Publication: ComputerWorld USA
Global BPO Head
Richard Mills, Chairman
Vaish is the managing director for global IT-BPO delivery at Accenture
Ltd., responsible for running the BPO delivery network and overseeing the
growth and expansion of Accenture's business process outsourcing operations.
How large is the group you
oversee? Our global delivery network comprises over 40 centers, with
75,000people in 10 countries. More than two dozen centers in the network
have dedicated BPO teams, which is the group I am responsible for.
What services do your
employees provide? We are a diverse provider. Some of our primary
service areas are accounting, HR, procurement, contact center and, of
course, IT. Our clients are also increasingly seeking bundled outsourcing
services where we provide multiple BPO or IT services in specific
industries. Our current industries of focus are pharmaceutical, insurance,
health and administration, airlines and utilities. We also have standardized
solutions for middle market companies — those who make the bridge from
original producers to the end marketers.
What services do you feel are
important for the future? We must listen to our clients and work
collaboratively with them to provide the services that help them succeed and
perform at a higher level. As an example, to create a bundled outsourcing
group for an industry, we get one or two clients and expand from that base.
We have such a range and global footprint that we're looking at the bigger
picture that includes a range of services in addition to creating specific
Do you still intend to set up
facilities in new countries, or will you grow with
what you already have? We evaluate situations on an ongoing basis.
Right now, we have in-country demand in Canada that is driving us to expand
in Toronto. We are also expanding in Latin America. In the coming months, we
expect to be making progress and announcements about other markets. Our
actions are client-driven. Our own expansion is driven by our business's
needs and on the success of our clients.
What are your thoughts about
China in comparison to your other BPO delivery locations? We have
centers in three locations in China — Dalian, Shanghai and Guangzhou —
so it is a big commitment for us. Most of the work we are doing there
currently is for clients in Japan-, Korea- and China-based regional and
global companies. We are getting great results from our people there, but
growth so far has been a bit slower than we would have liked. More recently,
we are seeing indications that this will start to show a significant
Which countries do you think
are becoming more interested in sending work offshore? I think the
Europeans are now looking strongly at moving work offshore. In addition,
Japan, Korea and China also seem very interested.
Are you concerned about
recent movements in the U.S. dollar? We are a very diversified and
global company, so it's not a big stress for us. A move in one area is
offset somewhere else.
Does Accenture expect to make
any acquisitions in the near term? Most of our growth in the past has
been through organic means. We have done only small acquisitions to obtain
particular capability. We have not made big acquisitions mainly because they
are hard to make work. Accenture has a distinct and strong culture, and we
want to maintain consistency of our people and services. For these reasons,
our focus will be to continue growing organically, since we feel it has been
one big reason for our past success.
Overall, do you think there
will be further consolidation in the BPO sector? Scale is always
valuable to clients, so there is need for smaller providers to achieve a
global footprint in order to compete. On the other side, captive BPO
facilities [that do outsourcing only for their parent companies] will
continue to be on the market.
What is the most important
trend you are seeing these days? Clients are partnering more and not
interested in one-off transactions. They want us to be accountable for
outcomes as an integral part of their businesses. That is why our bundling
of service offerings has been so successful. Clients are able to rethink
their businesses and improve entire processes. No longer are clients just
interested in getting a quick cost savings.
What else do clients say to
you a lot? They are saying to us over and over, “I can't find the
talented people need; find them for me.” The current concern of most
clients is how to obtain the best talent. Fortunately, we are able to
leverage our global footprint to help them. Accenture is a very diverse
global company. We don't even have a headquarters to speak of. My boss is in
Spain, and his boss is in Germany. I joined the company originally in the
U.S. Accenture goes to where it can find talented people, and that will
continue to be case. Our senior leadership reflects the diversity of our
Mills is chairman of Chalre Associates, a executive search and
consulting firm working in the emerging economies of Asia.
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