Wednesday, August 23, 2006

‘Skilled manpower can make India frontrunner in KPO’ 

India is likely to capture around 15 per cent of the over $ 54 billion Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) industry worldwide by 2010 from 5 per cent now, the Ministry of Communication and IT has said.

“The estimated KPO market globally amounts to about $ 54 billion (as of 2005). India is aiming at capturing 15 per cent of this market by 2010 from existing 5 per cent,” Jainder Singh, Secretary IT, said at a conference organised by IIFT and Nasscom in New Delhi recently. He said to achieve this target the Department of Information Technology has initiated a special manpower development programme for VLSI design.

“Skilled manpower and multi-lingual capabilities with low cost of labour can help the country emerge as the frontrunner in the KPO industry globally,” Singh said.

He said by developing the potential in the KPO industry, India would be able to help companies globally maximise their savings through offshore operations. Highlighting the emergence of bioinformatics as a dynamic area, Singh said, “Biotech business in India has the potential to generate annual revenues of $ 5 billion and 1 million skilled jobs by 2010.” The DIT has already proposed the establishment of a centre of excellence for carrying out research and generation of high-end manpower in bioinformatics, he said, adding an autonomous society of the DIT has also been conducting courses in this area.

The Indian IT and ITeS sector has created an additional 3 million job opportunities through indirect employment, Singh said. “The total number of IT and ITeS-BPO professionals employed in India is estimated to have grown to 12,87,000 in 2005-06 from 2,84,000 in 1999-2000,” he said.

The government and the IT/BPO industry needs to work together to further increase India’s share in the global market, which could be done by expanding into countries other than the US to tap the new centres of emerging demand in the sector, Singh said.

He said appropriate changes should be introduced in the education system in collaboration with the industry and academia to improve the quality of workforce. Meanwhile, Nasscom President Kiran Karnik said the biggest challenge which the industry is facing is shortage of skilled manpower. He said the education system should be changed in order to train people with the right skills. — PTI