Career in KPO and BPO

Introduction

BPOs and KPOs have thrown open exciting job opportunities to youngsters in India. This is a field that has employed thousands of professionals and given them international working environment with great salary packages. BPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing and KPO expands to Knowledge Process Outsourcing.

These are companies that hire resources on their payroll and offer them work from their customers empanelled from different countries. To elaborate, a BPO is a company that hires people to offer services to its clients abroad. The work these resources do may vary from data entry, medical transcription, content writing, software programming to HR and Financial services.

While BPO is a common term used for all businesses, KPO focuses on Knowledge and information related activities and demands highly skilled personnel. Some examples of KPO include legal services, intellectual property and patent related services, engineering related services, web development, CAD/CAM applications, business research and analytics, legal research, clinical research, publishing and market research (market research KPO).

Step-by-Step

To get into a BPO, you need not be a very qualified or overtly experienced professional. You can directly start working after school or college and start earning. You must be willing to work in shifts. The challenge in a BPO job is that it requires you to be extremely fast and professional. If you have good communication skills, you may start with a customer services job. If you are technically qualified in Information technology, you may try appearing for interviews for technical support professionals.

The basic requirements in a KPO are much higher when compared with a BPO. For instance, the usual functions associated with a BPO are data entry, processing, department outsourcing, technical support and customer support. However, a KPO operates on the following: Research & Development, ; Financial Consultancy and Services; Advanced Web Applications;  Business and Technical Analysis; Learning Solutions;  Animation and Design; Business and Market Research; Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology; Medical Services;  Writing and Content Development; Legal Services; Intellectual Property (IP) Research; Data Analytics; Network Management; and Training and Consultancy.

Thus, to join a KPO, you need to have the relevant skill set and knowledge.

Start Early

As a student who has cleared school exams and on hunt for a part-time job, a job in BPO is the best option. You may join as a customer support executive, a technical support executive, or a process executive in the beginning at a decent salary that would compensate for your pocket money.

Joining a BPO is a bright option when in college as that would give you industry exposure and the courage to face the real world at a young age. For getting into a KPO, you will need to study further. You may try completing your Master’s degree by the time you apply for a job with a KPO.

Is it the Right Career for Me?

Choosing a career with a BPO or a KPO is the right choice for students who prefer challenges on the work front. Owing to long hours of work that you would be putting in, you should be ready to face a lot of work pressure. Similarly, as it is a job with odd timings you should be willing to let go of your routine. Growth in a BPO is much faster compared with other industries.

Job Prospects

The job prospects in a BPO/KPO are quite high as several countries such as the US and the UK prefer to outsource their jobs to countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other Asian countries.

You may check jobsites over the internet and find jobs for process executives if you are a fresher. If you are an experienced professional from IT or another sector wanting to join the BPO/KPO industry, you may check out positions in the following divisions: Operations Management, Content Management, Research and Analytics, Legal Services, Training and Consultancy and Data Analytics.

Pay Packet

The salaries of BPO employees start from Rs 7,000 and Rs 20,000. The salary depends entirely on the complexity and shift requirements of the job offered. Nonetheless, the career growth is quite fast in this industry and within a few years’ time, it is possible to become a team lead or a group lead. All that counts is good performance.

However, if you are looking at a job option that allows you to travel abroad frequently, you should try for a job with a KPO after qualifying for it.

Demand and Supply

There is always healthy requirement of BPO employees. For instance, companies that hire data entry operators, shipment executives, web designers and graphic designers for US and UK publications would always require diploma or certificate holders in multimedia courses. Even if one does not hold a proper engineering degree in computer science, it is possible to get a job. Thus, the supply is usually at par with the demand.

On the other hand, you need to be highly qualified to get into a KPO. The demand is quite high but the supply is usually less as the numbers of qualified professionals are less.

Market Watch

The growth of BPO and KPO cannot be challenged in the coming 10 years at least. This is owing to the rampant globalization of businesses across the world. As a result of this, there are several ‘work from home’ options available.

International Focus

Several top-notch companies in the field of publications, IT, Knowledge management and financial and legal services continue to outsource work to Asian countries as the value of labour is less in these countries. This has opened up a wide array of opportunities for youngsters who shift to cities from rural areas. This has further helped youth to think from an economical perspective and economically support their families.

Even Asian countries such as Japan and Korea have outsourced their jobs to India.

Positives/Negatives

+ives:

  • The opportunities are many. As a fresher, you have a wide array of options to choose from, in order to enter the BPO industry.
  • The growth of the industry has seen a positive upsurge in many parts of Asian countries.
  • The opportunities have provided bread and butter to several families that had been living in poverty for several years.

 

-ives:

  • The work pressure is quite huge in BPO and KPO. The sleep cycles are disturbed for individuals and they often require medical guidance to handle stress.
  • The timings are not very flexible; however the pay packages are low when compared with the work volumes. This leads employees to feel exploited several times.
  • There are no proper laws for governing BPO and KPO yet. As a result, the dignity of labour is not very high. There is a constant risk of lay offs every now and then leading to instability in an individual’s career.

 

Different Roles, Different Names

The KPO is primarily a part of the BPO sector itself. However, due to the enhanced skill set and educational background needed for joining a KPO, it has been categorized separately. Overall, the tasks and job responsibilities in both these sectors vary in complexity, salaries and nature of the job.

Top Companies

According to NASSCOM, a well known regulatory body in India, the top 10 BPO so far is:


1.    Genpact
2.    WNS Global
3.    IBM Daksh
4.    Aditya Birla Minacs Worldwide
5.    TCS BPO
6.    Wipro BPO
7.    First Source
8.    Infosys BPO
9.    HCL BPO
10.    EXL Service Holding

Tips for Getting Hired

To get started with a job in an outsourcing company, you need to be aware of three basic principles:

 

  1. Be willing to work any time of the day or night without any hesitation and be willing to work extra hours.
  2. For the first few years, focus on growth into a team lead and then as an Operations Manager so that you may change your job if you receive better opportunities in future!
  3. Accept a salary of about Rs. 9,000 to Rs. 12,000 in the beginning and then move on from there.
  4. If you are well qualified with excellent communication skills, you may demand more. However, if you accept very low salaries, you may land up being exploited!

 

Read more Careers on : careers, BPO, outsourcing, KPO, team leader

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