Earlier this week, under the Digital India initiative, a new BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) unit was established in Assam.
The new unit was launched under the North Eastern Region (NER) BPO Promotion Scheme, in the city of Guwahati in Assam.
BPO is the contracting of a business process to a third-party service provider. BPOs in India include outsourcing in several fields and are the fastest growing segment of the ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services) industry in terms of both production and export.
Digital India has transformed the BPO sector. BPOs were earlier confined to urban areas and cities; now because of the digital revolution, the sector has spread to smaller towns and villages, creating more employment opportunities for people that are closer to home.
A BPO service provider will usually administer and manage a specific business process for another company. With the use of either existing technology or new technology, BPOs try to improve a particular business task. Indian BPOs provide a number of IT-related services such as customer support, technical support, creative design, finance and accounting services, insurance and data processing, internet research among others.
As most companies in the US and UK outsource IT-related business processes to Indian service providers, India is currently the number one destination for business process outsourcing
The BPO will provide employment to 70 people in Guwahati.
The NEBPS, which is a part of the Digital India Programme, aims to incentivise the establishment of around 5,000 seats in the BPO/ITES operations space.
The project has a total outlay of IN ₹50 crores (approximately US $6.9 million) and is expected to generate employment opportunities for about 15,000 people in the North Eastern parts of the country. The NEBPS will be implemented in all the eight states of the NER, that is, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura.
According to a document released in June by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the scheme intends to create jobs for the local youth in the NER by promoting the IT/ITES (IT-enabled service) Industry.
The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), an autonomous society under the MeitY is the implementing agency of the NEBPS.
In August, the Minister of the MeiTy released a document entitled the ‘Digital North East Vision 2022’. The document highlighted the Government’s plan to leverage digital technologies to transform the lives of people in the NER.
It outlined eight digital focus areas; digital infrastructure, digital services, digital empowerment, the promotion of electronics manufacturing, the promotion of IT and ITES including BPOs, digital payments, innovation and start-ups, and cybersecurity.
The objectives of Digital North East Vision 2022 are to provide high-speed broadband connectivity and mobile connectivity in all the uncovered villages in the NER. It also plans to create a cloud-enabled hub at Guwahati, with a disaster recovery centre.
The project will set up Common Service Centres in all village councils and provide better access to quality health, educational and agricultural services using digital technology.
The document also noted the Government create safe and secure cyber-space for by establishing specialised cybersecurity labs.
Apart from the unit at Guwahati, several BPO centres have been inaugurated in different parts of Imphal under the NEBPS.