India has been one of the major players in the BPO industry, it’s believed that India’s BPO sector started in the mid of 1980s and grew tenfold since then. As a matter of fact, India’s gross domestic product is largely composed of the BPO sector, this is how influential the BPO industry is in the country’s economy. However, after dominating the offshoring industry — which dominates nearly half of the global offshore market — for decades, India’s BPO sector is struggling: an unexpected stumble, especially in the voice and call center industry.
A large number of call center firms in India have been keen in transferring their operations outside the country, eyeing the Philippines as the new call center hub in Asia. There are many reasons pointed out by call center firms as to why they are moving their basic back office services out of India. Despite the mass layoff in the BPO industry in India, the country still largely enjoys the largest share in the BPO market. However, they are losing more than 70 percent of their voice and call center businesses to the Philippines.
As mentioned, there are many reasons why call center firms are moving their services to the Philippines. Notably, India has been suffering from a shortage of English proficient talents, the rise of labor costs in the country greatly rationalized the call center sector as well.
In addition to that, despite having a large number of college graduates a year — composed of 3 million college graduates a year, only a fraction of this figure is capable of being employed. As a matter of fact, the problem doesn’t end there — keeping the call center agents is another struggle. According to Forbes, young Indians working as call center agents are susceptible to cultural shock and high work burnout. As an illustration, call center agents are taught of Western cultural mannerisms to “boost English proficiency and conversational skills” — however, the primary goal of this is to eradicate the Mother Tongue Influence — in which Indians are known for their very distinct accent. In fact, almost all Indian call center employees are suffering from culture shock and social trauma, which is why employee retention in the industry is very difficult.
Aside from rising labor costs and shortage of talents, the call center industry in India is largely hampered by linguistic and cultural compatibility. These setbacks on the voice service sector in India have been viewed as the detrimental factors in the struggling growth of the industry.