Current State Of The Global Call Center Industry

Labor intensive industries always create a lot of excitement, much in fact, when that industry primarily serves foreign enterprises. This is because of the lack of such industries on hand, and their impact on labor demand on the other. While in the developing countries they create a stir because of they bring employment, in developed countries they gave rise to resentment for the same reason. But now, things are changing.
Current State of the Global Call Center Industry
Source - Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ACall_Centre_2006.jpg)

About a decade and a half ago, the booming call center industry had created both euphoria and concern about its impact on developed countries, job creation and economic impact. Gradually, the rhetoric seems to have disappeared and all have come to accept it as a part and parcel of how business will be done in future. Here is an analysis.

 

Towards Gradual Acceptance

Slowly, but surely, we have come to accept the global call center industry as an inevitable part of the modern business environment.

During the last decade, call centers in other countries have attracted enormous attention, debate and criticism. Yet, the

global call center industry has continued to prosper, making it an important support industry in the rapidly changing world of business. In the mean time, economists and business experts have finally come to conclude that the adverse impacts of shifting of call centers outside your country are far outweighed by the advantages that result from such outsourcing. It is estimated that for every job that was outsourced to a foreign land, there were almost two jobs created from the increased profits and cost cutting that resulted from it.

Reasons for Survival & Growth of Global Call Center Industry

The basic reason of survival and growth of global call center industry so far lies in the advantage that it provides by way of access to labor that costs a fifth or even less of what it would cost in here, and at the same time avoids immigration and all its complications. Countries like Philippines and India have enormous English speaking manpower, readily available to work for companies in the developed world, and accessing them helps substantially in sustaining the bottom-line of business enterprises. This advantage has allowed them to make the best use of opportunities arising in the global call center industry. Many other countries have subsequently followed suite, making this industry one of the most globally diversified in the history of international trade and business.

While India and Philippines made most of the initial growth of this industry, most new expansion is taking place in new territories like Eastern Europe and East Asia, while also expanding to new territories. Recently a call center was opened in Nepal. The biggest challenge to the existing players in the coming years will be China, where English is being taken up at the same level now, which has seen Chinese dominate the world of sports and Olympics earlier this year. In its tryst to become the dominating superpower of the world, English expertise is one of the dominating endeavors for the Chinese. More importantly, they are developing their expertise in other foreign


languages too, which may help them succeed in having a highly diversified global call center industry in China in the coming years.

Written off, and yet it Withstood the Global Crisis

Global call center industry had been repeatedly written off by some critics, yet it has not only survived, but continues to grow. The primary reason for this is the necessity for the producers and service providers to cut costs. The need for doing so has become manifold in the current economic downturn. If the recessionary trend continues, no stones would be left unturned, including outsourcing of non-core activities like call centers. By doing so, they can cut costs, preserve their bottom-line and survive. By doing so, they also help in reducing the price, which is obviously good news for consumers, for in tough times, a penny saved is a penny gained.

While the economic and financial factors have allowed the global call center industry to thrive and grow, there have also been difficulties and negatives that are now gradually being factored in. For certain services, like financial service industry, there have been concerns about the security of the data, which have lead to development of additional security measures, and in some cases, even lead to re-shifting of call centers to the domestic turf.

Changing Perceptions

In case of countries hosting these call centers too, the perceptions towards call centers as an easy way of employment and development has undergone moderation. In these centers, the attrition rates are very high. More importantly, the workers, typically young graduates, who join these centers have come to realize the lack of career progression that they would need to endure, in addition to the very inconvenient life style that almost cuts them off from their society due to the difference in working hours in their countries and those of their clients.

As the industry matures, the initial criticism as well as the initial euphoria have given way to a more responsible and mature consideration from all parties. Like other industries, global call center industry has also become an important support industry. It has also become clear that neither it is a great panacea for developing countries which host many of these call centers, neither is it is a bane for developed countries, who lose some jobs on account of it.
 



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