BPO has potential in North Eastern States: Meghalaya CM

Shillong, Jul 31: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has a great potential in the North Eastern States, said Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.

Delivering his e-symposium address on “Emergent North-East India: Strategic and Developmental Imperatives – The BPO Sector”, hosted by the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis of IIM Shillong on Friday, the Meghalaya Chief Minister said, the State government has earmarked around 70 acres so as to give the sector the deserved push to realise its potential by encouraging companies that want to set up business to take up lease within the provided space.

The Chief Minister was hopeful that the infrastructure, with more than 3000 seats would be made ready for use by interested parties by the end of the current financial year.

On the BPO Sector, he said, “We all know that this sector has a great potential in the Northeast, and frankly speaking I have experienced this first hand, including the challenges, and what an entrepreneur has go to through in a sector like this given the lack of infrastructure.”

“It is not only about manpower which is a natural advantage for us, but it is about the ecosystem as a whole, wherein connectivity is a real issue of contention. With due incentive given to the private sector, from the point of view of air connectivity, we are looking forward to upgrade the ecosystem as required,” he said.

The Chief Minister also shared on his interactions with the Prime Minister about the concept of having “sister state relationship and partnership”, an idea which he strongly felt could bring about paradigm change if a bigger state could work in tandem with a smaller state on areas of strength and mutual benefit.

Sangma cited an example of the Meghalaya Government talks with the Telangana government to work on such grounds of relation, especially in areas of IT capacity.

Union Minister of State for HRD, Communication, Electronics and IT, Sanjay Dhotre said, “The hardworking nature of the people of Northeast, coupled with high level of literacy, and excellent soft skills have made them to be much in demand in all metros of the country”.

He also spoke on the Union government’s vision document for Digital Northeast 2022 launched in August, 2018 wherein one of the initiatives is digital innovation and start-ups, which includes setting up of centres of excellence in all the eight North Eastern states.

Chairman of the Board of Governors, IIM Shllong, Shishir Bajoria said, “Looking at the Northeast, the proficiency in English and the much needed accent in the large part of the youth is of great advantage, especially in voice BPO sector. In 2015 the India BPO Promotion Scheme and the NE BPO Promotion Scheme were launched under Digital India to steer the BPO movement to smaller towns to create employment opportunities and to create local entrepreneurship”.