Which Indian cities provide the most stable environment for offshore business growth? A debate is raging in the Indian press regarding this question, sparked by conflicting views of the human resource issues faced by different Indian cities.
Staff attrition and skills availability have fast become a major problem in India’s big technology services hubs – particularly Bangalore and Chennai in South India – as the influx of foreign and local companies has created rabid competition for skilled English speaking staff.
A recent report published by India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and KPMG, claims that despite being the main offshore hubs, Bangalore and Chennai are extremely attractive in terms their ability to provide experienced professionals.
It adds that the National Capital Region (NCR) of the country, including Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida, as well as Mumbai, are far behind, according to India’s Economic Times.
The southern cities do not fare well for voice-enabled services, one of India’s fastest growing offshore sectors, because of the strong accent of the region. Northern and central cities such as Delhi and the NCR, as well as Mumbai, are much more suited to such voice-driven processes as call center and helpdesk operations.
Nevertheless, Bangalore is still the heart of the offshore industry, with the vast majority of the local offshore players headquartered in the city. Also, Chennai still competes very strongly for transaction-based and accounting processes, due to its very high supply of trained accountants.
Of course, none of these viewpoints or the underlying demographics can provide conclusive ranking of Indian cities’ suitability for offshore processes. Yet it is becoming increasingly important to understand these strengths and weaknesses given the rapidly growing competition coming from foreign rivals such as Philippines, Malaysia, and China.
NASSCOM and the Indian government are aware of these emerging human resources problems in India, and are increasing training and certification schemes to try and reduce the pressure. But only time will tell if they can ramp up fast enough for an industry that is growing phenomenally.