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February 17, 2007

K@W on KPO

Knowledge@Wharton has an article on the Indian BPO industry's move towards higher value-added outsourcing services.

Some extracts:
In another corner of India's outsourcing industry, a much smaller firm created a niche "spot market" for knowledge services. Yet another Indian outsourcing service provider built a platform of expertise to provide patent-related legal resolution support services -- several notches above the patent writing functions that were considered high-end assignments until recently.

...Although 65% of India's 180,000 outsourcing services work force is involved in transaction-intensive services like call-center support or check processing, the industry as a whole helps its clients save $1.5 billion annually, according to a recent research paper, "Offshoring: Beyond Labor Cost Reduction," by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Aron's third illustration of high-end KPO work is Pipal Research of Chicago, which was founded five years ago. The company employs about 100 analysts, with most of them based in New Delhi. Until recently, the bulk of its assignments came from equity research, fixed-income asset research and asset pricing-related work. A year ago, it carved out a division called PipalAnswers that functions like a "quasi spot- market for knowledge." These are essentially one-off assignments tailored to service occasional requirements of clients, unlike Office Tiger, which has dedicated long-term client relationships.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.