KPO and analytics the future for Aviva

By : |August 28, 2007 0

Three years back the company decided to make India key to its offshored operations but took a different route. Aviva chose to build the offshore BPO operations with three vendor partners – EXL, WNS and 24/7 Customer.

While the strategy from the very onset was that of a proprietary (captive) business, the BOT contracts with these partners were inked to help Aviva ramp up rapidly and gain the ‘speed to market’.

The efforts and strategy, apparently, has borne its fruits. In 2006, Aviva finally announced the transferring of over 5000 third party BPO vendor staff to its own offshore division, Aviva Global Services (AGS) over 2007, besides showing an appetite to grow to 7800 BPO roles in the subcontinent by end-2007.

Currently, with operations in Noida, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Colombo, the company is on a migration drive, which will effectuate transfers from BOT to captive in a series of locations – starting with Aviva 24/7 Bangalore to its Colombo facility to the WNS and EXL outfits in Pune.

Rajnish Virmani, CEO, Aviva Global Services shares some nuggets of his strategy and lessons in this BOT-Captive tango as he chats with Pratima Harigunani from CyberMedia News.

Has your strategy of shifting to the BOT gear before turning fully captive worked?

Yes, in fact we are in the middle of a strategy that was chalked out three years back. We are in the migration phase. The reason was that we wanted to get into the market fast and offshoring is no less than a strategic initiative. There was a lot of discussion around the nearshoring vs offshoring bit also. We evaluated many countries across Europe and Asia and scanned many parameters like financial benefits, business environment, availability of resources etc. India came on the radar because of the scale and volumes we wanted. It worked. From zero, we ramped up fast to 7000 and then to 9000 people in India and Sri Lanka. Of these 6500 are from BPO alone and 4500 of these 6500 are own staff, while 2000 are contractors.

What would be role of these centres?

Now we want to change our profile a bit and add more value by moving on to the high-end. KPO and analytics like actuarial work in insurance and statistical modelling would find prominence. We will move away from mere voice-based work. Now maximisation of ROI (Return On Investment) would take centre stage in India.

Would the same hold true for Sri Lanka too?

Sri Lanka already has in its fold 33 per cent of over all accounting pie of UK. We will see more of F&A and back office accounting happening there.

Have you experimented with platform based work with the BPOs so far?

We already had some ERPs and data processing standard platforms. Besides this, we have in-house platform for insurance that covers both voice and data.

Any mistake or lesson that stands out in the BOT phase of operations for Aviva?

One key factor was the bonding between the UK set-up and our centres here. I cherish the fact that they did not operate as two teams but one team. One piece that could have been a potential problem area was avoided by us discreetly. We made sure that there was no sales calling work coming to India because that might have meant some concern or resistance on the side of customers. Indian workers were kept absolutely away from any kind of sales calls – both cold and warm ones. Metrics on processes and information security were some more things that we learnt along the way.

© CyberMedia News

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