BPO or business process outsourcing, is a form of outsourcing that involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of specific business functions (or processes) to a third-party service provider. This sector has seen phenomenal growth over the last decade. This industry revenue grossed USD 58.8 billion in the Fiscal Year 2008-2009.
The majority among those employed in this sector are people in the age bracket of 19 to 25, or young India, to be precise. So what has all this money done to these people? Some conservatives may scream that this is nothing more than Americanisation of the Indian culture and these youth have lost their moral values etc. Well, what do they mean by moral values? Is there a binding definition to the word moral values? No. Frustrated idiots like Pramod Muthalik use terms like ‘moral values’ and ‘Indian culture’ to bash up pub going women. The BPO sector has brought financial independence to the youth, especially the women and has indirectly affected the way the youth talk and think. Considering the fact that the youth is the majority of population in India, we can safely assume that this has affected the way Indians talk and think. Some say that BPO employees are also subjected to high levels of stress, but tell me, which job doesn’t have stress? Nowadays, even classical stress free government jobs have loads of stress. Trust me, I have heard this straight from the horse’s mouth.
It’s not only the BPO sector which has brought a sea change in the nation’s youth. The internet, easy availability of quality higher education and the media have been instrumental in shaping the nation’s youth, all for the better. It’s not the BPOs alone which have altered young India. All these have definitely made them more western in their way of dressing, behavior etc, but I fail to see the harm in that. It was going to happen one day anyway, but the BPO bloom was instrumental in initiating it. Along with the financial independence, it has brought mall fever, live in relationships and what not. I can go on linking a dozen such topics on Youth Ki Awaaz which can be perceived as direct or indirect effects of the BPO rise. The emergence of western brands, especially in the Fast food and apparel sectors is a direct result of the rise of the BPO sector. The youth has been lapping all these up and after all, everyone enjoys a life in the fast lane. So it’s basically a win-win situation for all. The IT and BPO sector has also lead to large scale reduction of unemployment in the nation.
However, there’s one downside to this. A number of lifestyle diseases which were almost invisible a decade ago are very much visible nowadays. For example, obesity and diabetes are common household words nowadays. These are all direct effects of western lifestyle especially foods like burger and fried chicken. People have been working madly against the biological clock and this has led to not only health issues but also frequent mood swings. So, it’s up to you to decide whether the youth have been altered by BPO firms for the better or for worse.
The writer is an Andhra Pradesh based correspondent at Youth Ki Awaaz.