BANGALORE, JULY 7:
There was a time when people learnt how to neutralise the mother tongue influence while speaking English at a BPO. Now, they may have to learn how to neutralise the accent for their own mother tongue while servicing Indian customers.
This is especially of use when you look at verticals like telecom, which are highly localised, said Mr Sanjay Venkataraman, Executive Vice-President - Asia Business Unit Head, Firstsource Solutions. “If a telecom operator wants to sell his services in Kerala, he will hire people who know Malayalam,” he toldBusiness Line.
Mr Venkataraman pointed out that this was very prevalent with the Tier-2 and Tier-3 centres which were being set up to service locals. “We have around 500-1,000 employees in such centres. We don't have any mega centres for such operations.”
Does this mean that companies will insist that you should have a specific accent to service clients in a particular geography? Not so, said Mr Karthik Ananth, Director, Zinnov Management Consulting. “Some smaller companies may do it, but not the larger ones,” he said.
FLAVOUR OF LANGUAGESMs Sangeeta Lala, Co-Founder and Vice-President, TeamLease Services, had a completely different take — she said BPO companies will try and neutralise even flavour of languages. “Irrespective of whether the BPO employee is speaking English or Kannada, he/she needs to have strength in both and needs to neutralise accent in both languages,” she said.
This means that a person from Uttara Karnataka, which has a distinctive version of Kannada due to its proximity with Maharashtra, may learn how to neutralise his own accent to speak like a Bangalorean. This could be a benefit to BPO companies which traditionally suffer from high attrition because they don't have to specifically seek out people with specific accents for specific areas.