Opinion

BPO hidden offshore gems Part 1 – Mangalore

In the spirit of business continuity, CX decision-makers in major demand markets are looking for new locations that will permit them to optimize delivery.  With this in mind, Ryan Strategic Advisory proposes 5 cities that that certainly deserve consideration, even if they may not currently be top of mind for outsourcing executives. In the first of this series, the Indian city of Mangalore goes under the proverbial microscope.

While perhaps not as well-known as other cities in India such as Mumbai, Hyderabad or Delhi, Mangalore is a BPO center of excellence in its own right, one that no CX professional should overlook.  Scalability, commercial-friendliness and educated, high quality labor are among key reasons to watch out for Mangalore as an emerging outsourcing destination.

And it is the educated labor force that almost always comes up in initial discussions with outsourcing professionals familiar with this city that has a metropolitan population in excess of 600,000 people.  One of the most important facets for BPOs interested in Mangalore is its large number of available skilled workers.  This is a function of the city’s education infrastructure, counting roughly 40 post-secondary institutions that include engineering colleges, medical schools and arts & science academies.  Providers report the quality of graduates for technically-oriented and business-focused roles is very strong, as is the high standard of English.

Education is not the only strength that Mangalore brings to the BPO table.  The city’s focus on the development of a local technology industry has served it well over the past two decades.  A visit to Mangalore yields an immediate understanding of the importance that technology firms have played in the city’s evolution and it has been a major driver of technical education.  For any outsourcer seeking to provide support services of a technological nature to consumers, Mangalore’s workforce has these skills in its DNA.

This goes hand-in-hand with a focus on all things green.  Mangalore was one of 100 locations included in India’s 2016 Smart City Initiative, which has a large component focused on environmental sustainability.  The most recent Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey indicated that among customer experience service buyers, environmentally-friendly delivery was an important advantage that outsourcers need to offer. Thus, delivery from Mangalore, a city that places a focus on sustainability, can be a key differentiator for a CX provider.

Mangalore also has a pro-business orientation. This has been fostered by local and state governments, which have been instrumental in making the community among the most commercially friendly locations in India.  Mangalore’s proactive business bodies have successfully lobbied public officials for a playing field that is welcoming to new investors, as well as safe in terms of public security.

Finally, no one should underestimate the importance of India’s status as a favored delivery location among buyers.  The Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office Omnibus Survey validated this point in 2020, with 540 enterprise contact center decision-makers citing India as their most popular offshore contact center destination. Mangalore lies at the heart of this national value proposition, by providing outsourcers and their clients with an alternative to the usual Indian delivery points. This reason alone suffices for BPOs and their clients to explore this burgeoning CX services opportunity.

In fact, some have done so already.  Kentucky-based outsourcing player GlowTouch has established a major presence in Mangalore, where it supports US consumers on the front-line and offers IT services including application development and network infrastructure management.  Based on the raw potential of this city, it would not be a surprise to see more operators exploring the possibility of a presence in Mangalore in the near term.

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