Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the process of hiring a third party to complete a business process of an organization in order to save time, money and other resources.
In the early days, BPO usually consisted of outsourcing processes such as payroll, customer service but later it gradually grew to include employee benefits management. Now it encompasses a number of functions that are considered "non-core" to the primary business strategy. India has a market of $1.69 Billion and is expected to increase up to $2.57 Billion by the year 2014. In India many youngsters are pressurized not to take up a BPO job by family and peer groups because of various myths & misconceptions. Some of the myths & misconceptions include:
1. Taking calls in a BPO will put your career to a stalemate
In India most people believe that BPO jobs are only call centre jobs. This is a myth because BPO Industry does not consist of only handling calls in a call centre. Organizations’ nowadays have started outsourcing any part of their business which they feel can be done effectively by a third party which in turn ensures the organization saves money, time, energy and concentrate on other core areas.
Lack of awareness about the BPO industry has generated a lopsided view. Many a times it is believed that a customer service representative in a call centre is the only BPO job. This myth has to be changed especially in an era where outsourcing has become an integral part of our economy.
2. BPO jobs are all night shifts
This is one of the most widespread myths. It’s only the customer care representatives who work in night shifts in India because of the differences in time zones between the transaction country & the outsourced country. It cannot be denied that most of the outsourced jobs are customer service, yet there are quite a bit beyond customer service as well.
Jobs in the area of research, finance, HR and marketing are done to a huge extent during the day. Hence it becomes very important for us to read and understand the job profile before choosing or rejecting a job offer.
3. You will lose interest in higher studies if you start a job in the BPO industry
At times you may have to work 10-12 hours but that could happen to anyone in any industry but that does not mean you’re putting your goals in jeopardy. It is always better for people to work for a few years before higher studies because you get a feel of work, work culture, work environments, work ethics and networking which is a very huge factor in corporate business.
Another important fact is that when you work for a few years you get an understanding of your strengths and hence you can specialize in your area of interest and that will help you grow in your career.
4. You will lose social touch
80 % of the BPO jobs give you two days off a week. Besides we live in a competitive world where our time for recreation/ spare time have drastically come down. The way you keep in touch depends on the individual to a large extent.
5. A BPO job does not hold a high status within the community
A BPO Job is considered a mediocre job because of the myths and the fact that people still believe all BPO jobs are all Call Centre Jobs. People prefer working in Day shifts and prefer working in primary jobs related to the own company. Back end jobs have never been appreciated in this country.
These are things that an individual needs to learn and cope with. If you are focused and if you believe in what you are doing your hard work should be able to do the talking.
The problem is that a BPO job is not completely understood hence perceptions will arise but it actually does not affect your morale unless you allow it to effect you.
However, there are 2 things that you should keep in mind while choosing a BPO job.
1. A lot of BPO jobs do not give you an opportunity to learn as much as you expect and personally I feel that people need to choose Jobs that help you learn a lot more for the first 10 years of their career because you will learn to face situations, people, resources etc. So always be careful while choosing a job and make sure you choose one which helps you to learn as much you can.
2. Night shifts for a prolonged period are bad for your physical and mental health especially if you’re taking calls throughout the 9-10 hours of work.
It ultimately boils down to one simple aspect that some of us tend to overlook: Do not reject a job based on its industry but choose a job based on the job profile, personal interests & amount of learning you can get.