IT/BPM industry body Nasscom’s president Debjani Ghosh described it as “a game-changing reform.” “You (government) have signalled the start of a new chapter for Indian IT n for India as a leading IT hub for the world!!!! A giant step forward towards our dream,” she tweeted.
Nasscom said the new guidelines will tremendously reduce the compliance burden for BPM companies.
Tiger Tyagarajan, CEO of Genpact, one of India’s biggest BPM companies, said the simplification of the OSP regulations “will further boost India’s position as a global technology and digital hub.” He said the new guideline also opens doors for geographic diversity of talent and increased employment options for many.
Keshav Murugesh, group CEO of WNS Global Services, said the biggest advantage of the policy change is that it will open the doors for companies to tap into a new talent pool, such as the young workforce and retired people who want to work for a few hours remotely. “Also, the 110 million strong potential workforces of women with secondary degrees can find employment. They can devote 3-4 hours per day but currently don’t participate in the workforce,” he said.
OSPs include services like BPM, billing service, e-publishing, financial service, KPO, medical transcription service, tele-medicine and tele-education. Various regulations were previously imposed on OSPs to ensure there would be no misuse of customer data, and if there was, they could be easily traced. The regulations made it onerous for companies to have employees work remotely. OSPs were required to make a mandatory security deposit of Rs 1 crore per office location to enable work-from-home (WFH). It had mandated use of an authorised PPVPN (Provider Provisioned Virtual Private Network) for providing the WFH connectivity, which meant the end-user sites needed to be defined, such as the agent’s home and the BPM facility.
The government had temporarily relaxed these provisions when the lockdown started in March. But now these regulations have been done away with. The security deposit is not required. Employees can connect to the client server/enterprise server through any secure VPN connection, making it easier for companies to provide connections to remote workers.
The new guidelines have also done away with restrictions of registering the OSPs with the DoT and eased regulations around international OSPs that carry voice traffic from their presence in a foreign country to their OSP centre in India. The BPM industry engaged in data-related work has been completely taken out of the ambit of the definition of an OSP.
Murugesh said he envisages the rise of a work-from-office and work-from-home hybrid operating model, and a workforce blend of full-time employees and gig workers.