Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Social Media Monitoring:BPOs turn to social media monitoring

Indian BPO firms are turning out more intelligent with social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Companies want to know how, when and why they are mentioned on these websites by strange consumers and BPOs are there to help them now. Last week had two important announcements in the $14 billion Indian BPO industry signifying this trend.

Genpact, the country’s largest BPO acquired EmPower Research, an integrated media and business inspection company with capabilities in social media research, media monitoring and measurement. Though the amount of the deal is undisclosed, but analysts feel it could be $35-40 million. On the other hand, 24/7 Customer, a Mumbai based BPO firm mapped its plans to recruit over 5,000 social and interactive media (SIM) advisors in India.

Gaurav Sethi, senior vice-president, mergers and acquisitions at Genpact says, “There are a lot of unbiased chats happening on social media websites. Companies feel the need to track social media conversations to understand customer preferences and perceptions towards their products and services. This course is less expensive and faster as well. We will help them derive critical insights through unstructured texts on social networking websites. In the last 12 months or so, we have been seeing a difference in the way companies like to approach their customers.”

NV “Tiger” Tyagarajan, president and CEO, Genpact remarks: “We are seeing a significant increase in demand for our smart decision services, and EmPower Research adds tremendous capabilities in extracting insights from social media, a hastily emerging source of data about customer behaviour. This aligns very well with our vision of supporting our clients in smarter decision-making and in delivering improved business outcomes.”

The sectoral growth drivers for this demand are the banking, loan services and insurance (BFSI), telecom, retail and shopper packaged goods (CPG) verticals. BPOs feel there is definitely a need for such services and this data mining will help their customers in better margins and revenues.

Though BPOs have been concentrating on economy analytics for quite some time now, social media monitoring is pretty new on the cards. Pankaj Kulshreshtha, senior vice-president, analytics and research at Genpact says, “We have been doing business analytics and investigation from the very day of our inception for GE and now for other customers. But, media monitoring is new for us. We will be adding another 360 people with EmPower acquisition, to our existing analytics team of 5,000 employees.”

Animesh Jain, chief delivery officer at 24×7 Customer says, “We have hired within the duration of 1,000 employees for social and interactive media careers in the beyond nine months.

Careers in SIM make candidates a unique opportunity to be part of reshaping the future of customer service as they learn to support emerging digital trends for Fortune 500 companies, using cutting-edge, predictive technology.”

Genpact acquired EmPower Research, which provides a comprehensive range of services including social and traditional media monitoring and measurement, event hurt research, brand tracking, and data management. The services of EmPower Research are used by a couple of of the largest pharmaceutical companies, PR agencies, technology firms, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in the world.

Jain from 24×7 customer feels that it is above average time that BPOs provide their customers a lot more than just voice services. “A lot of challenges can be surpassed through social interaction on the Web. There is huge opportunity in currently area for companies like us,” he concludes.
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