This is an interesting read of how call centres work in India. I have personally have experience of setting these up in a variety of countries such as USA, Canada, uk, Poland, Egypt, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines etc etc. this behaviour that the author describes is quite common across the world. It's not just in India.
The kids who get here and work are starting their careers. And they have an hunger, son, which is sort of humbling to see. The job is sort of thankless, to sort out your phone issues, to sell you insurance or time share holidays or or or. But these things keep on happening.
With the increase in globalisation and connectivity, we don't see the man who is delivering our services and that is a bit of a shame as we lose touch with an important part of the value chain. But as a person interested in economics and management, remember that these people are the face of the companies to our customers. Never forget them and pay extra special attention to them, they are very very important.
My Summer at an Indian Call Center
My Summer at an Indian Call Center
Lessons learned: Americans are hotheads, Australians are drunks—and never say where you’re calling from. Read the story everyone’s talking about.
By Andrew Marantz on Tue. July 5, 2011 2:00 AM PDT
“We were asked to hate everything Indian,” said 26-year-old Arnab (shown in his Delhi flat). Photographs: Sanjit Das/Panos
I stand flush against the window of a Toyota showroom, trying to stay in a shrinking sliver of shade. We’re on the cusp of midday, which, in Delhi in June, lasts most of the day and drives everyone into a languid torpor. I am waiting for a company cab, now an hour and a half late, to drive me across town to a call center, where an Indian “culture trainer” will teach me how to act Australian.
A uniformed guard next to me dozes on a stool, his rifle slumped in his lap. Behind the showroom window, which would be clear if two boys would stop rubbing it down with rags, a dozen red sedans glisten on a waxy white floor. On the dirt shoulder of the road, children hold hands as they walk to school.
Call centers don’t trust Indian infrastructure, as well they shouldn’t, so the company cab—typically a white Toyota Qualis—has become a standard industry perk. This morning a class of 24 new hires, myself included, will be ferried from all corners of the city to the offices of a small firm named Delhi Call Centre. For three weeks, a culture trainer will teach us conversational skills, Australian pop culture, and the terms of the mobile-phone contracts we’ll be peddling. Those of us who pass the training course will graduate to the calling floor. Our first job at DCC will be to interrupt Australians at dinner and ask them to switch phone providers. In the Delhi area alone, maybe 100,000 call-center agents make their living selling vitamins to Britons or helping Americans troubleshoot their printers. I am almost certainly the only one who acquired his conversational skills accidentally—by being born in the United States.
My phone vibrates. By the time I get it to my ear, a husky male voice is shouting in Hinglish, a rapid-fire blend of Hindi and English. “Meet at Toyota showroom!” I shout back.
“Fine sir, 20 minutes,” he replies.
I know “20 minutes” is a Hinglish phrase meaning “30 minutes,” so I call back after 40. A woman answers this time. “No problem, sir,” she says, “20 minutes only.” A sweat-and-sunblock solution drips down my forehead and stings my eyes. Behind me, the boys continue toweling the glass. The streaks they create blur into the streaks they wipe away.