Contributing Writer – Shikha Gandhi

Name – Samuel Sanjeev

Profession – Senior Technical Support at Tech Mahindra

Age – 32

Gender – Male

City – Hyderabad

Industry – BPO

Insights

  1. The BPO industry is great for people who can update themselves all the time. It requires a lot of blood, sweat and, labour.
  2. This profession requires lot of night shifts. So, night owls, do take note. Also, this creates work-life balance issues.
  3. Money is not great initially, but it gets better with experience.

Where have you been born and raised?

My personal life story is fairly straightforward.  I was born and raised in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. My parents were both government servants.

I have many friends and they are spread over the entire country. I went to school in Vijayawada and did my BA political science as a correspondence student from Osmania University, Hyderabad.

What is your family background? Who all had the most influence on you and how?

My parents are middle-class ‘Telugu’ people who believe in working hard. They are extremely God-fearing and are regular churchgoers.  My dad worked as an administrator in a government college and my mother worked in a bank. My mother is a postgraduate. She is an extremely independent, strong person and brought up her three sons to respect women. She also taught us to cook and clean at home. This training has helped me a lot in life.

My mother had the most influence on me. She was my mentor. She was not only a parent but a friend, philosopher and guide to me and my brothers. She discussed everything with us – from politics to religion and gave us the confidence to trust our own voice.

My career path

After 12th, I started working with an NGO called ‘Compassion India’ and pursued my BA via correspondence.

I rose to the level of project manager in this NGO and worked in many parts of the country-mostly villages.

Around seven years back, I had to leave the NGO sector and joined as a customer service executive with ‘Alsec Technologies’ in Bangalore. Since then I have worked with Google and am now working with ‘Tech Mahindra’.

Which institutes are best for the education/training of this profession?

You can join the BPO industry even after an ordinary B.A. These days, recruiters are asking for an Engineering degree. Eitherways, it’s good if you have a B.E. under your belt.

What are the costs associated with the education/training of this profession?

Undergraduate programs in Engineering typically have tuition around Rs. 2–3 lakhs a year.

What are the typical entry-level jobs in this industry?

You will be recruited as a customer care executive. This will be the first step and future roles will be more challenging and better paying- like for senior associates, team lead, trainer, quality head and so on.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?

Years of Experience Remuneration
Starting out 2 lacs per annum
5 years 4 lacs per annum
10 years 6 lacs per annum
15 years 12 lacs per annum
20 years 20 lacs per annum

And the remuneration increases depending on your role. Above figures are indicative figures and may vary from person to person.

Describe your work? What do you typically do on a normal workday?

I put in 9 hours per day for 5 days a week. My shift starts at night as we help business owners in the US. We help them with any problems in their internet connectivity on phone. If things don’t work out, we arrange for a mechanic to do the needful. We have to file a detailed report on each of the call. The customer then rates us and this helps us in getting incentives.

Sometimes, we may be asked to do extra shifts, but we are paid for that.

What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?

The money is not that good, especially in the beginning. But, if you stick around and upgrade to higher responsibility jobs, then sky’s the limit.

The office culture depends on the company- if you get hired by someone like Google, as I was, you can expect a chilled-out work culture. Tech Mahindra, on the other hand, is more formal and hectic.

You can look to join and prosper in the BPO sector if you enjoy technology and like taking risks. There is a lot of growth and there are many options available.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?

Since the work is mostly done in the nights, we do have issues with work-life balance. We can’t spend as much time as we want to with our families. My wife, though is cool about this. The night shifts can cause sleep and digestive problems too and can take quite a toll on your body. This is a definite downer.

You may also have to handle calls from rude customers. This can be a bummer too.

What are the relevant trends/skills/technologies that are currently commanding a premium in your job profile?

Clear communication-verbal and non-verbal, understanding of technology, an interest in updating technical knowledge are some skill-sets in demand.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?

This industry is good for people who enjoy challenges and are willing to update their skills and knowledge on a regular basis. The person would have to be a self-starter and highly motivated.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned? Would you pursue another profession or a passion perhaps?

Not really. I am very happy where I am. I love the work I do, as I am a tech-freak. Most of my friends are in this industry and we get together and hang-out.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path like yours?

Work smart, maintain good work hygiene, learn on the job and you will be awarded really fast. There are many avenues of growth, believe me. All the very best!