India call centre boom set to slow in coming years

India’s
growing call centre business is set to slow within the next two years,
according to a new report.

The
report, by market analyst Datamonitor, says that newcomers to the Indian call
centre market are using aggressive strategies, such as significantly
discounting services, to grab a piece of the £255m market.

But
this is causing margins to shrink and, Datamonitor predicts, the industry will
witness a shakeout in the next two years.

While
thousands of UK jobs have been transferred to the subcontinent, over the last
year Indian call centre attrition rates have risen from 25 per cent to 30 per
cent and larger companies have started poaching staff from the opposition.

In
the report Indian Contact Centre Outsourcing: Surviving the Shakeout,
Datamonitor says: "To make matters worse… the Indian outsourcing bubble
is showing signs of contraction with some vendors shutting down operations and
others being acquired by large Indian IT companies. Many prominent Indian
business families ploughed investment into building contact centres in Indian
hot-spots, only to now be faced with under utilisation."

The
report claims that in five years the Indian call centre market will be
dominated by large Indian IT conglomerates, smaller Indian specialists and
large Western multi-nationals.

Currently
there are more than 250 contact centres, with 51,000 agents, devoted to
providing a service for international clients.

Indian
call centre agents earn and average of £1,700 a year and there is a pool of 250
million English-speakers and 15 million college graduates.

By Quentin Reade

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