BPM 4.0: India’s back-office industry is AI-skilling its workforce

BPM 4.0: India’s back-office industry is AI-skilling its workforce

Eminent speakers take part at a  BusinessLine-Nasscom roundtable

India’s vibrant IT-enabled services (ITeS) sector commonly referred to as Business Process Management (BPM), is reinventing itself, yet again, to both adapt and shape the nature of demand coming from global customers.

According to a panel of eminent speakers at a  BusinessLine-Nasscom roundtable on how  ‘BPM 4.0 heralding into an AI opportunity’ the sector, is training its workforce to be more nimble, and artificial intelligence (AI) skilled, to enable win-win business outcomes for customers and all stakeholders.

The addressable global BPM market this year is $254 billion and is estimated to grow to $336 billion by 2025. Over the last couple of decades, India has emerged as the pre-eminent back office of the world.

This year according to Nasscom estimates, the Indian BPM industry would be at $44 billion which includes delivering services revolving around enterprise front and back office, contact centers apart from vertical oriented BPM. The sector employs more than 1.4 million people directly and several multiples of it indirectly.

The Indian BPM industry has undergone a paradigm shift over the few decades of its existence. While BPM 1.0 was all about cost-saving and labour arbitrage, in BPM 2.0 the emphasis was on operational excellence through efficiency and quality of processes. BPM 3.0 heralded the advent of deep technology and domain expertise.

‘Training and re-orienting’

However, the pandemic of the recent past has seen customers laying stress on enabling business outcomes, resilience, and agility. This is leading to the latest iteration of the industry through BPM 4.0 with players investing in training and re-orienting their workforce to enable this.

Sukanya Selvarajan, Innovation Head and CFO operations at Tata Consultancy Services, said that the workforce in BPM 4.0 needs to be design thinking led, data and digital-driven apart from the usual non-negotiables of being domain and technology-centric.

Prashant Achanta, CTO of Firstsource, said that there was a continuum between BPM 3.0 and the latest avatar — for now at least — and highlighted how Indian players could take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the sector. Amneet Chowdhury, VP and Global Head for Infrastructure Technologies at Sutherland Global Services, stressed how building intellectual property and platforms using AI and ML is giving an edge to Indian players.

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