On Seeking a Career in the Call Centre Industry of Pakistan

June 18, 2007 2:00 am 1 comment

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The boom in the IT and Telecom industry has set many new trends. BPO or business processes outsourcing is one of them. We all know how India is earning billions from this BPO Industry.

Pakistan unfortunately caught up with this trend much later. Still, in these three to five years, we’ve seen a substantial growth of call centers in major cities of Pakistan, even if our global market-share for BPO services is still peanuts compared to India.

Keeping in mind the growth of the call center industry in Pakistan and the increasing job opportunities in this sector, I would like to brief the readers (Students, to be more precise) of the career prospects in this industry.

Getting a job in a call centre is lot easier than all other IT/ Telecom related careers. If you have good communication and written skills in English and if you are confident and energetic enough, then you would be welcomed here with open arms. There is no need of professional degrees and infact this is a great way of earning part-time money during college.

It is not all wonderful though. This industry too has its pros and cons. First let’s have a look at the pros. Working in a call centre industry as a TSR /CSR(Tele-Sales Representative / Customer Support Representative) is an enjoyable experience. Generally the environment is productive and friendly with lots of fringe benefits. In the major call centers run by multinationals, average salary is around 25-40K, depending on experience and performance. The medical expenses are covered by the company and transport facility is also provided. You can also enjoy performance based bonuses, company picnics and other retreats.

Now let’s dissect the cons of working in a call centre. You’ve to sacrifice your sleep for working in a call center. The working hours are generally from 0000-0800 hrs, as one has to work according to U.S, U.K or Canada time. Mind you, the loss of proper sleep can result in serious health consequences.

One has to change one’s body clock and has to sleep during the daytime to cope up with this loss. Usually, most of the call centre agents are students, who work at night and then they head for their studies directly from their offices. They are absolutely unable to take that “six hours” slumber. The end result is that they suffer from physical and psychological distress. Other disadvantages are mundane, repetitive, brainless work (although some people prefer this!) ; strict policies with massive salary cuts on small mistakes, and very little time to breathe “during the shift”.

You should also be wary of some of the smaller call-centers. As we’ve experienced a boom in call centre industry, one can see many so-called call centers cropping up in every metropolis of Pakistan. These centers practice illegal and indecent means to capture business.

Also, the salary offered by them is nearly half to that offered by the bigwigs. Still they employ hundreds of youths as the unemployment rate is so high in this country. They don’t offer any incentives to their employees. The working environment is not good and one has to work longer hours. I would advice my fellows to abstain from working in these “dubious” call centers unless and until they are in dire financial crisis and need money.

Future prospects of starting a career in the Call Center Industry have both its ups and downs. Critics are of the view that career growth for call centre agents is limited and Call Center Industry faces lots of problems in Pakistan. They can at most be promoted to Team leaders (if they have performed exceptionally well) or Managers (if they have accentuated their educational qualifications). To fetch these positions, they have to outperform their counterparts, which is not a mean task.

The supporters on the other hand argue that one has to face these challenges in every field related to IT or Telecom. Personally, I am of the opinion that call center jobs are the best option for students and young graduates. Students, especially, can benefit highly from working in a call centre.

They have the opportunity to finance their studies by themselves instead of depending on their parents. Secondly, they can learn a lot by working in this industry. They can gain self-confidence, learn intra-personal skills, time-management, corporate work experience and challenges of excelling in a stiff competition. They can opt for their favorite job after graduation by the way. So guys, the world of Call Centers await your exploration.

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  • Hamza Rehman

    Respected Sir,i want a part time job as a call operator in your company.I have been selected for Pakistan Air Force but due to a probluem in my right eye,I can not fly,so They have transfered me in Pak Army but my joining date is in November,so instead of wasting my time I wanted to get some experience in this field.

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