Lessons in the "India" Category

Sarcasm and an understandable English accent give call centres in the Philippines the edge

The battle of the world’s call centres between the Philippines and India appears to have been won for the moment by the Philippines. Its secret weapon is British sarcasm! Filipino call centres in Manila and Cebu also speak clear understandable English. Whilst this is positive for Filipinos, it is not good for their Indian call centre rivals.

To be honest many British people dislike speaking to British companies who have their call centres based in India. This is because they can’t understand what the operator there is saying! Their Indian English accent can be so dreadful you sometimes need a translator!

Last telegram sent: STOP

Recently the last telegram was sent in India. The country’s State-run telegraph service shut down in mid July following decades of decline. Telegrams have been replaced by text messages and emails. Most young people today have never seen a telegram!

In the old days telegrams brought happy and sad news to millions of Indians every year. A knock at the door could bring a sense of foreboding when one heard the word “telegram”.

Category: Communication / Telegram / India

Taj Mahal could collapse due to rotting wood foundations

The Taj Mahal in India could collapse within five years unless urgent action is taken to shore up its wooden foundations, campaigners have warned. The 358-year-old marble mausoleum is India’s most famous tourist attraction, bringing four million visitors a year to the northern city of Agra. But the river crucial to its survival is being blighted by pollution, industry and deforestation.

Campaigners believe the foundations have become brittle and are disintegrating. Cracks appeared last year in parts of the tomb, and the four minarets which surround the monument are showing signs of tilting. The Taj Mahal was built by Mogul emperor Shah Jahan, who was griefstricken by the death of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in childbirth. A campaign by historians, environmentalists and politicians says time is running out to prevent ‘a looming crisis’.

Category: Places to Visit / India / Taj Mahal

More call centre workers in the Philippines than India

Over the last decade more and more companies have relocated their call centres to India. However, it might surprise you to know that the Philippines has now overtaken India with more agents employed there than in India. In fact, some Indian companies have even shifted some of their operations to the Philippines. But why? The answer is simple. Labour costs in India have gone up. It is no longer the cheapest place in the world to put a call centre.

In the Philippines labour is cheap. A call centre shift in the Philippines now costs 1,000 pesos (US$20) (£13.20) (€14.80). This is more than twice the minimum wage. The Philippines Contact Centre Association says that 350,000 are employed locally, compared to India’s 330,000. However, most of the work is overnight. With 12m Filipinos unemployed there are few other options. It has thus overtaken India.

Category: Economic / Business / Call Centres