Indian outsourcing firm enters Canadian BPO market

Indian firm Karvy Global Services Wednesday said it has struck a partnership with a Toronto-based consultancy to pursue business process outsourcing opportunities in Canada.

The Hyderabad, India-based company specializes in financial and accounting services, said its CEO Arthur Flew, and is prepared to offer them to mid-market Canadian customers.

“We said, ‘We have all this capability and processing expertise, so why don’t we take that overseas?,’” said Flew, from his office in India. “So we opened up a BPO business and spent a lot of time putting together the fundamentals and the infrastructure.”

The company originally targeted the U.S., U.K. and Australia as prime markets for expansion, said Flew, but recently added Canada to that list.

“It’s a market we don’t know a lot about. I didn’t want to just blindly go in there. We ran into this company Sol-Core,” said Flew.

Sol-Core Inc., based in Toronto, will act as Karvy’s representative in Canada as a means to pursue leads and execute sales but also as a third-party observer between client and provider.

“What we’re trying to do is be an intermediary for them and for the client to ensure that they’ve done a good job of preparing and they are using best practices,” explained Sol-Core managing partner Taylor Mieske.

“It’s not about throwing services at a company, it’s about ensuring and validating that a) they’re targeting the right services and b) have the right governance infrastructure to ensure that it’s successful,” she added.

Flew acknowledged that the BPO market, especially in Ontario, is already well-served, so Karvy will have to pick its spots carefully.

The kind of consulting arrangement that Karvy has with Sol-Core – with best practices at the core – may help differentiate the company, said Flew, from other BPO providers.

It’s often very large firms that outsource functions like accounting and HR, so Karvy will likely be looking down-market for initial sales opportunities, said Flew. “At the top end of the market . . . it’s quite oversold, actually. Everybody and their brother is already calling on that. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t (but) many of those people have already outsourced.”

Flew said his firm plans to offer financial and accounting services including general ledger, payables, receivables, and possibly some HR functions. The main target will be financial institutions like insurance companies, but another market opportunity may be health care, he said. “The health-care market is probably in worse shape (than finance) and needs more help.”

Karvy isn’t the first Indian outsourcing firm to set up shop in Canada. Tata Consultancy Services, for example, operates four offices in Canada and has offered services here for seven years.

Last month, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) struck and agreement with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) in India to foster business relations between the two countries.

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