Indian BPOs call for vigilant HR policies
With more and more global companies offshoring work towards Indian shores – the BPO brigade in this region is all for keeping a stricter vigil and an increased control over its greatest assets – employees
As the BPO sector comes to terms with a number of fraud cases involving its set of employees working in Indian locations – most BPOs are calling for stricter guidelines, rules and safety measures for BPO companies in order to reduce risks for such type of activities.
In one such case – Citibank fraud happened recently at Pune based BPO unit of Mphasis. It may be recalled that the three accused came in contact with the US customers of the bank – while working with the BPO – and gained their confidence, while interacting with them through the internet. “Even though, we have security measures in place – this type of incident should increase the awareness level within the BPO sector. Its time for us to have more vigilant HR policies in place. Its true that for BPOs the greatest asset are its employees but we need to be very careful from now on,” informed a BPO analyst on condition of anonymity.
In the case of Pune, the police have already said that the accused built a good rapport with the US customers and used that to get their PIN numbers. Having got the PIN numbers, they accessed the bank account of these people and transferred the money to accounts opened by the other gang members. All this was done via the Internet.
At a time when BPOs experience attrition rates of close to 50 per cent, tracking an employee is a major issue. “There are a lot of times when we don’t even know that a particular employee is going to leave the next day. So this kind of atmosphere leaves us with very little room for having a foolproof system in place. I think that from now on more and more companies will take a cue from this and have stringent HR policies to control employee movement and also to address these type of data theft issues,” the analyst added.
Meanwhile, Mumbai based Mphasis has said that the company is in close contact with the police and is working with them in their efforts towards law enforcement. “We at MphasiS regret this occurrence, which seems to involve some ex-employees. While we are unhappy with the incident itself, we are at the same time quite pleased that detection systems worked and that there was swift, coordinated information exchange between the affected parties,” the statement added.
Nasscom – the software voice for India has already asked the BPO units to keep a strict vigil on the activities of its employees and proper security measures should be taken to ensure that customer data is in safe hands.
“India is fast becoming the outsourcing capital of the world and companies not only from US but from European locations as well are now trying their best to outsource over here. This kind of incident, while unfortunate in itself, when successfully dealt with highlights and reaffirms the existence of an effective framework of laws and a commitment to enforcing them in India. This will go far to help India maintain its pre-eminent position,” a statement from Nasscom says.
At a time when most of the global outsourcers look towards reducing their operating margins – destinations like India do offer an attractive proposition – when it comes to offering talented manpower coupled with ease of connectivity in the region. However, data security is a critical issue and no organization wants to compromise on this front. Indian BPOs will have to act quickly in order to better sell themselves in the highly competitive global marketplace.