How to Start a BPO
To start a BPO in India the entrepreneurs need to register with NASSCOM who will consequently verify the applicants’ integrity and then certify the organization. The owners should also set up a business development team that is capable of doing good research on the web and also analyzing the available information.
Starting a BPO – a business plan
The owners always need to have a proper business plan in order to set up a successful BPO. Ideally, they should go for a BPO market segment where they have the requisite skill. They should also have a clear idea about the number of clients they will want to deal with at various stages of their operation.
To start with, the entrepreneurs should provide these companies their resumes as it is crucial to have a proper profile at the initial stages. They should also be ready to make minor adjustments to their desired pay structure at these stages.
Following are the major components of a business plan:
- Business goals
- Financial requirements
- Staffing plans
Starting a BPO – the application process
The application form for a Business Process Outsourcing entity differs with respect to various entities. With some organizations, the application procedure is easy as they have online application forms that can be filled out.
In case of other companies, the owners need to get in touch with them directly and then arrange for a meeting where they will be able to highlight their abilities and experience. The owners should remember that with higher complexities their chances of success and staving off competition will be better.
It has often been seen that companies take a lot of time to reply. The entrepreneurs need to keep track of any progress in this regard. At times, they need to take the initiative and call up the companies where they have applied and get the latest information regarding their application.
The following table provides a comparative representation of the application procedures necessary for domestic and international call centers when it concerns the Department of Telecommunications of India:
|Domestic call centers||International call centers|
|Demand draft of specified amount drawn in favor of Pay and Accounts Officer (HQ) DoT. This is used as processing fee.||Demand draft of specified amount drawn in favor of Pay and Accounts Officer (HQ) DoT. This is used as processing fee.|
|Address of every location connected with leased lines or PSTN lines with incoming facilities only||Address of the location of every Indian and international terminal with IPLC connections|
|Bandwidth of lines that have been taken on lease||Bandwidth of lines that have been taken on lease and the reasons to justify the same|
|Amount of call center seats||Amount of call center seats|
|The organizational Memorandum of Article of Association||The organizational Memorandum of Article of Association|
|Schematic representation of the call center plan and total details of equipments being used||Schematic representation of the call center plan and total details of equipments being used|
|Name of clients. If clients are yet to be procured then the information can be provided prior to starting the service||Name of clients. If clients are yet to be procured then the information can be provided prior to starting the service|
|Nature of business operations|
|Proof of business type and contracts signed with end customers|
Starting a BPO – the important details
When an entrepreneur is trying to make repeated applications to a client that is yet to come back with an answer, they can highlight the following aspects:
- Weekly market statistics
- Mailing memorable items on a regular basis - this can include holiday postcards and sports schedules
- Promotional items that have the applicants’ contact information and company logo
It is crucial that the lenders and banks have a positive image of a BPO. The entrepreneurs can start operations by researching for an updated list of companies that need to hire BPOs. The best way to achieve this is to procure a list from a well known provider of such information.
Starting a call center – important business decisions
The basic factor in starting a successful call center is deciding its nature of operations. Following are the major options available in this regard:
Starting a call center – guidelines
The call centers are registered, as per the company established rules, under the Other Service Provider category. They can serve Indian companies on a non-exclusive basis. To start with, they are allowed to operate for a maximum period of 20 years following registration.
The call centers can avail 100 percent foreign direct investment. But they need to make sure that they inform the relevant authorities before they change the equity structure or their Indian or international partners. The applicable regulations also have to be followed in this regard.
The resources can be procured from authorized sources only. The local leased lines need to be taken from certified service providers and the IPLC has to be collected from certified operators of International Long Distance services.
The service providers normally assess the network diagram and provide resources to the OSP. This is done according to terms and conditions of the approval and prevalent policy guidelines pertaining to the concerned service provider. The service provider and the OSP, both, will be held accountable in case there is a violation of rules.
Normally domestic call centers are allowed to be set up on separate infrastructures. But requests for establishing a call center on an existing private network are judged on a case by case basis.
Two domestic call centers of the same organization can be interconnected but only after obtaining the necessary permission from the DoT. The permission is provided in case of the following situations:
- Load balancing
- Back up
However, domestic call centers are not allowed to interconnect with their international counterparts. PSTN connectivity is also not allowed in the following cases. They are allowed to handle both inbound and outbound calls.
The Indian end of an international call center is allowed to avail IPLC and internet connectivity in the same LAN. However, this permission is provided on the grounds that there shall be no transfer of data and voice traffic from the ISP through the call center’s IPLC.
If the company wants to increase an approved IPLC’s bandwidth then it can approach a certified ILD directly and inform the DoT within 15 days of the same. In case, it wants to add or change the POP, then the application needs to be sent directly to the DoT itself.
International call centers are allowed to interconnect with “Hot Sites” for getting back up and operating during any disaster. However, this permission is only given if international call center owners have provided the following facilities:
- An exclusive router or server at the hot site
- A locally leased line that connects the IPLC provider to the hot site
- Local lease lines to the dedicated server at the hot site
The hot sites can only be used during the disaster. The process involves a request to the IPLC provider to change the IPLC towards the hot sites. In such circumstances, the DoT has to be informed as well.
The international call centers belonging to the same company can also cross map their seats for using them during any disaster. Under normal circumstances the actual call center will use all the seats but in abnormal situations they will have to leave the cross mapped seats for the other international call center. The DoT has to be informed in these cases as well.
Last Updated on 31 March 2012