by: Karen Cayamanda
A new study in India found out that there is an increase in the number of BPO workers who smoke. In this 18-month study with 646 participants, 41 percent were habitual smokers, eight percent of which were women. Seventeen employees opted hookah, while others consumed smokeless kinds of tobacco.
Researchers said that employees find smoking effective in relieving stress and overcoming boredom. Peer pressure and high disposable income also contribute to the growing number of smokers in the BPO sector.
“This group learns to smoke in packs. They largely smoke during break time where smokers and non-smokers intermingle. The non-smokers, because of being in constant touch with the smokers, become passive smokers and eventually active smokers which is the prevailing trend,” said Dr. Gauravi Mishra, lead researcher of the study and consultant department of preventive oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH).
by: Karen Cayamanda
Indian companies must tap the SME sector in India and Germany for IT, BPO, and engineering services. This is according to the “Opportunities for Indian IT - BPO industry in Germanic Countries” report from the National Association of Software and Services Companies or NASSCOM, in association with consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“There is a huge demand in the SME sector that has largely remained untapped, and verticals like automobile, manufacturing, and logistics have emerged as quick-win opportunities for Indian companies,” said Sankar, executive director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
It was found out that there’s a huge BPO opportunity in the mid-market segment of Germany. Indian IT companies with a large pool of technically skilled employees should forge partnerships with German firms from that segment.
India is one of the preferred offshoring destinations of Germanic companies, while Eastern Europe and CIS states are favorable locations for nearshoring.
by: Karen Cayamanda
With the growing interest of BPO companies to relocate operations in Cebu, Ayala-owned 50-hectare Cebu Business Park was proclaimed as an IT park by the government.
“We realized that a number of BPOs have expressed interest to locate in Cebu because Cebu is the number one destination for BPO firms. We have to take advantage of that by putting up facilities and improving our infrastructure,” said Francis O. Monera, president of Cebu Holdings Inc.
Monera said the province attracts investors because of lower costs of salaries and cost of living. These make setting up a BPO center in Cebu less expensive. As an IT park, lot owners no longer have to get individual approval from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority. “All they have to do now is register with PEZA as IT building developer to be able to avail of government tax and fiscal incentives,” he said.
After dominating the offshore outsourcing market particularly for clients in the US and UK, Indian BPO companies are now pushing for a much better onshore presence for new business opportunities in financial services and healthcare.
"The BPO industry earlier was almost everything offshore unlike the IT sector, which always maintained a strong onshore presence. For BPOs, offshore will continue to play a critical part because of the cost and quality advantage," Patni senior vice-president and global head BPO Sanjiv Kapur said. "But from a BPO perspective, it is changing from a 95-97 percent offshore model to a 70-75 percent offshore model, with 25 percent of the work being done onshore."
Unlike offshore outsourcing in which tasks are outsourced to a firm located in another country, onshore outsourcing refers to the process of transferring work to a company in the same country.
Integreon, an Ayala-led BPO unit, had closed a 10-year outsourcing contract worth $852 million with UK-based CMS Cameron McKenna, one of the largest law firms in the world. This is said to be the biggest deal of its kind in the legal outsourcing industry.
According to Duncan Weston, CMS Cameron McKenna managing partner, they chose Integreon because of its worldwide network of experienced professionals.
Some of the tasks that will be outsourced are accounting and finance, HR, marketing and communications, research, and IT.
“By outsourcing nonbillable tasks to Integreon, which is majority owned by LiveIt, Ayala Corp.’s BPO holding company, CMS Cameron McKenna can focus on its core competency - providing high-end legal and tax services,” Ayala Corp. said. "CMS Cameron McKenna’s decision to outsource its Middle Office is part of its ambitious and progressive strategy to create a new model for law firms.”
by: Karen Cayamanda
There are provisions in the Labor Code that must be amended, and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop) had expressed their willingness to work with the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) to make the necessary changes.
According to Ecop president Miguel Varela, amendments must be made in the Labor Code so companies can be more competitive. One “outdated” provision that they want to be amended is the legal prohibition on night work for female employees. “In the 24-hour-duty cycle of the business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry alone, we now have more than 500,000 workers, the majority of whom are women,” said TUCP secretary general Ernesto Herrera. “The outright ban on night work for women has been rendered outmoded by the rapidly changing times.” TUCP added that the issue on labor subcontracting must also be discussed.
Egypt’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector posted a growth rate of 11.3 percent. This helped the country’s economy to grow 5.8 percent in Q1 of 2010.
When it comes to outsourcing, Egypt got big deals from Sykes Enterprise and Stream Global Services and other companies in 2009. "We have had a positive start to the year with new companies investing and local companies developing and expanding their capabilities and services. We are confident that the sector will continue to grow during the remainder of 2010 and that we will see more multinational companies expanding and outsourcing their business to Egypt," said Dr. Hazem Abdelazim, CEO of Egypt's Information Technology Industry Development Agency.
Aside from investing in infrastructure, the country also focuses on reducing piracy, with its rating currently at 59 percent. Abdelazim said this is lower compared to piracy ratings of other destinations.