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Industry of Mercenaries

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  • #13723

    Dear Friends:

    Call center industry is the Industry of Mercenaries. This includes people who were looking for higher salaries from various industries. September 11 and we had people from Airline industry popping in. Sales and marketing was seldom so well paying at lower/middle level designations. IT trouble,and so on. Add to this fresh grads who have never worked anywhere and they enter the world of call centers- Company cabs, free meals, night outs, parties and all and start believing that this is what job in private sector is…God forbid have we ever thought that what is going to happen to this manpower if something happens to this industry…even otherwise are they being groomed properly..not many of them get a chance to futher their education because often the nature of job is very stressful.

    Add to this undergrads, getting anywhere between 7 to 10K in Delhi/Mumbai…do they really know how exactly private sector otherwise operates…do they realize that if it were not for the OUTSOURCING funda and dollar-rupee conversion…they would have been in a different world…and are they ready for the times when this funda may be absent…

    What is all this?
    Kindly explain friends…


    I agree with you, booming phase of call center is not more than 4-5 years.but it will exist in some form or other.Man power has to prove their importance in this field when easy phase fades away.
    Survival for the fittest.
    You are super-cautious man, it seems you not aware about the man power utilised in this industry are not neccessarily IT Skilled. You must know what they would’ve done if there was no call center funda?
    You may be aware of, why the churn rate is high in this field.
    boys/girls many of them i know who are undergrads and working in cc to earn for higher studies.
    Others those who are not interested to go away they infact will be most benifitted …..
    Those seriously involved ppl defenitly will play key roles in future.
    At the conclusion : if all the world die then it will be the last thing to die is CRM.
    Trade is life and call center industry is economical mean to do that.
    I am sorry if i hurt anyone.


    Dear Mahesh:

    I do not agree to your point that most of the younsters who work in call center industry work for higher education. No..I have seen many youngsters from middle class background who loose focus on life itself, enter all sorts of bad habits, alcohol, drinking, womanising and the likes because of-
    1. So much cash in hand so fast.
    2. So many night outs, parties (organised by most call centers)
    3.The first 10 things that a person might buy varies with age group. And purchasing decision generally matures with age.
    Most of the agents come from urban middle class background, generally they are kids from public school background opent to working in night shifts. Obviously I do not intend to generalise this but that has been my observation.
    Secondly, is our urban middle class which is not adult enough to control eve teasing and needs constant censor to avoid excessive consumerism in our newly concept of market economy.

    How many of these agents get time to study, even for higher studies?

    Do these call centers know that they have landed up with the future of this country? I believe that other than just giving them training to result in more sales, better customer service or better process specific supervisory skills, they should focus on their overall professional growth (Like GE does- MBA for employees).

    Yes! I do understand that call centers are business houses (most of them entering it because they want more earnings, more dollars,…) and that they can’t exactly become CONVENT schools, but still MAYBE…


    In call centers attrition rate is very big problem. I have worked in a few of them and have personally contributed to this industry’s employee turnover ratio. While working in my last organization, I noticed that (and that happens to be a telemarketing giant) those guys were not worried about attrition rate because they believed that the major responsibility rested at the hiring stage. To explain it better, the process they used to follow was that they used to test adaptability, skill levels (English speaking, enunciation, etc) at interview level itself and limited pre-shopfloor training to only product based training. This effectively reduced their training. Now they followed a strict hire and policy on the other hand and non performers were immediately thrown out. This seems to have been very near to the way they used to operate in US.

    On the other hand I have observed that some call centers which do not have a great US touch, spend so much time on training and are rather careless at hiring level. Now here also the vested interests of training institutes lie, many of which have not more than a lady or gentleman who has lived in US and hence has a flaunt-able accent. I have seen that many of these training institutes do not have people who have actually done live calling. And even if there are, they generally are the exits from the mainstream operations of Call centers because of their own personal problems (night shifts, many ladies do have this problem though it is not limited to that sex alone) or simply the high pressure involved (eg, in cold calling). Seldom do we find a trainer who has say training-worthy experience since the industry itself is not that old in our country.
    So I believe high levels of trust and emphasis on training is not wise because it is more of a wastage of money and time.

    We should understand that this “Industry of Mercenaries” is yet not old enough in India to have a person in senior managerial designation from a hard core calling background (from an international call center). Yes, the management may go to US thousand times in a year, but still there is a difference in the operational effectiveness when policies and systems are:-
    1 Observed, grasped and implemented.
    2 Observed and ditto copied.
    3 Worked through by the people who implement them.

    In case 1 what happens is that grasping and implementation leads to forgetting of some core essential points related to patterns of working. In case 2, regional sensitiveness (social structure, ethics, political conditions, etc) are not taken into consideration.
    I believe case 3 is the best because when it comes to root level sensitivity (when it comes to ground level trouble shooting) experience of having worked one’s way up in that industry really works the best.

    But, again the industry is not old enough in India to have such people as required in case 3, so I believe that the best that we can do is that we develop a concept of knowledge sharing.Operational policies that all call centers follow, the results, changes done, results after that, man management policies (industry specific), processes implemented, audits, quality standards, etc should be shared .this would certainly help in the betterment of the working conditions for agents as well as the net productivity of this industry in India.Do not forget we have other nations coming.and let not low labour cost be our main plus point…

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