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Your Career Future Is Digital

Monday, February 09, 2015
By Keshav R. Murugesh

Keshav R. Murugesh Group CEO, WNS Global Services & Chairman, Nasscom BPM Council

Twenty-one percent of the global population is online, says research and is growing at a feverish pace of 19% YoY. What does this number mean to global businesses? It impacts the way they sell, they interact with customers and the way they look at building themselves into a brand.

Businesses will focus keenly on three aspects: Knowing every aspect of customer behavior so as to sell, keeping internal processes lean so as to ensure that the cost is not passed onto the end-customer, and align with constantly changing technology.

We see this transformation up and close as the Business Process Management (BPM) industry as we work with companies from various industries across the globe. The BPM industry is regarded world-over as a key strategic lever to most global organizations, regardless of size, scale or industry. BPM, that began as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) decades ago to perform repetitive tasks, has seen a dramatic evolution over time owing to the kind of talent that it today comprises, the technology that it embraces and the global clientele that it enjoys. Industry players today use best-in-class technology, analytics and process solutions to drive profitability and growth into the client businesses that they work with.

Impacting Global Businesses
The Future of Outsourcing is about enabling global organizations to adapt to an increasingly digital age, where they have to be agile and re-invent themselves on a feverishly quicker pace.

Fickle customer loyalty owing to growing choice of products and solutions will decrease wallet share of every organization. Therefore, growing sustainably as a business will call for seamlessly run lean and cost-efficient internal processes, constant alignment with changing technology, and the ability to offer the perfect price point among others.

For all the above reasons, global organizations have turned to outsourcing players as strategic partners in their growth journey. Over the years, client requirements have shifted from quick- fix cost optimization to longer-term, strategic partnerships. Mature players have moved from plain vanilla, one-solution-for-all approach to tailor-made solutions that target the needs of different vertical markets.

Some examples of how Indian BPM companies are now transforming critical aspects of their client businesses to achieve favorable business outcomes:

  • Beverage brands turn to companies in this industry for advanced analytics on demographic studies conducted by mathematicians and statisticians
  • Travel and hospitality companies look to this industry for innovative loyalty programs; mitigating airline ticketing fraud and customer interaction services across multiple channels
  • Insurance companies look to this industry for high-end actuarial insurance solutions that affect claims settlement
  • Pharma companies look to this industry for entire offshore product creation and knowledge centers

Quick snapshot of where the Indian BPM industry is today:

  • No.1 in the global sourcing landscape
  • 36% of the global BPM market
  • 500+ BPM players
  • Current Revenue: USD 23 billion. Expected to be USD 50 billion in 2020
  • Contributes nearly one-fourth of industry exports
  • Employs over 1 million professionals directly. Expected to be 3 million in 2020
  • 78 countries are serviced from India in 35+ languages

Career-of-choice, the Indian BPM industry
With the journey of the industry being so transformational and interesting, could careers in it be far behind?

Think about it… what do you look forward to in a career?

Challenge, a sense of achievement and pride, the ability to work with different cultures (because we live in a ‘global’ world), travel to different countries, the time to learn and grow on the job would probably top the list.

Look closely at the BPM industry and you would find all these catalysts of a dream job at play… this is the only industry where, owing to the fact that we work with clients from different industries, we actually can offer very exciting roles in each one of them. So you can work with a bank, or a healthcare company, or an airline, or a transport company by working for ONE single BPM player.

The talent profile and the career paths available in the industry have transformed over a period of time. Today, there is a place for doctors, lawyers, accountants, MBAs and so on, apart from graduates in the industry. It’s not surprising that today 10-12 percent of the workforce comprises domain specialists, up from 6-8 percent in 2010*. Also, the industry offers myriad in-house training programs to create specialists.

When one joins a BPM company, he / she gets to work with numerous global brands by just working for one BPM company!

Aces Up Our Sleeve: Stretch roles, global assignments and learn while you earn! Companies in this industry are known to nurture young leaders by giving them assignments typically given to very senior people in other industries. Also, most leaders at BPM companies are home-grown. Taking the WNS example, a sizeable percentage of our senior leadership is home-grown.

Most BPM companies invest heavily in training and development as key to building stickier relationships with clients. At WNS, we have created domain universities to train people into specialist roles. For example, an employee with the desire to become a specialist in the travel domain, can study at our domain university to learn the relevant skill-sets in the area.  

In essence, the industry has transformed immensely and can offer talent in every area, huge opportunities and room for growth!

(Statistics as per a NASSCOM report. NASSCOM is the industry association for the IT-BPM sector in India.)

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