Those who don't mind lifestyle compromises -- like nightshifts -- associated with international BPOs can choose and select the most appropriate role and company to build a career in the industry.
In the second in a series of articles on the BPO sector, Get Ahead offers you a broad outline of the many opportunities within the industry.
- Do you need guidance on careers in the BPO sector? Write to Zia Sheikh!
Contrary to common misconceptions that BPOs only offer limited exposure, there is actually a wide range of functional areas from which people can choose to build their careers. These include:
- Operations management
- Quality control and assurance
- Business development
- Project management and process migration
- Client services and account management
- Training and development
- Human resource management
- Finance and accounts
- Information technology and systems
- Facilities and infrastructure management
Within these functional areas, there are various roles, responsibilities and positions available:
- Customer service professionals/Representatives/Agents
- Team leaders/Supervisors
- Quality coaches/Quality controllers/Quality assurance supervisors
- Voice/Accent/Culture trainers
- Product and process trainers
- Account managers/Client relationship managers
- Project managers/Migration executives
- Shift supervisors/Managers
- Process leaders/Programme managers
- Quality managers/Operations managers
With the range of positions and roles available at BPOs, what are the necessary qualifications to work in the sector? The great news is that there is a position for everyone, from the widest range of backgrounds possible. Here is a look:
- High school graduates
- Bachelor degree holders from various backgrounds, including Science, Arts, Commerce, Social Sciences, etc
- Engineers and technical diploma holders
- Degrees/diploma holders from professional colleges/polytechnics
- MBA graduates and chartered accountants
- Other post-graduate and doctoral degree holders
A hunger for talent
BPOs and call centres in India are known for their preference for youngsters and fresh graduates. Is that a hindrance for people with industry experience looking for alternative careers?
The answer is that the BPO industry has a strong hunger for talent, especially for people with prior industry experience because they are able to better understand the client's business. From among the popular industries that people apply are:
- Hospitality (hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs)
- Retail (shopping malls, consumer products, health clubs, gaming parlours)
- Travel (airlines, travel agencies, tour operators)
- Financial services (retail banking, credit cards, accounting firms)
- Technology (software and hardware vendors, OEMs, ISPs)
- Telecom (cellular phone and paging companies)
- Domestic and international customer service/sales centres
Among the key advantages of working with international BPOs are:
- Excellent remuneration packages worth Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 per month for entry level positions.
- Fast track career growth options, with promotions/salary increments every six to 12 months.
- Breadth and depth of roles and job functions, enabling people to select the area that best matches their skill sets and interests.
- Opportunity to work for international corporations, supporting their customers and learning from their global best practices.
- Benefiting from the extensive training and skills development programmes offered by most good BPOs, helping people develop strong communication and interpersonal abilities.
- Opportunity to travel overseas to learn the client's business and/or migrate business offshore from other English-speaking countries like the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.
More by Zia Sheikh: To BPO or not? Myths and realities
Zia Sheikh is the CEO, Infowavz International, a leading offshore business process outsourcing firm.
Do you need guidance on careers in the BPO sector? Write to Zia Sheikh!