student at laptop

Source: Shutterstock

India’s BPM companies reflect tech requirements

SHIFTS in the underlying skillsets required by the business process management (BPM) industry have led to a change in the type of graduates required by the sector in India.

While non-technical BA, BSc and BCom (Bachelor of Commerce) graduates still find places in the BPM field, there is increasing demand from employers for graduates with coding, programming and data-based skills, such as cybersecurity and data analytics.

A statement issued by the Indian BPM trade body, Nasscom, stated that by 2025, 60 to 70 percent of generated revenue is expected to come from digital technologies, from a total that is expected to reach the US$50bn mark.

“[…] the industry is going to look very different. […] One of the most important things is to re-skill the existing workforce and also create a skilled workforce that will enter the industry,” said Rohit Kapoor, chair of the Nasscom BPM Council.

While the Indian IT services industry (a player with a longer track record in tech than BPM) has invested heavily in training its staff, the BPM industry is looking for graduates who are industry-ready.

students at laptops

Jobs may be lost in the BPM sector as tech replaces low-end positions. Source: Shutterstock

Many Indian IT service providers such as TCS, Wipro, Infosys and HCL Technologies offer new recruits three to six months of training. The BPM sector is not currently following their lead and thereby saving on staff-training costs.

Instead, Nasscom is going to the source and creating new partnerships with universities and other higher-education establishments through its internal skills council in order to create new courses and curricula.

“If the colleges where our future employees [train] are not teaching big data, analytics, design thinking among others, we will not be able to maintain the global leadership position. Getting a pure fresh employee would not meet the need in terms of time-frame and cost,” said Raman Roy, chairman of Nasscom.

Partha DeSarkar, chief executive officer of Hinduja Global Solutions (part of the global giant, Hinduja Group) puts the onus specifically on employees-to-be:

“There is a skill shortage in terms of new technologies. However, the new employees need to understand about the changing job market and should come with skills that the market needs.”

As well as broader, industry-based initiatives, individual BPM companies are also starting partnerships in specific educational institutions.

WNS Services, headquartered in Mumbai and with over 30,000 employees, for example, have formed a partnership with NIIT University to offer a two-year working MBA course, specializing in business analytics.

Kris Lakshmikanth, chairman and managing director of employment agency Head Hunters India, said:

“With automation kicking in and customers also looking for more digital interaction channels, the Indian BPM industry is likely to add fewer people for the low [level] jobs. This may result in 25 percent decline in […] overall hiring by the Indian BPM industry.”

Lakshmikanth’s comments reflect the overall industry position that many positions which traditionally have been required in data entry, data processing, and baseline analytics, will be replaced by technology.