India: A Call Center Sanctuary?

Posted on November 16, 2010 in Shout Out

By Malvika Joshi:

It is past midnight. Lights are twinkling and shadows walking inside the huge structures made out of glass and metal. This is a typical view one gets as one drives down the deserted roads of the Indian metros in the dead of the night. What are these structures? These are the fancy office buildings. We also call them call centres.

Irrespective of employment opportunities created by them and allowing the absorption of work force with minimal qualifications, these call centres, and back offices have also had latent destructive effects. Are we still in the colonial era where the westerners consider our country as a source of cheap labour? Sadly, the answer is yes. What these offices pay is quite enough for an Indian but not enough if you compare it with our western counterparts. Here, In India, one can splurge on expensive clothes, gadgets and parties. But is this what we call leading a purposeful life? Is materialism everything for us? Higher education is taking a backseat because everyone wants quick money. What about a career? After having a far better IQ than the countries that have set up their back end operations in India, we are just stooping down to petty jobs. Working European and US shifts, which start post noon and get over only post midnight, not only ruin the biological clock but leads to heart problems and mood swings. Apart from health and career, our culture is going to the dogs. Working five days a week and thronging the pubs and cinema halls is the trend. There is no place for creativity either at work or over the weekends. The work involves faking accents and gaping at the computers for hours. The result is decline in creativity and rise of wannabes. Crimes have also increased as people return late from work.

The questions we are left with are – “Are we incapable of creating jobs ourselves?” “Why cannot the population that will be unemployed post Ohio ban on outsourcing to India, be absorbed by indigenous companies?” “Is this real independence?” Think over it!

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  • Do some research for heaven’s sakes

    First thing … this article is clearly written by a “budding” or “aspiring” journalism student who has no knowledge on how the industry works on the inside … the only source for the article was the net or their highly opinionated brain!!!

    Secondly the “call centers” are just one part of the BPO industry… For u calling up “Americans” is soo down graded BUT what about the domestic call centers???? ….. I’m sure u have also called by Indian help lines ….all those are Domestic call centers… are they wannabes too???? FACT: Not everybody is able to become an engineer or a journalist (like u)… they are working hard and a have every right to enjoy their lives and work
    FACT: India has stopped taking new overseas customer care accounts (which require calling up and asking for payments or selling)… all these accounts are now being handled by other South-East asian countries …. India is now more into technical and financial areas …. And we excel in it!!!!!

    I agree that the entry in the “call centers” is comparatively easy BUT like any other industry u need proper qualifications to move ahead …seriously do some proper research!!!!!  I would like to request the author to visit some BPO companies… talk to their employees understand how they work … its much more than calling in fake accents.

    And please suggest some better profession coz in this all u get is- “decline in creativity and rise of wannabes.”

    “Crimes have also increased as people return late from work” —- Okay this is news to me….. u mean to say that only Call center have late working hours and responsible for crimes @ nite …. what about airports , hotel, security, advertising jobs even the journalist have to work till late night BUT only call centers are to be blamed???
    FACT: 98% Call center companies who have night shifts give their employees secured cabs!!!

    FACT: Obama talks about stopping outsourcing but even he knows that can’t be done ….world is getting smaller and the companies are more than willing to get their jobs done here in India !!!

    And the questions in end are so-not-in sync with reality!!!!

    Just one last thing: If u love ur profession good for u but this doesn’t allow u to ridicule other peoples prof.

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