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Dope on the latest happenings in the call centre world.

Vaibhav Wankhede gives you the Dope on the latest happenings in the call centre world.

Easy jobs, where art thou?
BPO companies announcing “we are hiring 5000 more employees” is an old story. The new buzz is BPO companies retrenching staff because they are losing business – or in call centre parlance “processes”.

Wipro Spectramind recently lost its Dell process, one of its most prestigious clients. Employees working on the Dell process now have to take some tough technical support tests to be able to work in other processes. Since not many have such extensive technical know-how, they are unable to clear the tech tests and are being asked to leave.

The AOL process is also on the verge of being shut down and will lead to similar retrenchment. This comes as a shock as not long ago, Wipro Spectramind was considered to be one of the best BPOs in India. Even as talk continues to centre on ’employee attrition’, there now seems to be a case of client attrition too.

Intelenet recently lost its Household Collections and AT&T processes. Another call centre – EDS – has lost a major part of its recently acquired ‘Sun Casini’ process. This non-tech process is one of the 4 processes that EDS lost within a span of 18 months. Insiders say that the Bellsouth process is also about to shut down as the number of calls is very low.

Sometimes employees end up taking only 3-4 calls in an entire shift. Although that sounds like an ‘aaraam ki naukri’, joining such a call centre does nothing for your career graph. So be careful when choosing where to work.

Though it is relatively easy to find another BPO job if you lose one, people losing their jobs in a call centre is a definitely a new phenomenon!

Eat This!
The canteen food in Accenture is so bad that many have complained of stomach pain and vowed never to eat there again. Incidentally, the canteen on the 3rd floor of the Mumbai branch of Wipro Spectramind is in bad condition. Vivek, an Accenture employee, says “The cockroach infested canteen has given me health problems”.

Kunal, who just left Wipro Spectramind and joined Intelenet, claims that 20-30% of their transport vehicles have no license or papers. So whenever they are caught by cops, the drivers buy their way out by bribing them!

False Promises!
Daksh, which had promised employees a 5K bonus every six months for sticking around, has done a volte face and scrapped the Sambandh bonus scheme. Employees who were working just to complete their 6 months terms are visibly disappointed as the increment is barely about 300-400 bucks. eBay, a web process, has completed a year on May 31st but there is still no news of the huge celebration normally associated with this event. In good news however, there’s a new back-office insurance process called Pinevalley which means more jobs.

New Opportunities!
Is lack of fluency in English and ‘regional’ accent, stopping you from bagging a coveted BPO job? Worry not, because the non-voice BPO segment, commonly referred to as ‘Web process’, in the call centre lingo, is here. This fast growing segment has opened a world of opportunities for junta who lack sophistication and proficiency in spoken English.
The job involves providing customer solutions through emails, updating databases, processing orders and other back-office work. Even in small towns such as Nasik, thanks to the non-voice segment, BPOs are coming up in a big way, though the salaries aren’t attractive as compared to voice-process.

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