Divestment-headed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has started to outsource operations and maintenance work of its customer care amid cash crunch and a shortage of workforce.
Divestment-headed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has started to outsource operations and maintenance work of its customer care amid cash crunch and a shortage of workforce. Cash-strapped BSNL recently saw as many as 78,570 of its employees opt for and retire under the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), and is now facing acute shortage of staff in circles including Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, The Indian Express cited sources as saying. Most of the BSNL’s customer care services executives had opted for the VRS scheme in October last year. The company is now facing a backlog of repair and maintenance complaints.
With a piling backlog of maintenance work over the last 10 months, the customers of the telecom have started to opt for broadband connections of private telcos. “With many people gone, all the task of repair and maintenance has fallen back on the few people left behind. There is no money to hire new technicians, so we have decided to outsource work to other private agencies,” an official with BSNL said, the newspaper reported. To tackle the situation, BSNL has outsourced repair and maintenance, collections of bills, issuance of new numbers, handling of bill related complaints and other tasks to third parties in districts like Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram in its Kerala circle.
It may now also look to outsource these jobs to private third parties in other districts of the state as well once it receives satisfactory results from the regions where outsourcing is currently going on. The outsourcing move is aimed at streamlining BSNL’s operations and reducing its expenditure on wages and remunerations. While the company faced issues such as inadequately equipped trained staff in its initial bids, the company has now tightened norms of the new tenders and is giving preference to firms which have worked with BSNL in the past. The company is trying to stay afloat and is also looking at other avenues such as leasing buildings and selling spare land to raise money for operations.