On a mid-week morning last week, we caught up with Alorica’s CEO Andy Lee and CTO Bhaskar Menon ahead of the company’s launch of its Digital Center of Excellence in Bangalore.
A global leader in customer experience solutions and call center services, Alorica plans to invest $100 million in India over the next five years and ramp up operations with 50,000 specialists across a myriad of technological and digital delivery capabilities. It is entering the market at a time when the country is pivoting from being a labor arbitrage-based, offshore-centric service delivery location to an innovation-driven global transformation hub.
This will be an interesting time for enterprises in the customer experience industry. As personalization strategies become table stakes in a Gen Z world, achieving greater levels of productivity will be a deciding factor for making prudent investments in technology innovation and sourcing disruptive talent.
This spurs the question – with onshore and nearshore emerging as the new talent playground, why is India the choice of location to deliver this two-pronged strategy? The answer lies in its not-so-understated numbers. With a strong, tech-savvy youth population, India is a growing hub for innovation with highly talented individuals disrupting the market. Thus, tapping into this talent pool by embarking on a journey in Bangalore, dubbed the Silicon Valley of the East, appears to be the next logical step for Alorica.
An emerging ecosystem of accelerator programs, a fledgling startup ecosystem and university-led partnerships are rendering a landscape that would ensure India has a seat at the table headed by key decision-makers. As Alorica becomes a more strategic and transformational partner to its clients, setting up shop in India seems to be a step in the right direction.
However, while we debate the benefits of technology, chalk transformation roadmaps and justify return on investment, it is important to understand that success in digital initiatives is associated more strongly with the ability to manage people, culture and the change that accompanies a transformation program than the mere adoption of technology.
As Alorica echoed this thought in multiple instances of its presentation, it will be interesting to watch how it navigates the decisions a new market entrant would typically endure in India – decisions about cultural norms, attrition levels, diversity, women in the workforce, workplace flexibility and community engagement.
The need of the hour for most enterprises is enhanced and engaging customer experiences. We believe a nuanced approach to investing in training to breed specialization – as opposed to achieving scale alone – will help ensure that customer centricity continues to be the central component of Alorica’s future. This will also help create promising career roadmaps to tackle the key bane of the contact center industry: attrition.
Alorica CCO Joyce Lee summarized the company’s stance poignantly: “Culture beats strategy any day, and the key to Alorica’s India success will lie in a set of ‘happy people.’”
The ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center Customer Experience Services Archetype Report 2019 examines four different types of clients, or archetypes, that are looking for contact center service providers. The report evaluates the capabilities of 17 contact center providers to deliver services to the four archetypes.
About the authors
Aparna has over ten years of experience researching and writing on the impact of digital transformation on customer experience, operations, people and culture. Her work has involved conducting in-depth research and data analysis focused on identifying future trends, key challenges and building business cases to develop differentiated frameworks that help clients profitably grow their businesses.
At ISG, Namratha Dharshan brings in her extensive research experience to lead a program called Provider Lens that is designed to deliver research on service provider intelligence. She heads a team of analysts and is responsible for delivery of research reports for the Provider Lens Program. Additionally, she is responsible for authoring thought leadership papers and service provider intelligence report in the areas of Contact Center and Information Security. Namratha has authored several research papers on topics such as Omnichannel, PCI in Contact Centers, Cloud Contact Centers and Virtual Contact Centers.
Additionally, she is responsible for authoring thought leadership papers and service provider intelligence report in the areas of Contact Center and Finance and Accounting. Namratha has authored several research papers on topics such as Omnichannel, Cognitive AI, Digital in F&A and many more.
Research Focus : Contact Center, Finance & Accounts Outsourcing