March 04, 2005
The Reliance group is moving into business process outsourcing in a big way. The strategy is being charted by Reliance Infocomm, its telecommunications arm.
Reliance Infocomm has a captive centre, but now plans to extend BPO services to customers outside the group. It intends to leverage its expertise in telecom, manufacturing and financial services and offer services across the board, ranging from customer services to value-added services.
Outsourcing and India: Complete Coverage
When contacted, a Reliance Infocomm spokesperson said: "Reliance has always been of the belief that India has tremendous capability in the outsourcing business, owing to the large number of knowledge workers in the country. We believe Reliance can leverage its expertise in the telecom, manufacturing and financial services domain to provide outsourcing services to clients overseas. In the area of telecom services, typically, our expertise is not limited to customer service but extends to network outsourcing, process design and engineering, and customer relationship management."
"We expect the outsourcing business to contribute significantly to Reliance Infocomm's revenues in the next three years," he added.
The voice part of the BPO business is being conducted through Reliance Infostreams, which provides services to customers of group companies like Reliance Infocomm and Reliance Energy.
Reliance Infostreams has just added a leading US-based bank to its client list. Infocomm has a 3,200-seat facility at the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge Centre in Navi Mumbai. It recently set up another 600-seat office in Chennai.
It is now planning to add 1,200 seats this year in Kolkata and the National Capital Region. "Of course, this is just the beginning, and significant capacity addition is expected next year onwards," the spokesperson confirmed. The gameplan is to have regional hubs across the country.
The information technology industry's apex body, the National Association of Software and Service Companies, has predicted the revenue earned by the Indian IT-enabled services and BPO industry will touch $5.7 billion by the end of 2004-05, up 44.4 per cent from $3.9 billion in 2003-04.
According to analysts, the Reliance group itself has a large customer base and has built the requisite capability to service them.
With both the infrastructure and resources in place, it makes sense for it to expand its business and service other clients. Other Indian business groups like the Tatas, Godrej, the Aditya Birla group and the RPG group already have a presence in the BPO business.