Indian IT firms bet on knowledge outsourcing

Himalayan News Service

Mumbai, February 14:

The Indian IT sector plans to strike it rich in a new breed of high-end knowledge-based outsourcing as global corporations move process like data and intellectual property researches to offshore locations.

This new breed of knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) comprises companies providing higher-end research and analytical based services to overseas clients in a wide spectrum of business areas. These include basic data research, integration and management, market research, equity research, engineering design, animation and simulation, medical content and services, remote education and publishing. Other areas with significant latent potential for KPO include pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, legal support, intellectual property research, and design and development for automotive and aerospace industries.

According to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), the total market size of KPO business in India may rise to a staggering $15.5 billion, up from $1.2 billion now.

“India can emerge as a major KPO player in the global arena by leveraging the intellectual capital and the power of the Internet to offer quality research at value prices,” said R Sivadas, director and CEO of Scope e-Knowledge Centre.

“Even at the relatively higher billing rates, moving knowledge processes to offshore locations offers a compelling value proposition as it helps overseas firms to cut costs significantly,” Sivadas said, “Although very few Indian companies are working in this space now, KPO will be one of the major segments of the outsourcing business in terms of creation of new jobs and generation of billions of dollars.” The Scope e-Knowledge is a leading Indian KPO firm that has expertise in creating valuable intellectual property across the industry verticals like healthcare, pharmaceuticals and life sciences.

The company, with overseas offices in New York, Orlando, Chicago, London and Brussels, has over a dozen clients in the US and European markets. The US market accounts for 60 per cent of its annual revenue. “In view of the growing interest of global corporations in the KPO business, we have decided to increase our manpower in the Chennai facility from 400 to 600 by the end of the current year,” said Sivadas. “Our revenues are also likely to jump to $8 million by 2006 with the same set of clients, up from $3 million likely to be logged at the end of the current fiscal year,” he added.

To provide high-end knowledge services, KPO service providers are required to have qualified staff.