BPO staff to miss cars, candy bars!

Chennai, Bangalore, Jan 20 | Updated: Jan 21 2007, 06:23am hrs
Sindu (name changed) works for a top Chennai-based software companys BPO arm. But since the beginning of 2007, shes been seriously contemplating quitting her job. The reason: the company doesnt any more pick her up from home for night shifts. Instead, she has to walk down to a stop late in the night every day to catch the van to office. I am scared to wait at the pick-up point in the night. It is not safe at all, she laments.

Sindus dilemma is no exception across the booming BPO industry. Adds Anamika, who has an all night call centre job. The gruesome rape and murder of Prathibha has brought to light the dangers lady staff of BPOs and call centres face on a daily basis. Instead of increasing the security, now they are lowering the guard. Nasscom had promised to increase the guard for BPO staff immediately after the Prathiba incident, she says.

Nasscom had said that the gruesome murder highlights the need for safety and security, and for all concerned to take every possible measure to eliminate such crime. However, the BPOs have a different take on the issue. Says BS Murthy, CEO of IT recruitment firm Human Capital: Most third-party firms have become cautious of expenditure. The freebies to employees and random fun activities, considered as wasteful, will now go.

Echoes Manish Dugar, VP, finance, procurement and cost control, Wipro BPO: Initially, employee welfare activities were individual ideas to motivate people to be productive. We are managing costs to improve operational efficiency, by cutting down costs and improving utilisation.