Courtesy: GMA News
India’s call center culture has produced “glorified secretaries” who have become pessimistic about their future, an Indian laureate of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards has warned his country’s closest competitor in business process outsourcing (BPO).
Filipinos in BPOs, especially the youth, face the same danger that India has been through, says Ramon Magsaysay awardee Harish Hande in an interview with GMA News Online. “Don’t make the mistake that we in India are making,” he says.
The Philippines is closely competing with India, which it recently surpassed in voice-based services, as the world’s BPO hub.
“What has happened in India,” Harish explains, “is that you have also created a bunch of frustrated young people in the future, who have become more cynical, saying that I can’t do anything else, because I have spent my valuable years in a call center.
“They’re no longer innovative. They’re not able to think out of the box,” he says.
Harish adds that call centers have desensitized a number of Indians to their surroundings, which, despite their country’s economic growth, continue to breed poverty.
The Magsaysay awardee challenges young Filipinos who flock to BPOs to think long-term and help address perennial problems like weak institutions and unemployment. “You’re equally responsible for building those institutions,” he says.
Harish, a state university graduate in India, particularly directs his challenge to middle-class and educated Filipinos, who have a wider set of choices and are thus “obliged” to help in building the Philippines.
The BPO industry just like its counterpart, the OFW industry, is simply addressing the short-term goals of millions of Filipinos. Don’t mistake my view. There is nothing wrong being a call center agent nor being an OFW.
BPO agents and OFWs resort to Plan A which is short-term. What is wrong is making the short-term long, that is, there is no Plan B (long-term goal). What is wrong is getting way overdue within the prison. You need to get out of your short-term prison, and break free!
- Think out of the box. Be creative.
- Start a business. Employment is one thing, entrepreneurship is another.
- Look at problems around you, in society. There is opportunity around problems.
- Find your passion. Then, apply your passion to solving problems.
- Use open source software. There is money in open source software services.
- Create products and services around problems.
- Build software, platforms and infrastructure.
- And most important of all, just do it. Action is the real measure of intelligence.