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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, 15:07 GMT
India's rise as a call centre star
By Adam Mynott
In Delhi

Indian IT workers at a software company in Bangalore, India
Indian workers offer good value for money

Ever more firms are shifting work to India as employees in Britain find that satellite communication has given UK companies access to a highly qualified, motivated and cheap work force, according to industry experts.

Tens of thousands of British call centre jobs have already been lost to India in the past five years.

The call centre industry in India is in its infancy.

But it is maturing very fast.

Five years ago there were just a handful of offices.

There are now more than 300, employing about 180,000 people.

With the industry growing at over 20% a year, it is expected two million Indians will be working in outsourcing in five years' time.

Value for money

Thousands of jobs are coming to India from the UK.

India call centre
Indian call centre workers are highly educated
The reason is simple: India offers a better product and it comes at a fraction of the price.

Indian call centres recruit only college graduates, and competition for jobs is intense.

Employers can take the pick of the crop and a newly recruited worker will be paid the equivalent of about 100 a month.

This is less than tenth of what a call centre worker in the UK earns, but in India this is more than a newly qualified doctor earns.

It is the legacy of spoken English, left behind after India gained independence nearly 50 years ago, which also gives India the edge in this global jobs market.

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