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India's Outsourcing Firms Must Boost Morale

Potential recruits are going to more traditional industries
Software programmers develop applications at the MoFirst Solutions office in Mumbai
Software programmers develop applications at the MoFirst Solutions office in MumbaiPhotograph by Kainaz Amaria/Bloomberg

India’s business-process-outsourcing (BPO) companies have a problem. The $50 billion industry has enjoyed phenomenal growth: The top 20 BPO companies’ employee base grew 12 percent in 2011, according to Dataquest, and the domestic market is expanding.

Yet BPO companies are struggling to attract the right talent. Not long ago, a BPO job was considered prestigious and financially beneficial, but lately potential candidates have opted for jobs in more traditional sectors such as banking, retail, and manufacturing. One of the critical issues facing business leaders today is the people perception that BPO jobs are unattractive. Rebranding could help change this view, but leaders can only achieve a true shift in people’s perceptions of BPO jobs when professionals in the industry view them as an attractive career option. When BPO employees feel loyalty to their companies and advocate for them, they provide excellent images of the industry to the outside world.