‘Personalization’ and ‘Customization’ have become an essential component of the service industry off late, so much so that it has helped the offshore outsourcing industry come up with some very interesting business models and concepts. From BPO, evolved the KPO and simultaneously it branched out into many other services including legal and marketing process. With offshore outsourcing becoming an indispensible business strategy for resource optimization, automation and cost effectiveness, very interestingly the service industry have started tailoring services for individuals rather than organizations. This particular trend has completely busted the myth that offshore outsourcing is a prerogative of only enterprises whether big or small. This form of offshore outsourcing, mainly knows as P2P (person-to- person), started operating in a fragmented basis way back in 2007. Currently with the transformation of the BPO landscape, even P2P offshore outsourcing is becoming a miniscule part of the greater outsourcing pie.
The scope of services in P2P offshore outsourcing involves web design, web creation and maintenance, SEO, copywriting & editing, online tutoring services and marketing. A typical scenario in P2P offshore outsourcing would be something like an independent web designer outsourcing the maintenance work of his client’s websites to someone in India. Unlike the traditional outsourcing service type, P2P is more of customer focused remote assistance. Virtual assistance is one of the fast catching trends in this domain thereby sowing the seeds of smart business potentials for aspiring entrepreneurs. According to Evalueserve, the person-to-person offshoring, both for consumer services and services for small businesses, will grow to over $2 billion market by 2015.
The Indian Opportunity
The Person to Person outsourcing, very interestingly is now reaching the homes because of lower telecommunication and internet costs. Currently this business is being carried out following two models worldwide. First is the direct interaction model where the vendor directly interacts with the clients. Here the vendor might hire employees on a full time or contract basis depending on the nature of the project. The next business model is the online marketplace model. Typically a vendor gets enrolled in the market place by paying a monthly subscription fee. Whenever there is project requirement, the opportunity is communicated to the vendor. From there the vendor gets in touch with the prospective client and takes it forward.
The individual contract value might seem extremely low but the number of end consumers is humongous and so is the density of the small businesses. Apart from Philippines, Russia, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, India is emerging as a popular destination for this business model as a result of its expansive resource pool with quality technical expertise and English communication skills.