Monday, September 26, 2005

Reuters on Indian call centre helps Texans deal with Rita

This is from Reuters.

It is interestingly unique story that outsourcing critics like to ignore.
A call centre in Gujarat has been fielding scores of distress calls from Texas residents about Hurricane Rita, the unit's director said on Sunday.
The call centre run by Effective Teleservices is informing affected Texas residents about safer locations, evacuation and relief operations.
The call centre located in Gujarat's capital, Gandhinagar, started fielding around 20 calls an hour after the U.S.-based firm's two call centres in Texas were temporarily shut down due to fear that they could suffer damage from Hurricane Rita.
"I received a frantic call from Robert Hurst, a senior judge in Texas on Friday night," Jim Iyoob, the centre's director in Gujarat and a resident of Texas.
"He requested me to set up a helpline at the Business Process Outsourcing centre to help evacuees in Texas find a temporary shelter from the hurricane."
The officials immediately started the helpline with nearly a dozen agents providing information sourced from the Internet.
"All calls from our Texas office are being diverted to India," says Iyoob who is helping anxious callers and updating them on the situation by monitoring various Web sites and maps.
Hurricane Rita left the U.S. Gulf Coast, reeling from two powerful storms in less than a month, with renewed flooding in New Orleans, widespread power outages and hundreds of miles of roads closed by debris.
Helped by cheap telecoms and English speakers working for a fifth of Western wages, India's back-office services industry employed 348,000 employees at the end of March and posted revenue of $5.2 billion in the year to March 2005.

The article sponsored by A-1 Technology Inc, dealing in offshore software development and software outsourcing.