Indian BPO Company Opens Facility

Leading global BPO firm HCL Technologies Ltd., which opened a new center here yesterday that requires high domain knowledge and complex processes, has cited the Philippine culture and qualified talent pool as major factors that make the country best suited for the next generation global BPO processes.

"The Philippines is best suited culturally for the delivery of global back office support services," said Subrat Chakravarty, HCL vice-president and global head of HCL human resources, noting this is one major reason that BPOs flock to the country.

HCL formally opened its Philippine operation yesterday. Its Quezon City site would initially employ 120 people and is expected to reach full capacity of 400-seat center within the year at the Sunnymede IT Center along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City.

For the past three months, the company has invested in the infrastructure for its new site, training of people and other operational tools.

Chakravarty explained that India as a BPO destination has many opportunities, but it faces a cultural compatibility challenge with its foreign markets. The Philippines's western culture largely because of its American education and heritage fits well into the BPO industry, which caters to the global market.

"Culturally the Philippines is best suited that builds up the confidence side and it has talent pool that is best suited for this kind of global services delivery model," he said.

He explained that even if HCL has already moved up into the more complex BPO processes, they still need good communication skills of its employes.

Raghavan Rangarajan, HCL head of global operations, said they only come into the country now because its complex BPO processes require an already mature call center industry to support its operation.

"The Philippines has already gained lots of advantages and the people are quite ready to be trained for complex programs," he said. They Philippine center would be involved in high domain knowledge and complex services like banking and finance, healthcare and media publishing.

According to Rangarajan, talent and cultural compatibility rather than cost savings are the best attractions of the Philippines for BPO firms to locate here. He noted that the cost in India and the Philippines are almost the same.

"The call center industry here has matured already and we would like to take them to the next level," he said.

He further noted that aside from cultural fit and talent the Philippines has the proper infrastructure for the BPO industry and government support.

Since HCL is registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, it enjoys some incentives like income tax holiday, duty drawbacks, among others.

HCL is proud of the way they conduct its global operations saying they have a culture that democratizes the workplace.

"Employes First, Customers Second" is the company's slogan saying the trend now among companies is to empower its people to run the operation.

"We want to be known foremost on how we run the company," said Chakravarty, who also noted that they already produced 150 global CEOs.

Globally, HCL is a $6.2 billion global technology and IT enterprises comprising of two companies listed in India - HCL Technologies and HCL Infosystems. Founded in 1976, CHL is one of India's original IT garage start-ups. Its team consists of 90,000 professionals, who operate from 31 countries including over 500 points of presence in India. (BCM)

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