Infosys BPO plans niche centres: CEO

Infosys BPO has decided that all its new centres will be niche-based even as it proposes an additional gross hires of 10,000 during the next fiscal.

“Going forward, centres will develop into a niche for a specific industry,” the Infosys BPO Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mr Swami Swaminathan, told Business Line. For example, the Philippines centre carries out finance and accounts-related projects.

“We are not just a transaction partner, but a partner who can deliver on business objectives,” he pointed out. He added that earlier, when setting up a new centre, Infosys BPO would look at cost competitiveness and availability of talent, followed by the strategic advantage. Now, the strategic imperatives are given the highest weightage.

Biggest problem

Attrition, he said, is one of the biggest problems in his industry. Infosys BPO, which has around 19,000 people now, plans to hire 8,000 to 10,000 people in 2011-2012 on a gross basis. And while captives and some pure players are doing better, Mr Swami is unfazed.

“Some people quit because of a career mismatch, but over the last couple of quarters, we have found that people have realised that they can build a career for life in the BPO industry,” he opined. Mr Swami also feels that Infosys BPO can now provide employees with what they want. “The choices we offer today are huge. Captives cannot offer what we can offer.”

Tax holidays

Regarding the ending of the tax holidays in 2011, Mr Swami said that Infosys BPO will have to use the same tools that it uses to improve client efficiencies. “I think that the tax holidays will continue. We will get to know soon. In case they go away, we will have to pass on some of it to the clients. In any case, it will only be a temporary aberration.”

Though many BPO companies are not growing well — especially the integrated IT/ITeS companies — Mr Swami is confident about Infosys BPO’s future.

“We will still grow by 20 per cent this year. Earlier, we grew a lot more because the base was small.” He also blamed the general economy for the poor show of the BPO industry in recent times. “If the economy doesn’t grow globally, clients will be very careful.”

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