Is this your calling?

Anjita Pradhan


A re you a graduate planning to carve a career in customer relationship management? The IT enabled service industry is definitely for you. You could be a ‘Joe’ or ‘Annie’ giving information about Lincoln road or calling up a credit card holder in the US and following up on his payments. The person would not know that the call is from Nepal where you are located. You would be trained on the accent with sufficient inputs and have access to a reservoir of information.

What is an IT Enabled Service?

IT Enabled Services are those provided from one country to another where end products are delivered. These are delivered over telecommunication or data network lines. Call centres are IT enabled services where information is instantly provided.

How does a call centre function?

A typical call centre functions as follows — a caller uses a toll free number connected to a customer support centre. When the call reaches the call centre, a trained consultant with access to a wide database of information, answers. The dedicated telecommunication links connect a remote call centre to the parent organisation through voice links and online database access. A caller maybe calling a local number in the US, but it maybe answered in Nepal without time delay and the caller is oblivious of where it is being answered. These are popular in USA, Europe, Japan and Australia etc.

Call centre types

Call centres are of two types — outbound and inbound. Outbound make outgoing calls to follow up overdue holders worldwide and offer solutions. Some main responsibilities of outbound call centres are to update relevant information in the database, adhere to quality and compliance, be courteous and customer friendly. Inbound call centres cater to the needs of the local people for local product or services. Key functions are to update database, provide standard information and be customer friendly and courteous.

Employment opportunities

According to a survey there are more than 1,00,000 call centres worldwide and this is expected to grow employing around 20 million people worldwide. “All other jobs require experience but at call centres, we provide opportunities to fresh graduates,” says Geetanjali Gurung, HR manager of the Serving Minds. “If our business prospers we will surely encourage more people to join,” says Raghu Shah, managing director of Askme.

Pros and cons

If you are among the ambitious who love working for a reputed multinational company then call centres are your dream come true. “You will have a young and energetic crowd and fun-filled environment to work in,” says Shah. Performing well means you receive a reward.

Negatives aspects are odd working hours — mostly night shifts. It can get monotonous after sometime and has a short career span. “Since we have to compete in marketing, work is stressful but it can be viewed positively and negatively,” says Gurung.

Skills required

“Most important skill is fluency in English and the ability to sell,” says Gurung. This is a must if you are working for outbound call centres as the service you provide is to people abroad. Another must is proficiency in computers as all your information will be stored in the PC the

company provides. Check your ears twice before you opt for the job because listening is another important skill you would need for the job. Since you are there to solve problems for customers and provide them with needed information, analytical skill is also considered an added advantage. “One main thing we observe during the interview is — can the person handle customers well? This is where the challenge lies,” says Shah.

How to apply?

If interested in applying at a call centre in Nepal, prepare your application and resume. A verbal interview is a must. “The first interview is on the phone because we want to see if the person can sell themselves before they sell products,” says Gurung. Pay scale The harder you work the more you get paid. At entry level, a person is paid around Rs 8,000-12,000. So, is this calling for you?