India is home to a booming IT sector which contributes approximately 8% to the GDP. The advantage of a demographic dividend, a spate of infrastructural developments, the relative affordability of labour and increasing Internet penetration have made India a global outsourcing hub. According to the Economic Survey 2022, IT-BPM exports stood at $146.3 billion in FY20, growing over 7 per cent between 2016-17 to 2019-20. Moreover, the Indian Brand Equity Foundation predicts the Indian IT and business services industry to be worth US$ 19.93 billion by 2025. The intersection of policy thrust, the rise of cutting-edge technologies and initiatives by private players imply that it is one of the exciting times for the Indian BPM industry.
Here are some trends expected to redefine the Indian BPM landscape in the next few years.
Customer experience to be the key priority for IT firms: With the pandemic heralding a shift towards work-from-home, the Indian IT industry played a pivotal role in enhancing efficiency and sustaining the momentum. We foresee this trend to continue in the post-COVID world as well. Customer experience will continue to be at the heart of process management in the BPM industry. Not only that, the experience of channel partners, suppliers and relevant stakeholders will be intrinsically linked to business outcomes.
Process Excellence to become the building block of agile enterprises: The pandemic has reaffirmed the significance of adopting agility to stay ahead of the curve. The firms that managed to innovate amid the pandemic were obvious winners. Going forward, process optimisation will be the key to adaptability for BPM firms. It will aid companies in tailoring their process to new conditions effectively, use strategic insights to improve business outcomes and shorten the go-to-market time for products.
Collaboration to define the efficacy of process initiatives: Collaboration and teamwork will be the way forward to ensure the effectiveness of process initiatives. It means that employees need to be actively involved in process collaboration, and the firms must be willing to go the extra mile to achieve this objective.
Ensuring Cybersecurity to be the key challenge for firms: IT firms continue to grapple with challenges of cyber threats and data privacy. A recent survey by the global IT association ISACA has indicated that 33% of Indian respondents confess that their organisation is experiencing more cyberattacks than ever before. Furthermore, as per the McCafe Enterprise Advanced Threat Research Report, India is the second most vulnerable country to security threats on the cloud, trailing behind the US. It warrants a collaborative approach to bring all stakeholders on a common platform to ensure data security and confidentiality of client information. This implies employees must be sensitised to be more extra-vigilant in keeping their IT personnel informed about suspicious activity and internalising the best safety practices to maximise the clientele experience.
Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns to emerge as sunrise destinations: The proactive initiatives by various state governments and rapid infrastructural developments have fuelled the growth of IT in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and towns. The hybrid work culture has further propelled cities such as Ahmedabad, Kochi, Jaipur, Trichy, etc., to emerge as sunrise IT destinations. Their proximity to the metropolitan cities and excellent connectivity implies that more workforce is now willing to relocate to their hometowns amid the work from anywhere policy which will inevitably provide a fillip to the IT industry in these destinations.
Automation to necessitate the skilled workforce: The IT industry is expected to be impacted most by automation, necessitating the up-gradation of workforce’s skillset. According to an EY report commissioned by FICCI and NASSCOM, 6 0-65 per cent of the Indian workforce in the IT-BPM sector would be in job roles requiring drastically altered skill sets by the end of this year. Moreover, as organisations adopt new technologies, some job roles will become redundant while others will evolve. The key challenge would be to upskill the workforce to keep up with the pace of this change. New-age skills such as problem-solving, design thinking, and soft skills will continue to remain relevant amid the creation of new job profiles such as robotics engineering, data scientists, neuro-implant technicians, business analysts, etc.
Net Zero as the objective of Process Management: Growing concerns about climate change and environmental distress have reinforced the need for businesses to give back to society and operate in an ethical and responsible manner. The World Sustainable Development Goals require global carbon emissions to be halved by 2030, yet average emissions rose by 1.5% per year between 2009 and 2019. Businesses are increasingly realising their responsibility in climate change mitigation and circular economy. Over US$50tn assets under management (AUM)—close to half of total AUM—are currently held by investors who have pledged to drive decarbonisation. As we advance, the success of these process improvement initiatives will be measured not only by their impact on revenue and the bottom line but also by their contribution to mitigating carbon emissions.
Having emerged as a leader in delivering on-shore and off-shore services, India must now channelise its energies to harness new technologies such as Blockchain, Metaverse, and Augmented Reality to unlock the potential of the IT-BPM industry. The pandemic may have proved to be an inflexion curve for the industry; the challenge is now to sustain the momentum to achieve the goal of a five trillion-dollar economy by 2025.