Computer Telephony started Interactive Voice Response business in 1995. And eight months ago the company started a call center for the domestic market. It started with an investment of Rs 25 lakh and has three clients.
Says Rajesh Sitaniya, “It is a good business, but it will take sometime for profits to come in from the local market.”
Presently, Rajesh is not very upbeat about the call center but is expecting profit in two or three years. By then, he is hopeful, the government polices will change in favor of ITES. He says, “Call center is definitely is a good area to be in but government policies on these should be absolutely clear. What we need today is a good infrastructure like a secure payment gateway, value addition to services and a good revenue model to survive. I am not happy with the present telecom network. Not much improvement has taken place.”
Reacting to the Indian customer’s mentality he says, “The entire history of call centers in India shows that customers are not demanding. They are just happy with whatever they get. Take for example VSNL. It has got a good help desk, but how many are making use of it when VSNL line goes down. People just keep quiet. Services required by Indian customers are not much. Indians are still learning to be demanding.”
ITES, being a new field, is yet to create a mass awareness about its opportunities. “People are not aware of the concept of call centers, and the cost of advertising or the cost of letting people know about call centers is very high,” adds Rajesh talking about the teething problems.
From IVR to call center, Rajesh has set his target for the future. There is business in both. “IVR is an old business and so it is profitable but call center will become profitable in two to three years time.”
NetLink Business Systems
NetLink Business Systems started operations in 1992 as a business partner for Compaq. Over the years, it ventured into network integration and later into facility management. In 1995, NetLink established a sister concern, NetLink Ranve Infotech Limited (NRIL), to exploit the opportunity that existed in software trading.
Various market shifts coupled with some astute minds at NRIL led them to conduct an exploratory research as to what would the next best thing to do be. “After some research we concluded that call center application was a good space to be in,” says Anil Kumar, President and CEO,
With NRIL’s revenues having touched Rs 7 crore in 1999, work on developing applications for call centers started. “By this time we all had the experience of integrating twelve call centers,” says Rajesh Bakshi, Founder, NRIL. Today NRIL boasts of 42 employees in India and another 20 in Malaysia. And their sphere of operations include project consulting for call centers, business modeling, technology planning, developing and customizing call center applications and technical training in areas related to call centers.
Today the men driving NRIL are in the process of building it as an organization that is process driven with the right people. Presently they are in conversation with a Malaysian real estate company to form a joint venture to develop CRM applications for the insurance industry, which is undergoing a massive consolidation process there.
“Consolidation brings opportunities. We will develop applications and our partner will take care of marketing,” says Kumar. And the next stop is the Middle East, which and has traditionally been a trading environment, leaving tremendous CRM opportunity to be exploited by the mavericks at