BPM sector sees faster growth than IT services: Nasscom

(From left) Mohanakrishnan P, Sandip Sen,Keshav Murugesh and Mohit Thukral at the Business Standard round table at the Nasscom BPM Strategy Summit in Bengaluru

The $29.8-billion Indian business process management (BPM) services industry expects to become worth more than $50 billion by 2025.

Industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies said the BPM companies have caught up with the business transformation challenges of their clients much ahead of time. The industry body claimed that this approach has helped them achieve better growth at a time when the core IT services players are witnessing a slowdown.

BPM companies such as WNS, EXL Service, Genpact and others, who have seen 8.8 per cent growth in FY17, added 1 lakh employees of the 1.7 lakh people hired by the overall Indian IT and BPM industry.

The Indian IT-BPM sector overall is worth nearly $154 billion.

The IT services industry - which counts companies such as Infosys, Wipro, TCS, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra - have seen single-digit growth for the first time in many years. The pure IT players are seeing an increasing demand for digital technology-based services from clients resulting in a major shift in business model and slowdown. They have been slow in transforming from traditional software maintenance services business, which still forms roughly 80 per cent revenue on an average.

Nasscom said BPM sector has overcome “earlier phase of a slower growth" and is witnessing a revenue growth of 1.7 times. "Revenues for India's BPM sector are projected to increase from $30bn in FY17 to $50-55bn by 2025. Digital streams will account for 60-70 per cent of the BPM service providers' revenue by 2025, overtaking traditional streams, with advanced technology solutions and intelligent automation driving much of this growth."

K S Viswanathan, vice president, industry initiatives, Nasscom said BPM industry's growth should become double-digit soon. "Our own estimate for the IT industry is close to 8 per cent, whereas the whole BPM industry is growing at 8.8 per cent and poised to grow double-digit. BPM is growing faster than the overall IT services industry growth. They have adapted to the business challenges much earlier than the game whereas IT in the past was more of a shared services at the back."

EXL Service, a major BPM player, believes that the per employee revenue for the sector will grow "significantly" and the industry would focus training more people in key skills such as big data analytics, design thinking, robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, DevOps, cybersecurity.

"The ability to create value for clients is going to increase. In the past our clients would trust us to do a portion of the work, now they are giving us entire work and in many cases allowing us to change their business model," said Rohit Kapoor, vice chairman and chief executive officer, EXL, who is also the Nasscom BPM Council Chairman.

BPM sector is slowly emphasising on creating strong domain knowledge across segments such as insurance, travel, healthcare and others.

"With the advent of new pricing models and increasing demand for unique skills in analytics, domain-knowledge and emerging technology, the BPM industry is being aided by strategic acquisitions, partnerships and collaborations. It is reported that there has been more than 60 per cent increase in revenue per FTE for analytics in the last three years," added Nasscom.

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