The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Call centres brace for tough time

Calcutta, Nov. 18: The Indian call-centre industry should gear up to meet the emerging complexities of outsourcing business and pressure on pricing, said Nortel Networks’ Chris Luxford.

Nortel, which has identified the country as a key growth area for its business of providing solutions catering to voice and data requirements, feels that the calls reaching call-centre agents will be more complex as simpler questions will be answered by self-help tools.

Outlining the key trends and challenges of the BPO industry, Luxford, director, portfolio management enterprise, VoIP, Asia Pacific, said, “Multi-channel models of communication will evolve. This will be the answer to the rise in legislation aimed at blocking calls from call centres in the US. Tighter budgets will require new technologies to attend to simpler queries. As a result, there will be a decline in the number of calls, though the length of calls will increase.”

Market analysts say now 121,000 call-centre agents answer one of every 24 calls from an offshore base. By 2008, the number of agents will increase to 320,000 and one in every 15 calls will reach an offshore base.

While outlining the growth strategy, Luxford said that it would be necessary to reduce inefficiency and lower excess capital expenditure.

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