The talk of the town at SSON’s flagship Shared Services and Outsourcing Week event in Orlando last month was RPA. Understandably so – the efficiencies it brings are incredible. Yet, for a cost-effective Global Business Support offering, India remains crucial – this will not change despite automation.
Now that we are taking the robot out of the human work, however, effective communication and collaboration between your global teams and India – still the #1 country in the Asia Pacific region for SSOs/BPOs – is more important than ever.
If you get a smile on your face when you read the word ‘India’ and your internal clients and colleagues face absolutely no challenges - deadlines are always met, you get instant feedback when there are problems and the quality of work is always perfect - then congratulations! This column is not for you.Alternatively, have you gradually come to accept that miscommunication and collaboration issues are par for the course when working with India? Would you like to know the actual cost of non-alignment in terms of time, money, quality, reputation and employee satisfaction? Do you want to be inspired to re-examine your ‘normal’? Then this column is for you.
Because communication and work styles are so different in Asia, it can be difficult to gauge why problems arise. Quality levels are below expectations. Work is late. Problems are not highlighted. Why does this happen? Is it because Asia-based counterparts don’t understand what’s expected? Are they not capable? Are they unwilling? Or is there something bigger at stake?
Getting to the root of the problem requires knowledge about local communications and working styles. Improved cultural understanding significantly contributes to operational success.
My work with multinationals that collaborate across virtual (global) teams indicates that the vast majority experience below expected performance. And the cost of rework, including dramatically reduced trust in the SSO model, is huge.
This column will offer valuable learnings on how to manage the cultural divide that impacts global SSO/BPO/customer exchanges. Every month, we will examine a real business case that multinationals need to solve in leveraging India-based operations as part of a global service delivery model.