Tuesday, May 29, 2007

China lags far behind India in BPO sector

Source: Timesofindia.indiatimes.com

China's push to become an alternate Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) hub for MNCs tackling soaring wages and high attrition rate in India remains a distant dream as its offshore market is developing slower than expected, a study says.

Despite significant government support and huge level of visibility on the global arena, China's offshore market has not taken off as expected and still has a long way to become a potential alternative to India, technology research firm Forrester said in a report.

Multinational firms, considering China as a "quick-fix" solution to deal with rising costs and high attrition of employees in other offshore locations like India, would be sorely disappointed by the country's slowing offshore momentum, the report said.

"When we first looked at China's offshore and global delivery model nearly two years ago, the country was widely viewed as the key challenger to India for offshore supremacy. However, our latest research shows that to date, the market has not taken off as expected," Forrester's V-P John McCarthy has said.

McCarthy, who had predicted in 2002 that over three million BPO jobs in the US would go offshore, added that firms with large bases in India should consider other geographies when addressing the risk mitigation issue.

Even countries like the Philippines, Mexico and Brazil could prove to be better alternatives than China for diversifying offshore exposure, McCarthy said.

Noting that China's percentage of overall offshore resources has dropped and other countries were growing at a faster pace, Forrester said the country needs to refocus its offshore efforts.

Instead of trying to compete in areas like application development and management, where India clearly dominates, China should encourage its local firms to focus on other areas like testing, data management and product development services.