Despite recession swamping the globe the legal process outsourcing industry exulted. LPO gurus both sides of the pond confidently predicted that the industry would flourish.
With several LPOs in the city which had apparently been doing well downing shutters precipitately within six months of that prediction, and even the larger companies- the multi-storeyed, shiny KPOs and BPOs which had wasted no time joining the mad LPO boom, still struggling to establish their legal outsourcing units, one is left looking for the reason why.
The main reason seems to be that our once- magnanimous American attorney, now in the unfamiliar position of having to economize like any rural Indian housewife, when he seeks to outsource, is looking for two things and two things only -cost savings and quality.
Time was when confidentiality was a major issue and the subject of much discussion in the US legal fraternity but in India at least, this is no longer a concern.
So we have here the client who wants to pay the least but expects the best. Unfair? No.
The Indian market is seething with LPOs, and who can blame Big Daddy for wanting to shop for bargains? Here is where the smaller LPOs have a distinct advantage over their richer cousins-the larger companies. Small firms spend far less on infrastructure and facilities . They operate on bare bones infrastructure and hire freshers who work for a pittance. They can afford to quote ridiculously low prices .
But this has its flip side too. Consistently hiring cheap labor results in deliverables that are of poor quality and ultimately the client goes elsewhere.
How to save on costs and yet deliver work of the highest quality is a dilemma all firms-big and small- face. How to deal with I shall leave for my next post.
For now, suffice it to say that the LPOs that will flourish will be the ones that can deliver real value. And real value in every case would be work of the highest quality, within the given time and cost parameters, and with confidentiality as a bonus.
See you soon.