Aviva to expand outsourcing in India

British insurance company to double the staff offering BPO and call center services

British insurance company Aviva is planning to nearly double the number of staff in India and Sri Lanka that are offering business process outsourcing (BPO) and call center services to the company.

The company is planning to increase the number of staff provided by its three contractors in India from 4,300 to 7,800 over the next two years, a spokeswoman for the company's operations in India said Monday.

The Indian and Sri Lankan operations currently offer call center and back-office processing services in the life, health care and general insurance services areas, the spokeswoman said.

About 250 of the 4,300 staff are based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where the company has outsourced some specialized financial back-office processes. The rest are based in India. It is not clear yet how many people will work in Sri Lanka after the expansion is complete, the spokeswoman said.

Aviva's business processes and IT outsourcing operations in India and Sri Lanka are managed by Aviva Offshore Services in Pune in western India, which has 51 staff.

One of the company's suppliers, 24/7 Customer, a BPO company in Bangalore, announced Monday that it is setting up an 1,800 seats center in Chennai in south India that will serve Aviva's operations in the U.K. The new facility will begin operations in February.

24/7 Customer has also expanded to 1,700 seats a facility it has in Bangalore for Aviva's work. The center in Bangalore currently has 1,100 staff servicing Aviva's operations in the U.K. and Canada, the company said.

Aviva mainly uses the build, operate, transfer model (BOT) in India, giving the company the option to acquire the operation, including staff, from its partners. Aviva currently outsources its BPO and call center work also to ExlService Holdings (EXL), a business process outsourcing company in New York with operations in India, and WNS Global Services of Mumbai.

While EXL set up facilities for Aviva in Pune and Noida, WNS set up centers for the company in Pune and Colombo. The Noida facility of EXL and the Chennai facility of 24/7 Customer do not however come under the BOT model, the spokeswoman said.