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Enhanced English – Only Rescue Option for BPOs in India


India’s image as a hot spot for BPO’s is slowly starting to fade away. In spite of being the world’s second most populated country, it has already lost 50% of its BPO market share to Philippines, a country which has only one-tenth of Indian population. The BPO sector was once considered as a trendsetter in employment field is now actually facing a dearth of talented individuals. Reason? – Lack of spoken English and communication skills in our employees.

Industry experts blame the education system in India for this situation. They found that few weeks of training to the candidates doesn’t make them fluent, confident or skillful enough to converse, making them sound very less empathetic, while speaking to clients. Sources from some of the top BPO companies revealed that, out of every 100 candidates they interview, only 3 to 10 candidates get selected. They say that Philippines has compulsory English courses, which makes them easily employable.

The present BPO sector had evolved from a mere call center to contact center, which now deals with SMS, email, chat, in addition to the voice process. In this regard, possession of just spoken English skills is not sufficient as they require high grammatical knowledge too.

Considering the increasing competition across the world for the BPO industry, which may get pulled out of our country at any time, we need to immediately address the issue. Our schools should start English and communication courses from 6th or 7th standards itself in order to enhance the job prospects of the educated youth in the BPO sector. Measures, such as making it compulsory for students to interact in English within the school or college campuses, enhancing reading skills, listening skills, etc. will make the students, job ready, immediately after their schooling.

Courses particularly customized to BPO business communication, and other supplementary courses such as telephone etiquette, keyboard skills, understanding accents, etc. should be introduced in the curriculum at University level. This will help greatly, in attending to the manpower needs of BPO sector, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, which are considered as the emerging hubs for BPO sector.

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