UK graduates and backpackers are being employed by UK companies to work in offshore Indian call centres at local salaries in an attempt to bridge the culture gap between agents and customers.
The travellers can earn from between 11,000 Rupees (£132) a month at entry level to 40,000 rupees (£480) a month as team leaders working in call centres supporting UK customer service operations, reports technology website silicon.com.
In terms of the cost of living in India, that would rank the UK workers at a similar level to teachers and other young professionals.
Delegates at the Offshore Customer Management Conference in New Delhi this week said there were two or three recruitment agencies now starting to target this market.
One of these agencies is Launch Offshore, which has just signed a deal for a pilot of six travellers to work for HSBC in its operations in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Colombo in Sri Lanka.
It also has a successful project with 10 UK graduates working for global contact centre firm GTL in the Indian city of Pune.
Most of the graduates already have experience of travelling and are typical aged between 21 and 25 years.
They usually go out to India on a 12-month contract, working for 10 months with an additional two months’ salary paid for them to travel. Accommodation and flights are also paid for.