Don’t demean BPO staff, Nasscom tells Ramadoss


New Delhi : Reacting sharply to comments of Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on the lifestyle of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) employees, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) Friday asked the minister not to “demean BPO employees”.

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“Allegations of bad diet, excessive smoking and drinking are exaggerations that demean BPO employees,” Nasscom, a leading IT industry lobby, said.

“Nasscom is deeply distressed by the comments, as reported in the media, made by the mnister of health. This is a generalized slur on half a million youngsters working in this industry,” said Nasscom in a statement.

On Sep 12, Ramadoss told IANS that his ministry is coming up with a health policy for the IT sector as youngsters of the sector are facing many health problems.

He also said that IT professionals (including BPO employees) get huge salaries but “don’t know how to spend it”.

“They maintain a sedentary lifestyle. They smoke, go for late night parties and some even take drugs. Some get heart attacks in their mid-20s, which is a loss to the company and the country,” Ramadoss then said.

“These young people work hard, with sincerity and dedication, and are well and fairly paid for that. We do not see how this translates into ‘wanting to make a fast buck’, as the minister reportedly said,” Nasscom said in a statement.

Terming Ramadoss’ statements as “exaggeration”, the industry lobby said: “That they ‘party the rest of the time’, after working ‘half the day’ is also a grossly unfair generalization.”

“In any case, it is our view that the personal life-style of adults is – as long as it is within the law – for them to choose. We do not think it is for companies or for the government to interfere in the personal life of adult Indians,” Nasscom said.

“These are factors that are true in many other professions and industries. To single out and attack BPO employees is not correct. We fully recognize that – like any other job – work in the BPO sector has its set of requirements, rewards and stresses,” Nasscom added.

The BPO industry is committed to the welfare of its employees. It already provides opportunities and facilities that are excellent and, arguably, better than those provided in any other sector, the statement explained.