ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Business and Employment»
  • Business & Society

Life in a BPO

Updated on September 21, 2015

Well, this is not an article which describes the A-Z of business process outsourcing to Asian countries. This article is an honest effort to figure out if the employees of these BPO companies are getting the desired benefits. BPO's have generated huge employment opportunities in India and few other Asian countries for over a decade. In fact, it has given the 'bread n butter' (read as pea nuts) to many talented youth of these countries. When I assess my life in BPO's, I can undoubtedly say that I have learned many new things from a BPO career. However, at the end of the day when one look at the bank balance (after 5-6 years of BPO life) and hospital bills (hypothetical), the question that one should ask thyself is 'Is this what I wanted in my life?'. If your answer is 'No', then you may continue reading this article.

When I joined a reputed BPO in 2007, My package was Rs.7000/month. Which I know is certainly not even 1/4th of what the client pay per employee. The volume of work that the 'associate class' do is certainly worth for a decent sum. Most of the BPO jobs are during late night hours irrespective of the fact whether the work is 'Live' or 'Deferred'. Having said that, I should also mention the fact that the quality of work that is being outsourced is of clerical level. Either it will be a 'voice based' process or a 'Non-voice' process. In either case, all that you need is good communication skills and basic computer knowledge. Those young graduates who aspire for a career in BPO industry should rethink if this is your cup of tea. Unfortunately, the complexity and severity of most of the process is nothing but just hyped. Unlike those processes which requires technical know how and critical thinking the rest all are just 'Ctrl+c' and 'Ctrl+v'.

Therefore, it's high time that the graduates start exploring industries other than BPO. Once you are in this industry then there is hardly a way out. My personal experiences are also not that great when it comes to switching of industry. The enormous work experience that you gain in a BPO is not valid when you try for a switch over. No matter whether you worked for a banking process, customer service, Automotive process, finance process, Collections, procurement and supply chain or a healthcare process, the prospective employer from the core industry won't give you preference. Once your work life kick starts, every small job (let it be a BPO or a normal sales job) will add up years to your Resume. Therefore, those who work in BPO just to kill time be cautious and be ready with an answer to cover up while you attend an interview in your desired industry.

During the times when recession tsunami hit the corporate world, Indian BPO's survived the wave by taking extreme measures like Lay off, cost cutting and axing the annual appraisals. However, the economy gradually picked up and new businesses started to flow in again. The boom which was there in beginning of last decade was over by then. Few BPO's not only reduced the pay package to mere peanuts but also axed the employee benefits and facilities. They removed Paper towels from toilets, Paper cups, Transport facility, Dustbins, Vending machines etc etc. This may have reduced their running costs however can they claim employee satisfaction? Employees are the foundation of any company and it can't be their corner stones and organisation values as they claim to be. The BPO's are largely taking advantage of the current economic scenario in India. As a nation we are almost on the verge of Inflation and prices are rising high day by day. This has also slowed down the job market in India in a big way. This may be the reason why the unsatisfied class is still holding on (matter of survival).

How night shifts affect your health?

Working for long hours every night and unhealthy diet along with lack of exposure to sunlight can lead to back pain and wrist pain. The lack of exposure to sunlight can lead to Vitamin D deficiency and in turn will make your bones frail.

How do they impress the client and attract more business?

Every contract will have a clause where in the BPO promises the client an annual discount of 5% or more on the billing. Some even go ahead and promise the reduction of a full time employee and add this burden of extra work on the remaining FTE's or hire some one new by paying peanuts. The client will be shown the reduced headcount and the additional FTE will work on a dummy id. This is an ongoing process in most BPO's. However this additional FTE wont affect their earnings much as they expect new business from the client. The client will always be impressed to see the accuracy and high productivity in manual processing which they can never achieve onshore. The trick here is the BPO's streamline the process by showing a calculation on how the overall processing time can be reduced by cut down of unnecessary steps. This simple steps will be introduced in a multiplied calculation on hourly basis and shows the yearly benefit to impress the client. The clients who are already impressed by the processing skills will fall for this data. During my on the job training in the USA, I observed that the clients are not well versed in spreadsheets as we the employees are. This is a major reason I think the outsourced processes always exceeds expectations when it comes to accuracy and productivity that too well within the TAT and SLA guidelines. Still, my question remains unanswered, 'Who is reaping the maximum benefits in outsourcing business?'. Is it the client company because they find it cost efficient and more productive; or is it the BPO's who squeeze their employees and deprive them of the basic amenities to increase their revenue; or is it the poor employees (both management class and associate class) who earn a living from the outsourcing industry. Whom do you think is reaping the optimum results in outsourcing?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great hub! I can understand and relate to it, as my daughter had been there a year back. Like any fresh graduate, she was excited to join her first job at a reputed IT company and we as parents happy to see her employed. Soon after the night shifts started giving me nightmares and I was after her to leave the BPO and apply for another job. Thankfully, she had the qualification and got the opportunity to join a regular nine to five job. Her one and a half year experience at the BPO was not considered at all. She had to join again as a fresher. A BPO employee's life is indeed very tough and not paid appropriately.

      Thanks for sharing this true to fact article.

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 4 years ago from India

      Thanks for the feedback Chitangada...!!

      I wrote it from my 'nightmare' experience and challenges. Happy to hear that your daughter has found a better job with a better timing. Unfortunately, I still didn't find a way out of BPO's. No one is counting this experience and it's a risk to start over again as a fresher especially after gaining 5 years of work exp. I'm sure most of the BPO employees like me didn't do proper research about the propects in this industry before joining. We all went by the 'Goodwill' of the company and wanted to proudly say to friends that I work for so and so.

    • profile image

      Preethi 4 years ago

      Hey Melvin.... nice article keep doing the good work!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Harini Narayan 4 years ago

      Could relate to my career as well...Well written !!

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 4 years ago from India

      Thanks for the feedback Preethi and Harini !! Glad to hear from you :)

    • profile image

      R Jose 4 years ago

      well written Melvin...

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 4 years ago from India

      Thanks Rem

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 4 years ago from India

      The hot-button issue of outsourcing reared its head in the Presidential debate on Tuesday as both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney jabbed at each other over their ability and plans to create jobs in the United States, Reports Times of India. Read more: http://goo.gl/zESlP

    • profile image

      Madhavi 4 years ago

      Upon all these if you are talented than your boss still you have to bow down and say yes boss as job means 'Just Obey the Boss' whether he/she has people management skill or professionally qualified or not irrespective of that or one among you who has convincing skill with which he/she is promoted but what matters is "position"..........

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 4 years ago from India

      Yeah rightly said Madhavi...Designation matters a lot in BPO industry !

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 4 years ago from India

      The Indian IT industry would have preferred not to have another four years of Barack Obama, having been at the receiving end of higher visa fees, lawsuits on misuse of visas and general anti-offshoring rhetoric during his first tenure. But some veterans said the Indian IT sector was "too big and too important" to the US to be affected much by whatever Obama now does. Reports Times of India. Read more: http://goo.gl/zRzpk

    • profile image

      Jonathan Dsouza 3 years ago

      Its so true bro.i am speechless as I feel the same.8+ year's of experience & I am still lost trying to find a way out of this industry. I regret my decision to join this industry daily...peace....

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 3 years ago from India

      Jonathan.. :) :)

    • royaldominic profile image

      Dom 3 years ago from Bangalore

      My name is dom, I am a 29 years old guy who has nothing to lose, I live with my parent in chennai. In 2007 I got out of college, I badly needed a job as I was a fresher, I joined a bpo, worked 2 years for them.. yes nightshift, I was one of the top performers in quality and sales. It was an outbound process. anyway there was no promotion,  no growth, but I got the service letter after trying hard. At the beginning when people heard that I was working for a bpo there were just mocking  didn't understand that but now I do. Anyway I joined sutherland, the company which has the worst management in the history of mankind. People who are in top management would stick with the company and terminate L1and L2 employees, rarely tls and mangers are on the list. Its true. Anyway i Worked and absconded 3 different times in sutherland, I was trying to relive in a proper way, but they did not wanna give the letter. You know what I was the no 1 performer in quality and sales in sutherland as well. I was productive and useful, But they weren't interested in giving my service letter, later I confirmed that the termination percentage in sutherland is more than 80 percent.. no job security whatsoever $6, overall I worked 3 years in sutherland.  After that I joined css corp, 8 months same old us process but I got the service letter. I didn't like the tech process, I was reqesting a different department but I didn't get any and I got relieved. Afterall I am 29 now and I m in the middle of nowhere from settling, its all because of bpo.. night shift.. no proper sleep. People some companies are bloodsuckers, you won't be getting what you deserve, one thing i learnt from bpo.. english.. I may not be perfect but better than a lot of people. So my point is, u don't have to wait for 8 years to know that bpo is a shit. you'll be in a different world, you won't be able to get the things done, you smoke, you drink, maybe you use drugs, on the other hand, package sucks!!!, Most people don't agree with that but it's real. Things that are lacking in bpos are money, job security, rules that support employee, limited career options, on top of that you lose your health. well, The bottom line bpos would lead u to your tomb. Watchout its 100% true, live your life don't waste it. Do not spoil your carrer as I did. If you still want to join you could find companies like hcl, cognizant, tcs, ajuba... these companies does treat its employee in a great way I agree. But you should join in a better package. You should get what you deserve. 

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 3 years ago from India

      Hey Dom, Agreed to all ur points.. Im also in the same boat and in the middle of nothing... Jus wondering if there is a way out of BPO industry.. Good Luck !

    • profile image

      Atul Balu 3 years ago

      I don't get it. Why didn't you guys just quit earlier? Instead of wasting like 8 years or so? Or did it take that long for you to understand what a BPO really is? Just a doubt.

    • C.V.Rajan profile image

      Disillusioned 2 years ago from Kerala, India

      Another well written article, with genuine concerns aired.

      C.V.

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 2 years ago from India

      Thank You :) :)

    • profile image

      cenaa 2 years ago

      i too worked in a bpo fr 2.5 mnths and i absconded health was damn low and now i fear about my nsr regestration !!! ne help pls ??

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 2 years ago from India

      @Cenna - I am not sure about that. However, check this link once. Hope this finds you well https://nationalskillsregistry.com/faq-understandi...

    • royaldominic profile image

      Dom 2 years ago from Bangalore

      Thanks for the replies, It's not that easy to change the domain !! If you were to do that, you would have to start from the scratch. A Good news! with God's blessing I have joined in a Good company which suits me! Working with Symantec for the last 6 months and it's been a great journey, Yes the skills that i have learned in the last 8 years helped me to get this job, Good package and i do love this job, I would say the best job that i have ever had. The only thing is It's 24/7 and i work at Night! Job security better than any company! Other benefits like insurance and medical policies are way better than any other organization that i have worked with.

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 2 years ago from India

      @Royaldominic- Glad to see you around again. Happy to know that your life changed since your last comment almost a year ago. All the best and Keep rocking!

    • profile image

      Prince Maurya 2 months ago

      Nice article and truth which you have revealed is still there after 4 years also. But my question is ; can we change this BPO culture ?

      Because this is also truth that this is the only industry which has given maximum employment to college pass out and fresh graduates. India still struggling with creating employment. So people won't have options from choosing this industry.

      So can this bpo cultured be changed ?

      Can we put any code of conduct in place for employee health & their basis needs. As you mentioned ; they remove toilet paper, cups, coffee. Which is true. To be honest, It feels like working in a jail.

      I have worked for few months on onshore location. And there employees' standard is management is completely different.

      But shocking thing is when I explained the situations of employee there in India , they got surprised as they are not aware of this. Is it true ??

      I hope one day employer should understand & treat the bpo employees with respect & give them a hygienic and healthy working atmosphere.

      Really appreciated for your effort on highlighting some bitter truth about this unnoticed industry.

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 2 months ago from India

      @Prince Maurya - Thanks for stopping by and sharing your valuable comment.

    • royaldominic profile image

      Dom 2 months ago from Bangalore

      Hi Melvin and peeps,

      I am glad to be back here again, Just wanted to let you all know that I had quit Symantec, though the company had lots of other benefits and paid reasonably better than other companies. I was not able to work at night shift since I got married in 2015 lol. Holly Molly... I moved to Bangalore and Joined in a hardware/software company. I take care of CS here. The experience I had with BPO did help me get this job. Life is full of uncertainty. One thing for sure! I will not work at night anymore. HR recruiter Job in a consultancy is 1000 times better than a BPO job. At least they get to work during the day and have a bright future.

    • Mellyunplugged profile image
      Author

      Melvin Augustine 8 weeks ago from India

      Glad to hear from you Dominic. All the best bro !

    Click to Rate This Article