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Government frees BPOs as global rivals rise

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NEW DELHI: Amid growing competition from countries such as the Philippines, Mexico, Malaysia and Canada, the government has decided to unshackle the multi-billion-dollar Indian BPO industry, removing the need for a plethora of regulatory approvals and compliances.
The move will also simplify the process of infrastructure and work sharing between different entities to build scale and speed.
The move, which primarily impacts voice-based BPOs, allows companies providing outsourcing services of various hues to share work between each other, take domestic and international assignments on the same infrastructure, apart from providing ease of work for the employees who may have relocated to remote areas after the pandemic.

The revised guidelines for the ‘other service providers’ (OSPs) mark a series of initiatives that the government has undertaken to liberalise the working of the Indian IT sector and allow them the option of remote working, or the ‘work-from-anywhere’ phenomenon.
New norms may boost $39bn sector
The IT-BPM (business process management) industry in India is estimated to have generated revenues to the tune of $38.5 billion in FY21, and the government expects the liberalised norms will give a further impetus to the industry while being more agile to competition.
“In order to encourage our BPO industry, OSP guidelines that were liberalised in November 2020 have been simplified even further, offering greater ease of business and regulatory clarity. This will further reduce compliance burden and help our tech industry,” PM Narendra Modi said in a tweet.
OSPs are entities providing application services, IT-enabled services, call centre services or any kind of outsourcing services using telecom resources. The liberalised norms take away the restrictions on data interconnectivity between BPO centres, opening up prospects of easily building scale.
The norms have also been substantially eased for remote call centre agents who can work from any location to connect with customers using any technology, including broadband over wirelines, or wireless.

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