BPO Guidelines

Call centre trends for 2021

The Centre has liberalized the guidelines for Other Service Providers (OSPs) to make India a favourable destination for expanding voice-related Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). The Union Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology has finally removed the distinction between domestic and international OSP. A BPO centre with common telecom resources will now serve customers located worldwide, including in India. The easing of guidelines would lead to cost-saving for BPO companies.

These entities are business process outsourcing (BPO) organizations giving Voice-based services in India and abroad. The Guidelines issued today further liberalized the special dispensation given to OSPs in addition to the significant measures already announced and implemented in November 2020, the Ministry of Communications said in a release.

The BPM industry revenues grew from USD 37.6 billion in 2019-20 to USD 38.5 billion in 2020-21, despite the pandemic. This was largely possible due to the industry's ability to work remotely and majorly enabled by the Government of India's relaxations of WFH requirements under the OSP regime, first temporarily in March 2020 and then complete reforms under the new guidelines in November 2020.

The Highlight of the Global Business is given below:

  1. Current BPM market – USD 198 BN

  2. Outsourcing Market – USD 91 BN (46%)

  3. Current BPM outsourcing revenue, India – USD 38.5 BN (Rs 2.8 lakh crore)

The main features of the liberalized guidelines announced today are:

  • Distinction between Domestic and International OSPs has been removed. A BPO centre with common Telecom resources will now serve customers located worldwide, including in India.

  • EPABX (Electronic Private Automatic Branch Exchange) of the OSP can be located anywhere in the world. OSPs, apart from utilizing EPABX services of the Telecom Service Providers, can also discover their EPABX at third Party Data Centres in India.

  • With the removal of the distinction between Domestic and International OSP centres, the interconnectivity between all types of OSP centres is now permitted.

  • Remote Agents of OSP can now connect directly with the Centralized EPABX/ EPABX of the OSP/ EPABX of the customer using any technology, including Broadband over wireline/ wireless.

  • No restriction for data interconnectivity between any OSP centres of the same company or group company or any unrelated company.

  • It may be recalled that DoT has already exempted Data-Based Services from the OSP regulations. In addition, the regulations exempted OSPs from the requirement of any registration. Also, no Bank Guarantees were to be furnished. Work from Home and Work from Anywhere was also permitted.

  • Penalties for violations were removed altogether, reaffirming the trusted Government has in the business.

Further liberalization of Guidelines today will provide a significant fillip for India's growth of the OSP industry. This will create immense opportunities, income and employment in India.

OLD LIBERALIZED GUIDELINES issued in November 2020

  • Data related OSPs were totally taken out of the ambit of any regulation

  • No Bank Guarantees

  • No requirement of static IP

  • No requirement of reporting to the DoT

  • No requirement of publication of Network Diagram

  • No penalties

  • Made Work from Anywhere a reality

An OSP reforms impact survey conducted by NASSCOM in April 2021 enumerated the following essential findings:

  • Over 72% of the respondents mentioned that they are delighted with the OSP reforms

  • 95% of the respondent mentioned has helped in reducing the compliance burden and cost of doing business in India

  • 95% of the respondent also stated that this will help in making IT services more competitive globally

  • Another 77% of the respondent mentioned that OSP reforms have helped in increasing the productivity

  • 92% of respondent stating that reforms also helped in reducing the financial burden on the companies

  • 62% of the respondent mentioned that they will consider expanding their operation or will make fresh investments basis the OSP reforms

  • 55% also mentioned that this will help in generating new employment opportunities and will enhance access to talent

These reforms will further help the BPM industry reduce its establishment cost and create synergies among different companies. Through these reforms, more and more MNCs will get attracted towards India as a favourable destination, leading to more FDIs.