Evra: “I asked for alms before the stores to be able to eat, but I was happy”

first_imgEvra, contrary to what it may seem, remembers that time as a “happy” moment. “It was a difficult time, but happy. I was always happy and I was always lucky, I would not change anything, I would keep it that way because he built the man I am now,” he explains at 38 and after a successful career in soccer. “Some people, when you are successful, they only see the end result, they only see the superstar on television, but in reality, on the streets, I learned a lot and it helped me to be strong”, he wields as a life experience that he hopes “inspire children to realize that they should never give up, don’t give up. If you think you will become someone, go out and believe in yourself, you will. I don’t feel like a victim, I don’t want compassion. “His childhood was a test of strength that served as tests that came later. “Especially after the World Cup, when I was the captain and many people blamed me, but I was strong because I know that in the streets I had more difficult moments than then, with the press talking about you,” he says. Patrice Evra closed a successful sports career less than a year ago in which he won 21 titles. The winger ended up at West Ham, but he had previously made a brilliant name for himself playing for clubs like Monaco, Manchester United, Juventus and Marseille. In addition, a guarantee with the French team, with which he became runner-up in Europe in 2016. But to get there he had to go a long and winding road that he has recounted in a podcast on the Manchester United website. In it he tells the difficult childhood he had, having to practice begging to eat. A member of a large family, Evra relates the difficulties of eating while growing up in a Paris suburb. “I was in Paris, but I lived on the street and sometimes I couldn’t even eat something. I remember my brother Dominique was working at a McDonald’s, so he went there and gave me his own food at his lunch hour,” he explains. When he did not have that option, he had no choice but to have to ask so as not to take another less advisable path. “I am not afraid to say that I had to beg for money in front of the stores. I would stand in front of them and when I came across people I would ask for some currency. Sometimes they gave me the money and sometimes they didn’t, I just wanted money to buy a sandwich, “he says.last_img read more

Senate Receives Act to Establish MOH

first_imgThe Liberian Senate during the 4th day sitting of its Extraordinary Session yesterday received from President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, an Act to amend the new Executive Law of 1972 establishing the Ministry of Health.In her letter dated September 12, 2015, President Sirleaf informed the lawmakers that the objective of the bill is to amend the provision of the Executive Law Part 2, Chapter 30, establishing the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare and establishes a restructured Ministry of Health, separate and distinct from Social Welfare.It is my pleasure to submit for enactment into law the attached bill titled: “An Act to establish the Ministry of Health.”The Ministry according to the Act will focus on the development of the health care sector, and when passed into law should enable the Ministry to be more responsive in providing affordable and better quality health care.“In view of the above and for the purpose of ensuring that all health sectors are more functional, I ask for the enactment of this important instrument by the Legislature.”Sponsored by Bomi County Senator Morris Saytumah, the bill was sent to the committee on Health, Gender, Women, Social Welfare and Children Protection, as a motion filed by Rivercess County Senator Francis Paye. Because of the importance attached to the Bill, it was voted that the committee do a comprehensive and thorough work and report to plenary in January, 2016.It may be recalled that Senate last June unanimously confirmed the nomination of Mr. Tolbert D. Nyenswah as Deputy Minister for Disease, Surveillance and Epidemic Control at the Ministry of Health, months before the proposed amendment to the 1972 Act that established the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare.Prior to his appointment as the first Deputy Minister at that Ministry, Mr. Nyenswah served as leader of the Incident Management Team, during the Ebola Virus outbreak. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

E&J Medical Center Needs Logistical, Other Support

first_imgThe management of the Esther & Jereline Koung Medical Center, commonly known as E&J Medical Center in Ganta City, is calling on the national government and other well wishers for logistical and other support to enhance the smooth running of the hospital.In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer in Ganta yesterday, Chief Administrator Mr. Lawrence Tozay said the cost of running the hospital is huge and it requires external support to provide the needed health services to the people.He explained that the hospital runs on 24-hour electricity, serves patients with 3 daily meals and at the same time provides other services to meet their health needs which, he said, cannot be managed by the current intake alone.“This hospital needs four medical doctors, 60 nurses and 20 midwives as well as other support staff to provide the needed services for our people,” he said.Tozay added that at present the hospital does not have an ambulance, while lubricants to keep the hospital’s generators on regularly remain a daily challenge.He boasted that the hospital has one of the best laboratories in Liberia, where many important medical tests that sometimes take patients to Ghana, including liver, kidney, and lipid profiles, are done.“We also do electrolytes, thyroid function, fertility hormones, hematology, microbiology and serology,” said Dr. Peter M. George, a medical doctor presently working at the hospital. “One of our major constraints is the logistical problem.”The hospital is running both inpatient and outpatient services, the administrator said.“Every ward is fully air conditioned with satellite disc television system to reduce stress on our patients,” Mr. Tozay said.The outpatient department is also fully air conditioned with two television sets, making it second to none in the country, he noted.Since the hospital opened to the public over a month ago, it has conducted 28 successful surgeries, said Dr. George.The E&J Medical Center is the second medical facility in Ganta City, where the Ganta United Methodist Hospital has been operating since the 1920s.It was officially dedicated on July 23, 2016 by Vice President Joseph Boakai, with scores of high profile government officials present.“Owing to the health care needs our people face, Jeremiah Koung, in 2011 made health his priority as he contested for the post of Representative; and upon winning the election, he broke ground for the hospital project in 2012,” Mr. Tozay explained.The hospital is presently receiving about 20 to 50 patients daily, according to the administrator.“This hospital is for everybody and we are asking any well wisher to come in with whatsoever help they have to enhance the running of the hospital,” he pleaded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Timehri logger to stand trial for 2014 murder of co-worker

first_imgAccused: Rajesh RoopnarineRajesh Roopnarine called “Popo”, a logger of Timehri, East Bank Demerara, on Monday made his appearance at the Demerara High Court facing a murder charge. A 12-member jury was empanelled before Justice Navindra Singh, as Roopnarine’s fate will be determined at the end of the trial.Roopnarine’s trial is set to commence on May 16, 2019, after his attorney requested an extended time to prepare for the trial. However, at Monday’s court session, the accused denied the indictment which detailed that on December 6, 2014, at 14 Miles Mabura, Upper Demerara River, he murdered David Campbell.The accused is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes while the State is being represented by Teriq Mohammed, Abigail Gibbs and Tuanna Hardy.According to reports, at about 17: 30h, Roopnarine set alight a mining camp with four occupants. While three persons managed to escape the blaze, Campbell was trapped in his hammock and sustained third-degree burns.Campbell, who was a chainsaw operator, died at the Georgetown Public Hospital seven days after he was reportedly set alight in the mining camp.last_img read more

Opposition condemns move to further block Edghill from National Assembly

first_img…Parliament Office says “mistake” made when calculating suspensionThe legacy of the 11th Parliament is one of executive interference in the National Assembly’s operations and undermining of the standing orders. This is according to the parliamentary Opposition, which in a strongly worded statement on Saturday revealed that Opposition parliamentarian Juan Edghill’s exile from the Chambers has been extended due to a “mistake” from the Parliament Office.According to the party, the Government motion specifically calling for Opposition Parliamentarian Juan Edghill to be suspended from the National Assembly was followed by the party being gagged from questions on the Budget Estimates before it was passed. By such measures, the party noted they were prevented from scrutinising six MinistriesDespite the motion moved by Minister Amna Ally on December 12, 2017, which specifically called for the suspension of Edghill from the business of the National Assembly until December 15, 2017, Edghill will not be able to return to the House for the January 10 sitting.“The parliamentary Opposition was shocked to learn by way of letter dated January 4, 2018, that the Member, Bishop Edghill, cannot attend the sitting on January 10, 2018, due to a mistake made by the Parliament Office in calculating when the suspension commenced,” the party stated.“The Speaker appears to have assumed the responsibility, not provided for, to interpret a member’s motion. Minister Ally’s motion included a date of when the suspension would come to an end, December 15, 2017. Therefore, there is no doubt or ambiguity as to the commencement of the suspension at the sitting on December 12, 2017.”PPP/C MP, Bishop Juan EdghillThe party noted that had Minister Ally’s motion not included the date of the conclusion of the suspension, the need for the Speaker’s intervention to interpret the motion as to when the suspension began and ended may have been more understandable.“However, one must remember that on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, prior to the commencement of the adjourned 79th sitting and hence prior to the motion of Minister Ally being tabled and passed, Bishop Edghill was prevented from coming to the Parliament Building and arrested at the traffic lights approximately 100 feet from the gates of the Parliament compound. Therefore, the suspension was in effect on Tuesday, December 12.”Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton ScotlandThe Parliament Office under the hand of the Clerk of the National Assembly wrote Edghill on December 12, 2017, suspending him for four sittings from the 79th sitting; the very sitting which Minister Ally brought the motion of suspension. Therefore, the letter was in keeping with the motion brought by the Minister. But according to the People’s Progressive Party, interestingly, the letter of January 4, 2018, states a mistake was made and the suspension commenced on the 80th sitting, therefore the fourth sitting would include January 10, 2018.”According to the party, this “arbitrary interference in the interpretation of a member’s motion in keeping with SO 47 (3) (a) is totally unacceptable and smells of crass vindictiveness.” It noted the unprecedented nature of the case and recalled that this level of interference didn’t occur despite unruly behaviour in the 10th Parliament by the then combined Opposition.The party pointed out that the combined A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change Opposition parties forced the suspension of sittings on at least 10 occasions. In addition, they prevented then Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee from speaking for nine months until the then Chief Justice ruled that this action was unconstitutional.“This is just another example in what is fast becoming a voluminous dossier on the threats to parliamentary democracy in Guyana. However, we, in the parliamentary Opposition, will not be daunted by these vindictive and un-parliamentary measures. We are forced to note ironically, that, we as Members of Parliament have greater freedom to speak and to represent the people of Guyana, so far, outside of the hallowed halls of the National Assembly than inside those walls. This in itself is an indictment of the 11th Parliament.”Edghill was suspended by Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland, after his attempts to extend scrutiny over the Ministry of the Presidency were shut down. After not complying with the Speaker’s orders, Police were called into the House in an unprecedented action, causing a scuffle in the Chambers.last_img read more

Ferguson thanks medics for life-saving surgery

first_img0Shares0000Recovery: Alex Ferguson thanks medicsLONDON, United Kingdom, July 27 – Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson thanked medics for saving his life and said he felt humbled by the huge outpouring of sympathy in his first public comments since undergoing emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage in May.The 76-year-old Scot, who won 38 trophies in 26 years in charge at United, praised medical staff in a video message released by the club. Ferguson, who guided United to 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies, remained in intensive care for several days following the emergency surgery.“Hello. Just a quick message, first of all to thank the medical staff at Macclesfield, Salford Royal and Alexandra hospitals,” said a healthy-looking Ferguson, whose speech appeared to have been affected a little.“Believe me, without those people, who gave me such great care, I would not be sitting here today. So thank you from me and my family, thank you very much.”Ferguson, who stepped down after winning his 13th Premier League title in 2013, said both the care he received and the global reaction to his predicament had touched him deeply.“It’s made me feel so humble, as have all the messages I’ve received from all over the world, wishing me the best,” he said.“And the good wishes do resonate very, very strongly with me. So thank you for that support you’ve given me.”Ferguson ended the message by saying he would be back at Old Trafford to watch United, now managed by Jose Mourinho.“Lastly, I’ll be back later in the season to watch the team,” said Ferguson. “In the meantime, all the best to Jose and the players. Thank you very much.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

‘What’s better than joining Man United? Signing for Man City!’ Fans loving breaking done deal news

first_img Nicolas Otamendi has joined Man City from Valencia A day after pretty much every football fan laughed at Man United when Chelsea swooped in for Pedro, Man City fans are enjoying the fact Nicolas Otamendi has joined them.United were believed to be interested in signing the defender from Valencia, but their Manchester rivals have beaten them to it.It comes during a week in which Sergio Ramos decided to renew his contract with Real Madrid and Pedro agreed to join Chelsea when both were United targets.Here, talkSPORT looks at a selection of tweets from City fans, who were delighted with the arrival of Otamendi. 1last_img read more

Trailblazer: Lere Mgayiya

first_imgFounder: Lere’s Shoe Shine ExperienceWhy is Lere a Trailblazer?With no tertiary education and after several unsuccessful business ventures, Lere saw someone cleaning and shining shoes, capitalised on the idea and started his own shoe shining business at Cape Town International Airport – with only two chairs.He then extended the business into a franchise by training unskilled youngsters from the township to manage and own a business and become income-generating, contributing members of society.Lere maintains that his speciality is “shining people” – making them believe in their ideas, their abilities and their inherent value as South Africans.In his own words …“I want to build other businesses that serve communities because I believe that my community, the African community, has so much potential of being a business on their own to stop depending on other people to make them stop being idle.”Fast FactsLere’s Shoe Shine Experience stands currently operate at Cape Town International Airport, OR Tambo International Airport, Durban International Airport, East London Airport and George Airport.On average 18-million passengers travel through South African airports every year, translating into 36-million possible shoes to shine!Lere’s Shoe Shine Experience is endorsed by a number of celebrities, including Gary Kirsten, Mr Manshanyu, Natalie Du Toit, Francois Pienaar and Jake White.Lere has won the Sanlam Money Game and the SAB Kickstart Competition. In 2004, Lere received a R50 000 grant from SAB KickStart, which he used to purchase additional equipment such as chairs and shoe cleaning accessories.How can I help?The next time you have a few minutes to wait at the airport, find a Lere Shoe Shine Experience stall and let them shine your shoes while you enjoy some light-hearted conversation. For more information, visit Lere’s Shoe Shine Experience.Story published on SAinfo on 11 July 2008.Source: Brand South Africalast_img read more

How to Avert a Data Center Staffing Crisis

first_imgEarlier this month we coveredGartner analyst David J. Cappuccio‘s concerns that a data center crisis is looming. This week we’re seeing increased data center hiring. We talked to SunGard Availability Services‘s Managing Principal of Consulting Services Dr. Mickey Zandi, who says that although data center hiring isn’t in crisis yet, it’s already difficult to find qualified people. He shares some advice for data center managers and workers on how to prepare to for the future. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Data Center Knowledge reports a boom in data center hiring in the first three weeks of 2011. It also notes a steady rise in data center related job postings over the past few years on Indeed.com.“There is a trend I’ve been observing for the past year or year and a half – managers are challenged to find operational staffing for data centers,” says Zandi. “Many data center workers are retiring, but have never been involved in knowledge transfer to the younger generation.”Zandi also says that consolidation is resulting in more complex resources. Storage, network and computing are becoming integrated, which saves data centers money but makes staffing more difficult. Training for these skills is extensive and expensive.Companies should continue the path of virtualization and consolidation but not forget training, Zandi says. “Start having your existing staff cross-train in other domains.” He also recommends that companies invest in certifications and trainings for employees. He suggests building lab-environments where employees can test new technologies and do hands-on training.Zandi also says that managers are going to have to lower the barrier of entry in terms of the experience in cross-domains. Workers with deep knowledge in one area should be valued even if they don’t have broad cross-domain experience. These are the sort of workers you need to have cross-training each other.According to Zandi, certifications are going to play a greater role in data center staffing decisions. He suggests that workers that want to stay viable focus on getting cloud-related certifications. He says certifications from Cisco, EMC and VMWare are most important and notes that Cisco’s Nexus platform is particularly hot.The most important thing for workers to do now, he says, is research and learn other domains. He suggests getting your hands dirty with technologies you wouldn’t ordinarily work with, and to take advantage of any online training you can.He also recommends that both managers and workers follow the relevant discussions – both in-person events and on the Web – regarding technology and keep abreast of trends.We’ve emphasized the importance of investing in IT staff in the past, particularly in our “How to Improve IT Worker Morale.” Even in this jobless recovery, certain types of workers are particularly hard to find.Photo by The Planet Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#cloud#Trends klint finleylast_img read more

Reversal of Fortune

first_imgInfosys Technologies once was a software engineer’s dream, with a reputation for creating multimillionaires through its employee stock option program (ESOP). But the days of these nearly instant millionaires may have ended – or so it seems. Not only has the company stopped issuing ESOPs after new accounting rules that require them to be expensed against profits, but the company’s stock price, as of January 22, was at a 52-week low of Rs. 1,212.20 ($30.55). That is down 50% from a 52-week high of Rs. 2,439 in February 2007. The decline in the company’s market capitalization has taken some of the sheen off the Infosys brand. But if panelists at a recent entrepreneurial summit held in Delhi in December, are to be believed, the largest of India’s software and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies have little to fear. The outlook is less benign, however, for medium-size and small companies that provide plain vanilla, me-too IT services with a sole “we do it cheaper” approach. “If you are a small company with an innovative idea in the tech domain then you need to leverage the idea by a rapid scale-up of the business,” said Anish Tripathi, chief knowledge officer of KPMG India. The rapid scale-up is imperative for smaller firms to monetize the advantage of being a first mover, according to Tripathi, who noted that opportunities exist in rural tech deployment and in the mobile space.“Core intellectual property-based product companies can still compete” even if they are small, according to Jai Das, partner at SAP Ventures, the venture capital arm of SAP AG, because these companies’ products could enjoy patent, trademark or copyright protection. Even companies founded with intellectual property based on processes and systems can succeed, he noted. While many of these firms may get bought out before they become billion-dollar businesses, entrepreneurs will benefit from the value-creation exercise.Instead smaller firms are urged to take advantage of a trend away from selling software licenses and toward selling software as a service. In this web-based approach, the developer provides and maintains software for clients, who are billed based on usage rather than a fixed, annual per-user license fee. “Ninety percent of companies will want software as a service as they don’t want a headache with IT,” Das said.Ajai Chowdhry, chairman and CEO of HCL Infosystems, said the PC penetration in India that he had dreamed of years ago is about to happen. “We are on the cusp, with a digital lifestyle powering growth in urban India and with connectivity in rural India,” he said, speaking at an awards reception.In a speech at the TiE Entrepreneurial Summit 2007, Infosys co-chairman Nandan M. Nilekani discussed new benefits of IT for the Indian government. “There’s a dramatic adoption of many innovative technologies in India, such as electronic voting machines [used] in the 2004 general elections that made us the only country in the world to use these for electing members to Parliament,” he said. Thanks in part to growth in technology infrastructure, he added, India’s direct tax collections have risen 30% to 40% in the last two years as tax authorities have been able to analyze intelligence from the tax information network. “India is creating low-cost disruptive technologies for growth, and in four or five years we will have a completely portable national pension system and a common way of identifying citizens via one common number,” Nilekani said.Currently, the cumbersome process of transferring one’s employee provident fund account can take several years. India does not have a unique identifier for each citizen. Instead, multiple identifiers are used for purposes including tax payments, pension accounts and voter eligibility determinations. “A national dematerialized system for land records is now being created as well,” Nilekani noted, adding that the use of IT in the domestic market would enable targeted delivery of subsidies and other benefits.Brand IndiaIndian IT firms are focusing on the mass market to expand their market share. Bigger companies that provide application development and maintenance services expect business from North America to grow. “Inorganic growth is seen as a significant driver in addition to organic growth,” KPMG India’s Tripathi said. This would be a change of strategy for major IT firms, which have so far relied largely on new and existing clients to post high-double-digit growth in revenue and profit. With the rupee’s appreciation shaving off almost 15 percentage points in revenue growth over the last year and a half, IT firms have had to focus on getting 2% to 3% price increases and higher labor productivity to protect their bottom lines. And they have hedged their dollar receivables, locking in a fixed exchange rate to protect them from the rupee’s rise.India has become a key market even for global IT software companies such as Germany’s SAP, which has sold licenses for enterprise resource planning system software to customers including the $28.8 billion Tata group and Reliance Industries, India’s largest private-sector company. “We are now focusing on new application software for small and medium enterprises to grow our base of 2,000 customers in India,” SAP Ventures’ Das said. SAP Labs already has located its second-largest development center in India (its largest is in Germany), joining other global giants including Microsoft, Intel and General Electric.Shiv Nadar, chairman of HCL Technologies, pointed out just how competitive and polarized the IT business is becoming. The smallest of the IT firms could enter into aeronautics, which was using outdated technology, said Nadar. “We have already built aeronautics for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. Now, we can go out and buy sub systems manufacturers and benefit from the long-tailed revenue stream of product sale, support and services that characterizes the $800 billion global aeronautical business,” Nadar said. He noted that HCL would acquire a company in this area soon and in the next 24 months would build this up as a significant line of business.“The Indian IT industry has done what the auto industry did in Japan,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO and managing director of Infosys. “We have adopted global best practices and adapted them for India.”Smaller businesses setting up in India can profit from Indian IT firms’ success in the global markets. “In the U.S. and U.K., ‘brand India’ has arrived. Now Indian companies can hire top talent instead of also-rans from these markets,” said Uday Challu, CEO of iYogi, a venture capital-funded tech support company headquartered in Gurgaon, near New Delhi. Given the double-digit wage inflation and benchmarking of Indian mid- and senior-level salaries to global levels, it’s becoming easier to hire talent from the developed world, Challu said. Because smaller companies typically need fewer key people, looking beyond Indian shores for key officers may be a practical option, he added. As Russell Parera, CEO of KPMG India, noted, “It’s ironic that in a country of a billion people, the single biggest challenge to growth is the availability of talented staff and not customers.”Changes in the investment climate also can benefit smaller companies. “Now, investors don’t scoff at rupee revenue components in the business plan,” Challu said. “The IT and telecom sectors in India are early adopters of new technologies,” so new companies can get their first break right in the domestic market. “What’s more, references of an Indian user can now be used for global marketing, too,” he noted, elaborating on how entrepreneurs could leverage the India advantage in the tech business. Vispi Daver, partner at U.S.-based venture capital firm Sierra Ventures, added that entrepreneurs could now raise $10 million within the country rather than having to seek it in Silicon Valley.With a good number of globally renowned venture capital firms now in India, entrepreneurs are urged to take advantage of the value addition, guidance and insight that these VCs can provide to companies in which they invest, beyond the capital they contribute.Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs Terence H. Matthews, a Canada-based billionaire serial entrepreneur, had some tips for budding entrepreneurs. “The single most important word for success is ‘persistence.’ I have so far started up to 70 companies, of which I have lost only two,” he said, speaking as part of a separate panel. He said he owed his success to hitting the market at the right time with the right technology and the right product. “But there’s absolutely no substitute for work ethic and education,” he said. He advised entrepreneurs not to become emotionally attached to the companies they found, explaining that 20 of his companies have gone public while several others were acquired. “I don’t treat companies as babies that cannot be sold. [Instead,] I set up three new companies every year.”Matthews said his holding company, Wesley Clover, was looking to acquire companies in India to jump-start his plan to develop software products for the world markets there. Twenty tech companies that he is associated with outsource software to Indian firms. “India is at a tipping point, and the time is ripe for it,” he suggested. “Outsourcing is not capped and will grow quite fast and move to the next stage of development of products for the world market.”Consolidation in BPOJust as consolidation has occurred among IT firms in India, the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is also showing sign of consolidating. The rupee’s steady appreciation has put the brakes on smaller and newer players’ undercutting established competitors. These challenger firms are being far more discerning in quoting uneconomic rates for outsourced work in the hope of breaking even. “We are already seeing a much easier employee hiring situation as a fallout,” said Raman Roy, chairman and managing director of Quatrro BPO Solutions. As firms become more careful in quoting prices, the demand for talent to fuel growth at any cost is moderated, providing a needed breather from the high rates of attrition that have come to characterize the business in India. “Currently, most companies have hedged up to a year’s worth of dollar receivables,” said Roy, who is widely considered the father of India’s BPO business. “The real challenge will come next year, when those hedges run out and we will see a lot of uneconomical companies quickly wither away.”Pavan Vaish, CEO of IBM Daksh Business Process Services, likens the industry’s challenges to what happened in Japan years ago when the yen strengthened. “Companies reinvented themselves by investing in technology, R&D and extreme operational excellence. Of course, fewer companies who have the brand, technological capability and the management to make the transition will succeed,” Vaish said.Most companies remain bullish about the prospects of the larger companies in the $8 billion sector, whose revenues have been growing at almost 33% a year. Harsh Manglik, chairman of Accenture India, said firms such as his could improve productivity of processes by almost 50% while keeping the same people employed by the client working out of the same locales. “These are benefits we are talking about even before the operation is offshored to another country,” he said.Pramod Bhasin, CEO of Genpact, said India’s penetration in the IT enabled services industry has been “minimal” to this point, and human resources is the key to growth. “The demographics of the developed world mean that they aren’t going to produce 20- and 30-year-olds in huge numbers. Companies in those geographies will therefore have to find the capacity for growth in other markets. We feel limited only by our ability to hire employees who can provide a very high quality of service to our clients,” he said.The leaders of India’s BPO industry have managed to build domain expertise, or in some cases acquire it in chosen areas. This has allowed them to deliver cost savings by reengineering processes rather than just through cost arbitrage based on cheaper Indian labor. Cost savings generated from a fundamental redesign of a process also allow the larger firms to share a part of the savings the client realizes. A lack of deep domain expertise is the reason smaller firms that focus on cost arbitrage are having a difficult time coping with the rising rupee. “Cost arbitrage as a basic reason to exist is over,” the Bhasin said. “Now clients come to us because we can give them high-quality service and continuous improvement.”Vaish, of IBM Daksh, said firms will have to focus on delivering greater value, which will call for an enormous amount of investment in research and building domain expertise. Today, “it’s very hard to do a [BPO] start-up in conventional areas” such as call center services, he said.Leading BPO firms are now looking at what departments of top banks and companies they can acquire so they can identify efficiencies and create value by fixing something that is broken and providing the services back to the banks and companies on a contract basis. Focus areas could include such activities as research monitoring in a particular subject area and patent filing work. The biggest BPO firms are also actively exploring opportunities in the local BPO business, as banks, media companies and airlines that are growing revenue by 30% a year are increasingly willing to outsource noncore operations.Jerry Rao, chairman of MphasiS, said the domestic and international call center business in India continues to grow. Even in a three-decade-old industry, firms are adding value by reducing average handle times per call by 30% to 40% using Six Sigma standards of efficiency. “India now has as many Six Sigma black belts and green belts as any other country worldwide. In five years, we will probably have more of them than the rest of the world combined,” Rao said. “There are, however, several other opportunities that domestic entrepreneurs should explore which are allied to the BPO industry. For instance there are lots of opportunities to develop a new recording software used by call centers where an Israeli company currently has almost a monopoly.” Rao also illustrated how small entrepreneurs were taking advantage of the growth of the larger players by setting up accent coaching classes to provide trained manpower to the BPO industry. “There are now 150 to 200 such classes in Bangalore alone, and I’m worried that people here will start speaking with a U.S. accent and I will not understand them,” he joked. Related Itemslast_img read more