‘BPOs no longer career choice for Indian youths’


New Delhi : Careers in BPOs and call centres are no longer hot options for Indian youth and these sectors will face the toughest manpower challenge yet in the next two years, says a study.

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The outsourcing industry is already facing an attrition rate of 25-30 percent as youths are shifting to more promising areas such as hospitality, aviation and retail, says the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

In two years, it will face a shortage of 30-40 percent, the industry lobby said, in a study entitled “Urban Youths’ New Emerging Choices for Career Making,” that was released Sunday.

“A majority of 12th standard pass-outs earlier seeking opportunities in BPOs and call centres are now curious to join other leisurely yet attractive areas,” said Venugopal N. Dhoot, president of the chamber.

He listed the attractive areas as animation, journalism, designing of apparel and jewellery, entertainment, aviation, hospitality and retail. He said tough working conditions and lack of job security were the reasons for the switch.

“Working conditions and lifestyle seem to be much more moderate and regulated in areas of aviation, hospitality, retail, animation and the like,” Dhoot said, and added pay packages and incentives in them are also perceived to be better.

Assocham also found that institutes running various call centre courses were also facing the heat and witnessing a shortfall of 15-20 percent students in their academic sessions.

The chamber estimates that in the national capital territory alone more than 250 institutions were imparting training programmes and courses in areas of aviation, hotel, retail management, animation, designing and journalism.

“The aviation sector would be able to lure maximum students in view of domestic and overseas travel opportunities and is growing at a whopping 30 percent per annum and will be able to create over 200,000 jobs by 2012.”

This industry is expected to add 140 aircraft to the current fleet of 270, which will create the demand for a large pool of skilled professionals, especially for flight dispatchers, cabin crew, airline managers and airport managers.

In hotels, young students see the scope to start their career with leading five star hotel chains all over the world. Over 95,000 trained hands will be needed by the hotel industry in the next five-six years, the chamber said.

The retail trade industry too is not far behind, says the chamber, adding that various training institutes, distance learning centres and deemed universities were coming up with specialised courses for this sector.

“Out of over 200,000 jobs by 2012 in this sector, 40 percent will be captured by urban youths in the next two-three years in view of the 250 malls being developed by realtors for large retailers to display their products,” the chamber added.

In news and entertainment, the entry of foreign news agencies and electronic media has ensured higher pay and opportunities, attracting youths at all levels. They are accordingly moving towards journalism, especially television.

Similarly, the FM radio boom has also thrown open a number of avenues for the young. The profession of radio jockeying has taken off and the demand for them will shoot up, as over 10 new FM channels will launch in the coming years.