Centre for Policy Research has outlined how the nation’s emerging and middle classes count among the most privatised in the world— meaning that members of these groups are increasingly procuring services like security, education, healthcare, and utilities from private players, creating new opportunities for businesses. This segment is also growing more tech-savvy as well as discerning when it comes to purchase choices. To win in this market, companies will need to craft new value propositions and then deliver them through innovative business models. Companies based in India and abroad have launched new offerings to serve this domestic market, and global media have thoroughly documented these innovations. But businesses cannot rely only on existing solutions and innovations to help Indians surmount the challenges that they and their country will face in the future, such as an increasing demand for inclusive growth. Achieving desired results using traditional approaches will take too long. Instead, nonlinear approaches are needed, and they form the focus of this paper.

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