India's Karvy diversifies into outsourcing

India's leading financial services company moves into BPO and research services

Karvy Consultants, one of India's leading financial services company, has diversified into business process outsourcing (BPO) and research and analytics services. The company's outsourcing subsidiary in Hyderabad, India, called Karvy Global Services, is being officially launched next month.

Karvy Global Services has invested in three facilities in Hyderabad, with 800 seats fitted out, and 250 people already on staff, Arthur Flew, the company's chief executive officer, told IDG News Service in a telephone interview.

As business grows, the company will finish a third facility it is setting up in Delhi, and may also look at facilities in other locations in India. The plan is to get to 4,000 staff in five years, Flew said.

The company already has three U.S. clients that are currently using 25 seats, according to Flew.

The large upfront investment in facilities and staff by Karvy will help attract customers, as they are now looking for offshore outsourcers that have the stability and the backing of a large business group, said Flew. He did not disclose the size of Karvy's investment in its outsourcing subsidiary.

Karvy Global Services expects to get this month the ISO 9001-2000 quality certification of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in Geneva, according to Flew. It is also aiming at certification to the BS7799 standard for information security management of the London-based British Standards Institution by next February, he said.

The company has also opened a subsidiary in New York, which will be staffed primarily with business development staff. "It helps to have a presence in the U.S., as most people prefer to contract with a company in the U.S.," Flew said.

Started over three decades ago as an accounting firm, Karvy Group, based in Hyderabad, currently services over 350 corporations and 20 million individual investors, primarily in India. Association with the Karvy Group will bring to the outsourcing subsidiary considerable expertise in the financial services area, according to Flew.

Hiring quality staff is a major problem for Indian outsourcing companies, according to Flew. The presence of the Karvy Group in 244 locations in India will help Karvy Global Services recruit staff from several places, said Flew, who added that the Karvy brand would attract staff to the company.

Karvy Global Services is currently offering finance and accounting back-office services, and plans to also offer other services including transaction processing and human-resources services. The company is also focusing on research and analytics such as investment and economic research.

Although Karvy Global Services does not need an investor from a financial perspective, it may consider an investor that would bring to the company new business opportunities and clients, Flew said.