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Time for a Reality Check on Indian BPO

Of course, some contact center or BPO locations work better than others. The most attractive locations are those that have longevity because they deliver a high-value, quality customer experience in a stable atmosphere. This is one of the reasons why India remains among the best places in the world to establish a contact center presence or outsource. And despite the naysayers that have many times predicted its front-office BPO demise, India is a multifaceted delivery point that continues to flourish and I expect that it will do so for some time. 


One of the primary reasons why India remains a strong contact center option is its legacy of outsourcing leadership. Since the early 1990s, Indian agents and supervisors have provided first-rate service to consumers in the US, Canada and the UK. I am always amazed at how the Indian outsourcing market has been able to adapt to the changes in how both enterprises and their customers interact with each other. Over the past five years, the shift from voice-based service to digital platforms has been seamless from the standpoint of Indian providers. They have just gotten on with the job of adapting, and for that reason India is now one of the most important non-voice delivery centers in the world.

Another factor I cannot understate enough is India’s relative level of political stability. It may come as a shock to those unfamiliar with India, but it is the world’s largest democracy with regular elections contested by different political parties and a clearly-defined separation of powers. This has been one of the reasons that it has been able to avoid some of the political calamities that other offshore locations have had to deal with in recent years (such as the Arab Spring in North Africa or recent events in Turkey), which have had awful ramifications on local BPO investment. Even the Philippines has had its issues, as I recently commented on. With so many executives considering stability to be a key site selection factor, by my experience India plays favorably in this regard. 

But I think one of the most compelling reasons that India remains an important delivery point for Golden Gate BPO is the extent to which it continues to innovate across the outsourcing spectrum. While some countries / regions have found niche areas of specialization (such as the Philippines in call centers or the Baltics in IT services), India’s outsourcing leadership has diversified the sector to such an extent that it is hard to imagine a service that cannot be delivered from that county. This has had the benefit of ensuring continuity in terms of inward investment, as well as maintaining India’s reputation as a great place to do outsourcing for providers and their clients. 

And the proof is in the pudding. Look at the results of the 2017 Omnibus Survey by Ryan Strategic Advisory, in which India was ranked the second-most favorable offshore outsourcing destination, second only to Canada. Clearly, the Indian outsourcing ecosystem has proven its value, and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so for years to come.

Written by: Stephen B. Ferber

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