The KPO sector across the globe is brimming with opportunities and Evaluserve India’s first and foremost KPO seems to be leading the charge. Evalseserve with their team of 2500 + analysts offers a wide range of high end services including custom market research, business research, data analytics, investment research, intellectual property and legal process services . BPOVoice talked to Marc Vollenweider, CEO and Co -founder of Evalueserve to get the first hand account of the company’s roadmap for 2010 along with his views on the upcoming challenges for the KPO sector. Below are the excerpts :

You recently expanded your operations in Chile. What factors led to your positioning over there?

Timezone supporting US, LATAM as such. Many clients in the US (about 1/3) prefer having someone to talk to in their own timezone. The 9.5/10.5 hrs timezone difference between India and the US (ET) only allows a very small window of overlap. Over time, some clients who were already using India decided that they would prefer someone in their timezone. Given this, Latam (Latin America) is the obvious choice. Within Latam, Chile is probably has the best value proposition (good labour pool, costs, stability, safety). Most other countries fare worse on one or several dimensions (e.g. Brazil on cost and safety, Argentina on stability, etc.). Another element is the 24/6 support that can be provided from Chile/India in combination. Providing 24/6 KPO from India only is not sustainable in the long run. KPO Professionals have better options than to work night shifts.

What are your immediate priorities for the current year?

Sell, sell, sell. Penetrate existing clients.

Can you explain further?

Well…it is very simple. Our strategy is very straight forward. Therefore, 2010 is simply about implementation, i.e. selling according to our strategy (which I can not disclose). The markets have woken up again in Q3/2009 and the momentum is excellent. Therefore, we do not want to make any major changes in our strategy.

Our addressable market is simply huge and competition is not really coming from India anymore (apart from a few specific areas). The main challenge is growing the market by educating companies on the benefits of KPO. The objective of the KPO industry should be to jointly grow the market, as the unaddressed market is simply huge. Of course, penetrating the existing clients further yields better growth than winning new customers. Of course, winning new customers is critical for the medium-term. The pipeline is excellent and we are have been winning 95% of all pilots during the last six months.

 How big is the threat of high end process getting moved to Central Or Eastern Europe in the near future?

There is not threat for us, as we have a center in Romania. We actually hope that a lot of work comes to

Romania. Of course, India will always grow more in absolute terms. However, in relative terms, Romania will grow quickly. Clearly, European clients like Romania being part of the EU (therefore validity of data protection laws) and cultural proximity (languages, communication style).

What are the challenges for the KPO sector in the times to come?What could be the important trends to watch out for?

  • More value addition to be provided.
  • Coming up the value chain.
  • Keeping attrition limited.
  • Managing global complexity.

Even though the Indian outsourcing service providers are well placed at the moment, however, how seriously can the issues like Job hopping, data theft etc. dent its image in the future?

The image has already been dented by PWC, Satyam. Fortunately, our compliance procedures are up to the mark and clients believe us. Compliance and confidentiality have become major differentiators in vendor selection.

Since 2007, you have been saying that the majority of the captives are in serious trouble. What is the road ahead for the captives in today’s’ scenario and how can they streamline the transition if they decide to turn into third party centers?

Captives below a critical mass of at least 300 FTE (Full time equivalent) are in trouble. Above that critical mass they are probably doing ok, but they are too expensive. Further sell-offs are likely.