The New Face of Outsourcing: Knowledge Process Outsourcing

Outsourcing entered the global business scene in the 1980s, and has changed the way it looks, feels and functions since then. Knowledge process outsourcing or KPO refers to the outsourcing of knowledge intensive tasks and functions to experts overseas or outside of your organization. In this age of competition, companies are increasingly turning to specialization for improving cost and time feasibility and increasing efficiency. They focus on core functionalities and outsource the rest. With knowledge intensive areas entering the fray, it allows organization the flexibility and provides the resources for the business growth of the organization.

Quite different from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), KPO signifies high end value added tasks in which execution depends on skill, expertise, domain knowledge and experience of the experts handling the tasks. KPO usually includes a segment of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Research Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Analysis Proves Outsourcing (APO). It deals with highly knowledge intensive tasks and activities and focus is on depth of knowledge, experience and judgment. On the other hand, a BPO deals with improving process efficiency and is focused on single processes, size volume and efficiency.

It can be said that the growth and maturity of the BPO industry led to the significant rise of the KPO industry. The success and substantial results achieved by many organizations in outsourcing operational tasks have led them to outsource high end knowledge and skill intensive tasks. Cost and time feasibility, sound infrastructure, skilled and knowledgeable workforce, and improved quality are some the factors that have worked to the advantage of KPO organizations the world over. KPOs in India benefit from the easy availability of skilled and trained specialists, technologically advanced infrastructure and advanced communications tools that the country wields.

Knowledge process outsourcing in India

Knowledge process outsourcing calls for the application of skill, knowledge and expertise pertinent to a high level area of specialization. These prerequisites are being discovered and tapped by leading businesses across the globe resulting in the outsourcing of high-end processes to low-wage destinations. Hence Knowledge Process Outsourcing involves offshoring of knowledge intensive business processes that require specialized domain expertise.

Design, accounting, manufacturing and engineering fields are opening up to the idea of overseas experts handling domain knowledge intensive projects. This talent is soon Favorable Destinations for Knowledge process outsourcing.

Due to the availability of highly skilled task force than is indigenously available, sound technical infrastructure and vast domain knowledge and expertise countries such as India and Philippines are leaders in the KPO industry. This type of work demands essential skills, vast domain knowledge and excellent communication skills (as most clients are overseas) hence, higher education degrees are most often prerequisite to getting employed with a KPO. The KPO industry in India, entails architectural KPO, engineering KPO, accounting KPO and has already expanded to KPO consultancy.

Scope of KPO

Architectural and engineering KPOs handle design, CAD and drafting related projects that require architects, technicians, dedicated infrastructure and technology. Architecture KPOs in India have earned their place due to the easy availability of highly qualified architects, designers and draftsmen, skilled technicians in the field of rendering, modeling and designing, dedicated technology, communication tools and advanced infrastructure.

The IT segment has also realized the potential of this avenue of outsourcing. Knowledge process outsourcing is believed to increase productivity and improve efficiency. Manufactures and construction companies are also finding it increasingly beneficial to outsource projects rather than invest in infrastructure, staffing, training and compensation for a skilled work force.

Knowledge Process Outsourcing deals with executing standardized processes ok high end skill level depending on analytical and advanced technical skills. Knowledge process outsourcing involves legal works carried out at law firms like patent document writing, global filing, search, trademark search, trademark registration, prior art searches, legal advise on infringements, invalidation search, freedom of use search, etc.

Areas with significant KPO indluence include:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Integration and management services
  • Financial services
  • Research and analytics
  • Computer aided simulations
  • Computer aided design (CAD)
  • Engineering design and professional services

Benefits of KPO

The primary benefit of KPOs remains the same i.e cost savings, but it does not end there. KPOs allow the added advantage of leveraging the expertise and experience of seasoned professionals, experts and specialists in their specific areas. Outsourcing your knowledge intensive projects or parts of your projects allow you the time, flexibility and resources to take on more and more challenging projects. Hence knowledge process outsourcing provides you more than traditional cost feasibility.

Recent Trends in the KPO Industry

According to a report by GlobalSourcingNow, the Global Knowledge Process Outsourcing industry is expected to reach USD 17 billion by 2010. A report by Evalueserve predicts that India will capture more than 70 percent of the Knowledge Process Outsourcing sector by 2010. Apart from India, countries such as Russia, China, the Czech Republic, Ireland, and Israel are also expected to join the Knowledge Process Outsourcing industry.

The future of KPOs is not restricted to the ITES sector alone. It spans other sectors like legal research and documentation, business research and analytics, Clinical research, publishing, market research etc.


Architectural Outsourcing

Architectural Outsourcing

Information Technology positions our daily activities and businesses in an increasingly global context: The practice of architecture is no exception. Technology presents new scenarios for Workshare and defines the way in which a design is developed, communicated, and realized.

Today, work association no longer implies personal interaction. Technology has made possible ordinary virtual communications, accelerating information transfer and influencing working methodologies. This is the virtual office: physical space usurped by work space in the internet. Architects are not only facing a promising business opportunity, but a new practice model that will revolutionize the professional practice scenario. Firms will focus on stressing design and creativity as core values and commoditizing production and repetitive but still necessary tasks.

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Offshore Outsourcing: India Optimistic Despite Global Financial Crisis

With America’s economy in crisis, it would seem that India has a lot to worry about. The country’s annual revenues from outsourcing exceed $40 billion, and a downturn in the U.S. economy could damage India’s outsourcing industry.

But at the India Economic Summit in New Delhi this week, Indian officials and corporate executives remained optimistic about the future of outsourcing.

Montek Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning Commission, predicted that India’s economic growth for 2008-2009 will be between seven and nine percent. That’s good for the country, Ahluwalia said in a press release.

“Even if you take growth at 7 percent, it is 2 percent less than what we have had but still higher than what we had four years ago,” he said in the statement. “This is not an Indian crisis. We are being impacted by a global crisis.”

Indian media has also written a great deal about President-elect Obama’s stance on outsourcing. One quote in particular has been repeatedly cited by Indian newspapers as an anti-outsourcing sentiment. During a debate with Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) during the primaries, Obama said, “We have to stop providing tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States of America.”

However, Indian officials remain optimistic—at least in public—about the country’s outsourcing future.

“Barack Obama’s plans to cut down on outsourcing does not pose a threat to the Indian IT-BPO [business process outsourcing] industry,” said Ganesh Natarajan, chairman of the National Association of Software and Service Companies, in an article in the International Business Times. “Our expertise in several areas of outsourcing will always attract new projects from the US.”

Infosys, one of India’s outsourcing titans, is predicting a 13-15 percent growth next year, according to the Financial Times. The company has no plans to scale back, and is committed to keeping the 25,000 new hires it made this year, adding to its workforce of 100,000, said S. Gopalakrishnan, the chief executive officer of Infosys in the Financial Times report.

Still, he admitted that times were tough. This downturn is far worse than the 2001 dot-com bubble burst, he told the Times.

“It is different, it is probably worse. It is not restricted to one segment or one sector or one region,” he said in the article. “It impacts all sectors and the uncertainty is prolonged.”

By Sindya Bhanoo
Source From:

How Far Can Outsourcing Go?

I notice I mentioned Cognizant in my last blog. Without meaning to start mentioning them every day, I just want to recount a few comments made when I had a chat to Martin Kochman today. Martin is the head of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operations for Cognizant in Europe and we had a chat on the phone earlier about some of the changes in the BPO sector.

What was particularly interesting were some of his views on the hard times faced by many companies as we head into recession. Martin remains very positive about the business outlook for the BPO sector as a whole. He said: “I still think that the total size of the market is growing, but we may see a slowing in the rate at which earlier growth targets are met. The fundamentals are still in place for this to be a significant market.”

He added: “Cost reduction will always drive some activity, but the boundaries between what organisations have considered ‘outsourcable’ will continue to be pushed and more is going to come into the realms of outsourced contracts.”

Martin clearly believes that the retained organisation is going to shrink. This implies that as times get harder, companies may even be exploring the outsourcing option even more than usual. In summary, Martin thinks it’s going to be a busy time for companies in IT and BPO services: “The market will grow. On the demand side there is more global recognition of the skills and standards required and so things like Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) are becoming easier to package up and deliver remotely.”

Source from:

IT Outsourcing Giant to Set Up New Center

US software outsourcing company CSC, one of the world’s largest IT outsourcing firms, said yesterday it will launch a new delivery center in China as the global financial crisis may force more Western companies to outsource their business to the country.

Michael Laphen, chairman and chief executive officer of CSC, said the financial turbulence would force more companies to outsource their business in pursuit of lower operating costs, thus creating more opportunities for outsourcing companies.

“Outsourcing will increase in difficult times as the financial crisis pushes companies to become more cost effective,” said Laphen. “We expect further robust growth from China.”

CSC’s new delivery center, located in Tianjin, will open next spring.

It will serve both CSC’s domestic and multinational clients in China and will have 500 employees within the next three years.

But Laphen declined to say how big its investment is in the new China facility.

Although the financial crisis has had a major impact on most of the world’s economy, CSC remains optimistic about economic prospects in China.

It said the country’s manufacturing and financial companies, which are two major customers for CSC in China, will continue to grow at a rapid speed.

During the past decades, multinational have been transferring non-core business to countries like India and China to reduce costs.

But as labor costs continue to rise in China, outsourcing companies in the country have been striving to go up the supply chain and earn money with more value-added services.

Lin Zheying, deputy director of foreign investment administration department under the Ministry of Commerce, said at an industry forum on Monday that the economic turmoil provided a good opportunity for China to develop outsourcing in service sectors, as many US financial institutions may have to outsource their business.

According to the ministry, the value of foreign contracts of Chinese outsourcing companies reached $1.9 billion in the first eight months, up 17 percent from the same period last year.

CSC entered the Chinese market in 1991 and now has around 300 employees in the country.

It has offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Globally, CSC has approximately 90,000 employees and reported revenue of $17.1 billion for the 12 months ended July 4, 2008.

Source from:

KPO : Knowledge Process Outsourcing

Knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) is a form of outsourcing, in which knowledge-related and information-related work is carried out by workers in a different company or by a subsidiary of the same organization, which may be in the same country or in an offshore location to save cost. Unlike the outsourcing of manufacturing, this typically involves high-value work carried out by highly skilled staff. KPO firms, in addition to providing expertise in the processes themselves, often make many low level business decisions—typically those that are easily undone if they conflict with higher-level business plans.

Process transparency is a major barrier to using KPO services Many organizations do not track carefully which decisions are made by whom, and rely so much on informal social processes (and “soft skills”) that it is unclear how much the use of KPO would disrupt existing operations. However, requirements like Sarbanes-Oxley and radical transparency movements like full cost accounting, shareholder activism and eco-labels and moral purchasing require organizations to be more explicit about when and by whom decisions are made. These trends make it easier for outsourcing non-critical jobs to be considered by qualifying the impact of decisions in advance.Furthermore, it becomes easier to evaluate and compare success. A fully developed service economy enables KPO by treating all functions as services. So do more technical trends such as service oriented architecture, enterprise application integration and telework: it is easier to outsource a job if it is already being performed outside the head office. Organizations adopting ISO 9000 and ISO 19011 should also find it much easier to integrate externally provided KPO into their operations and audit them on a fair basis.

As of 2007, most US organizations were hiring foreign professionals under H-1 visas to do jobs in the USA for several years, after which they would return to their home countries as managers to train and supervise others, continuing to report to their former business units.

What is KPO?

It is being claimed that KPO is one step extension of Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) because BPO Industry is shaping into Knowledge Process Outsourcing because of its favorable advantageous and future scope. But, let us not treat it only a ‘B’ replaced by a ‘K’. In fact, Knowledge process can be defined as high added value processes chain where the achievement of objectives is highly dependent on the skills, domain knowledge and experience of the people carrying out the activity. And when this activity gets outsourced a new business activity emerges, which is generally known as Knowledge Process Outsourcing.

Knowledge Processing Outsourcing (popularly known as a KPO), calls for the application of specialized domain pertinent knowledge of a high level. The KPO typically involves a component of Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO), Research Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Analysis Proves Outsourcing (APO). KPO business entities provide typical domain-based processes, advanced analytical skills and business expertise, rather than just process expertise. KPO Industry is handling more amount of high skilled work other than the BPO Industry. While KPO derives its strength from the depth of knowledge, experience and judgment factor; BPO in contrast is more about size, volume and efficiency.

In fact, it is the evolution and maturity of the Indian BPO sector that has given rise to yet another wave in the global outsourcing scenario: KPO or Knowledge Process Outsourcing. The success achieved by many overseas companies in outsourcing business process operations to India has encouraged many of the said companies to start outsourcing their high-end knowledge work as well. Cost savings, operational efficiencies, availability of and access to a highly skilled and talented workforce and improved quality are all underlying expectations in outsourcing high-end processes to India

The future of KPO has a high potential as it is not restricted to only Information Technology (IT) or Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) sectors and includes other sectors like Legal Processes, Intellectual Property and Patent related services, Engineering Services, Web Development application, CAD/CAM Applications, Business Research and Analytics, Legal Research, Clinical Research, Publishing, Market Research (Market research KPO ) etc.

In today’s competitive environment, focus is to concentrate on core specialization and core-competency areas and outsource the rest of the activities. Many companies and organizations have come to realize that by outsourcing non core activities, not only cost are minimized and efficiencies improved but the total business improves because the focus shifts to the key growth areas of the business activity.

Scope and Future of KPO

According to a report of National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the Indian chamber of commerce that serves as an interface to the Indian Software industry, Knowledge Process Outsourcing industry (KPO) is expected to reach USD 17 billion by 2010, of which USD 12 billion would be outsourced to India. Another report predicts that India will capture more than 70 percent of the KPO sector by 2010. Apart from India, countries such as Russia, China, the Czech Republic, Ireland, and Israel are also expected to join the KPO industry.

According to a recent study by “Evalueserve, a Gurgaon based outsourcing company having service chart for global world”, the global KPO market is expected to grow at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46 per cent, from $1.2 billion in 2003 to $17 billion in 2010. Compare this with the prediction for the low-end outsourcing services market. This is expected to have a CAGR of 26 per cent, from $ 7.7 billion to $39.8 billion in the same period.

Evalueserve says India provided $3.5 billion of BPO and KPO (but non-IT) services in 2003 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 36 per cent during 2004 to 2010. Hence, it is likely to earn $30 billion in 2010 by providing these services.

Says country general manager, Kelly Services, Achal Khanna “India still maintains the competitive advantage for providing, the combination of the most cost-effective and high quality manpower- this is India’s strength in the off-shoring business”.

In the future, it is envisaged that KPO has a high potential as it is not restricted only to Information Technology (IT) or Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) sectors, and includes other sectors like Intellectual Property related services, Business Research and Analytics, Legal Research, Clinical Research, Publishing, Market Research (Market research KPO), etc.

“Over the past year or two, the outsourcing industry has been throwing up jobs for Doctors, Engineers, CAs, Architects,” says Jacob William of the Bangalore-based Outsource2India, which employs 500 people and offers services in the big-buzz, big-bucks area of knowledge process outsourcing. “Unlike the first wave which was more about entering data and answering phone calls, these jobs involve skill and expertise.”

Also, of course, the talent is much more affordable. “Law firms in the US charge an average of $400-450 per hour, and we do the same work for $75 to $100 an hour” says Kamlani” who is an outsourcing provider in the same area.

In the Indian context, KPO salaries could be 25-50 per cent higher than those offered to the same domain experts such as Engineer, Doctor, CA, Lawyer, Architect, Biotechnologist, Economist, Statistician and MBAs, it said.

In its annual publication Strategic Review 2005, Nasscom has said the high-end activity of the BPO industry—the KPO or knowledge process outsourcing could be worth $15.5 billion by 2010.

According to earlier estimates, the BPO industry itself was expected to be about $20bn by 2008, hence a very significant portion of the sector—in excess of 50% is now projected to be knowledge based. This represents significant metamorphosis of call centre sector business to completely different model. Interestingly, Sunil Mehta, Nasscom vice-president research, distances himself from the estimates.

The projections are based on a white paper released by Evalueserve. The paper cites reasons for a possible KPO boom. It says higher savings by outsourcing knowledge based activities combined with the scarcity of specialized talent in developed countries could lead to growth in the KPO sector.
Billing rates for KPO are higher at $30-45 per hour compared to just $10-14 in the BPO business. However, the paper also warns of several challenges like higher quality standards, greater investments and inadequate talent.

The study estimates that while the compounded growth rate of BPO till 2010 would be just 26% KPO is expected to be grow at almost 46%.

Bottlenecks in Future Growth

A study on Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) sector shows a huge supply gap that threatens to cripple its growth. Rocsearch, a UK-based research services company, has gathered evidence suggesting that the KPO market may just about reach a size of $5 billion by 2010, manned by 100,000 people instead of projections of a $12 billion market supported by 250,000 employees.

This accentuates Nasscom’s projections of a shortfall of 500,000 workers in ITES and BPO sectors by 2010.

Assuming an average revenue per person of $55,000 over the next four years, 100,000 knowledge workers point to a $5 billion market. This size, though based on a CAGR of 32%, is still 60% less than the $12 billion potential projected by big KPOs, like Evalueserve, last year.

Rocsearch COO, Ashish Sinha says the sector is restricted by low employability despite high graduate turnout, and competing demand from other sectors as jobs grow faster than the workforce.

For example, all the 2,000-odd IIM and top 10 B-School graduates are employable, while less than half the 84,000 graduates from Tier-II B-Schools would make the grade.

The study sees only 500,000 of the over 3 million workers added to the labour pool in 2005 as employable in global firms and of these, just 2 in every 100 are likely to opt for work in knowledge space.

Regional Advantages and Domains of Expertise

Due to the availability of large numbers of skilled staff working for lower pay rates than in the developed world, a few countries like India and the Philippines are front runners in providing these services. This type of work demands advanced analysis and communication, so specific higher education and language skills are essential. MBAs, Pharmacists, PhDs, engineers, doctors, lawyers, writers, ghostwriters, designers, web designers and other specialists with formal credentials tend to be required.

In India as well as the Philippines, KPO is envisaged as having a high potential[citation needed], not only in the Information Technology (IT) or Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) sectors; it could include patent and copyright related services, other legal research functions, business intelligence and analytics, clinical research, publishing and supply chain management, all of which require a large number of small decisions, and the final products of which tend to be relatively easy to evaluate for accuracy or effectiveness.

The maturity of the BPO sector in both countries gives it an obvious lead in KPO, essentially an offshoot of BPO. It is the high-end activity of the BPO industry and as of 2007 was estimated to provide substantial growth over the next few years. More complex fields of work that the Indian KPO industry focuses on include intellectual property or patent research, content development, R&D in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, market research, equity research, data research, database creation, analytical services, financial modeling, design and development in automotive and aerospace industries, animation and simulation, medical content and services, remote education and e-learning, publishing and legal support.

Some practitioners argue that one region likely to suffer extreme job loss due to KPO is the USA. Princeton economist Alan Blinder estimates 40 million white-collar jobs in the US alone could move offshore in a decade or two.

Challenges to Providers

  • In addition to the challenges faced by clients, KPO companies themselves have challenges:
  • High staff turnover, especially where work is not challenging to the employee’s skills
  • High cost of training and tendency to lose the most experienced employees to the clients
  • Ensuring the security and confidentiality of information, especially when privacy laws vary from country to country

Market Research

Leaders in the market research industry are slowly seeing the benefits offered by KPO and have begun outsourcing.[citation needed] Comprehensive IT solutions are offered by vendors who provide solutions covering the entire life cycle of a market research project. Smaller firms can also benefit from these solutions as they are cost effective and remain within the budget of smaller organizations.
KPO is claimed to efficiently increase productivity and increase cost savings in the area of market research.[citation needed] Advocates claim that the trend is likely to prove increasingly popular in the global market research industry.

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BPO Companies Have Taken a Hit as US Crisis Deepens

The BPO-KPO sector in India is facing the heat of the US slowdown , particularly following recent events in the financial markets. Businesses of a host of small- and mid-sized firms have taken a further hit in the industry since a major chunk of business comes from banking and financial services firms in the US.

“The slowdown is going to impact the BPO firms in India. This will eventually result in overall slowdown of the BPO industry . But now a large pool of professionals will be able to provide quality services to the Indian BPOKPO industry at much lower prices,” says IDBI Capital Market Services research head Shahina Mukadam.

According to a report released by Nasscom, the BPO and KPO industry together generated Rs 1,160 crore revenue and provided employment to 7 lakh people in 2007-08 . The share of the US in the Indian BPO-KPO export market was 61%, making it the largest contributor to exports in the segment in 2007. Ahmedabad-based KPO, Azure Knowledge Centre, foresees a slowdown in the financial services by 25% and in the insurance services by 15% by the end of this year.

Azure Knowledge Centre director Jay Ruparel says, “The debacle in the US will create a lot of uncertainties regarding the continuity of current financial services contracts and also raise doubts as to how the future contracts are signed with the US financial companies.” So far, this company has hired four people from Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

“The employment scenario in the KPO-BPO industry is going through an extremely dull patch and this in turn will have an effect on the growth in this industry,” says Karvy Stock Broking vicepresident Ambareesh Baliga.

Gurgaon-based KPO, The Smart Cube, has 130 employees at present and it is expected that the employment rate of the firm will go down by 30% till next year.

The Smart Cube managing director Sameer Walia says, “Future hiring rate of BPOs will be far worse off as compared to the KPO firms. The BPO employment rate is projected to decline by 60% within a span of one year.”

However, Exevo COO Vivek Sharma says, “I see an immediate-term negative impact, which will continue for around six to nine months. But in the long term, any other financial institution will fill up the space vacated by Lehman Brothers. We have received around 50 resumes from ex-employees of Lehman Brothers in the past two days.”

Source from: Economic Times

KPOs are Talent Breeding Ground

Most bulge-bracket investment banks are aggressively reducing their headcount or limiting the number of new positions available and have been looking to leading KPOs to pick up much of the slack. As the work being outsourced these days is similar to what an internal research associate or analyst would do, KPOs have become a breeding ground for developing talent.

KPOs have now expanded their operations to gain a “research edge,” allowing clients not just to look for cost efficiencies but focusing more on domain and regional expertise provided.

In the past, much of the KPO space was hampered by higher-than-average attrition rates as KPOs typically based their operations in low-cost countries to capture wage arbitrage. Interestingly, leading KPOs have now expanded their operations to gain a “research edge,” allowing clients not just to look for cost efficiencies but focusing more on domain and regional expertise provided. To attain region-specific expertise, KPO providers are tapping local talent by establishing research centers in countries such as Chile, Argentina, China and Romania.

Another clear sign that the KPO industry is shifting its focus from cost to knowledge efficiencies is the significant halt in headcounts at captives. A recent study by NASSCOM-Everest that examined the arbitrage opportunity for India’s outsourcing industry concluded that the “arbitrage window” may diminish in the medium term, providing several scenarios that include a range of currency and inflation rates. Given this stark view, it comes as no surprise that firms are shifting their strategy with respect to their own captives and third party providers are seeking ways to remain competitive.

Top talent that understands the work is similar to an internal role and also wants to gain experience across different investment banks and investment management firms have made the KPO space their sector of choice. “We have seen an increasing number of analysts ask about roles with KPO firms recently, especially from the investment banking sector where hours are long and job security is becoming increasingly tenuous,” says Amar Gautam, managing director for N.Y.-based recruiting firm, Archive Partners. “Initially attracted to the KPO space for lifestyle reasons, analysts are now looking to KPOs for the quality of work being performed and the exposure.”

KPO firms provide a platform of knowledge and experience through a vast array of engagements that the firm has.

While an investment banking associate will often work directly with one analyst or team, KPO firms provide a platform of knowledge and experience through a vast array of engagements that the firm has. While engagements adhere to the strict confidentiality protocols most banks have in place, the depth of learning is something that KPO analysts have found to be a valuable addition in their toolkit.

An analyst can complement their educational knowledge with hands-on experience based on the specific processes and methodologies that are built for a predefined set of deliverables. In essence, the KPO space takes the art of research into a more structured format similar to what top-tier consulting firms have been doing for years. What’s required is for bright minds to be able to execute these processes.

The training process within the KPO space is rigorous, yet hands-on, as training modules are often created for different deliverables for a specific set of clients.

The training process within the KPO space is rigorous, yet hands-on, as training modules are often created for different deliverables for a specific set of clients. In one instance, an analyst will work directly for a multi-billion dollar hedge fund manager, giving them an opportunity to learn and develop their skill sets according to that client’s requirements.

When an analyst grows out of their role, they don’t need to search for another job, but just request that their skill set be used for a more advanced client engagement. It is in this type of environment where a steep learning curve never appears to end. For a willing and able analyst, this is a real asset to their portfolio that can be amassed in a relatively short time frame. This has been a key driver for the industry, as an analyst can gain experience within just a few years that is equivalent to working at several leading financial firms.

KPO’s often work with the Who’s Who of investment banks, hedge funds, venture funds, research firms and asset managers across different regions and sectors, making them an attractive way for analysts to gain essential investment research experience. As many financial services firms aggressively recruit from top KPO firms, it is astounding that many analysts opt for more experience rather than the near-term monetary gain. Gautam added, “Today, KPO recruiters are regularly competing with investment banks for the same talent. This was not the case three years ago.”

The growth within the KPO space has also created the opportunity to build a solid career track in the sector. For those aspiring to move up the corporate ranks into a senior management role, the fast pace and people-centric environment of a KPO firm provides a great setting for leadership development. As many leading KPO firms post high double-digit employee and revenue growth figures, grooming internal leadership continues to be an important area for this industry. Managers are required not only to have domain expertise and manage a large team of analysts but also have the ability to manage growth in a fast-paced multilingual and multicultural environment.

KPO firm provides a great setting for leadership development.

One must wonder if these analysts joining KPO firms are running the numbers to assign a value to experience that’s greater than cash in hand. It’s reminiscent of the calculations most MBA graduates made prior to entering their respective programs.

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