Saturday, August 14, 2004

NASSCOM and KPMG study on Jaipur

Despite possessing “attractive” infrastructure availability for ITES-BPO firms, Jaipur is “unattractive” when it comes to local industry support groups and the knowledge base generated. This is what the recent National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) and KPMG study has to say about Jaipur. It acknowledges the efforts made by various stakeholders in the IT sector but adds that “these were not balanced and lacked follow-through action”.

The report, that studied 13 cities, was carried out as an “anticipatory management” step to fill in the information gaps as ITES firms begin expanding to second-rung cities, chiefly to contain the high levels of attrition in the existing major BPO centres. It is being circulated to member firms and is available for purchase.

In the human resources section, the report prescribes an “attitudinal change to gain greater acceptance of the ITES-BPO culture”. Parents of prospective employees, it adds, have to be comfortable with their children, especially their daughters, working on night shifts.

It also notes that the average salary for this sector ranges between Rs 6,500 to Rs 7,500 per month, which is about 30 per cent lower than Gurgaon. Further, low attrition rates hovering below 10 per cent add to the low cost of managing resources. Also, most of the work in Jaipur is at the lower-end comprising medical transcription, outbound collections and some inbound support.

Interestingly, it also notes that English may not be the “preferred language” as only about three theatres out of nearly 25 screen English films and only one English newspaper is printed locally. However, it adds that Jaipur produces 450 MBAs, 100 CAs and 5,500 engineering graduates each year. Case studies of GECIS and Supportscape, a local call centre, are also featured, including their comments on working out of Jaipur.

Under infrastructure, it points out Jaipur’s “favourable” situation with ITES-BPO firm being charged low rates at Rs 3.6 - Rs 3.8 per unit. Developed property for tech firms is also available at rent for about Rs 45 per sq ft per month. The report mentions better roads, low housing costs, the ADB-supported infrastructure development programme, the premier hotels and clubs in the city and good schools in the city.

In the tech side, it points out that Jaipur has optical fibre cables and satellite connectivity of over 163 mbps but most of it remains underused. It also sounds a note of caution that promoters are “actively considering” alternative locations for their new bases because of the restraints that this city faces.


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