Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Parting is such Sweet Sorrow

Sweet, so would I,
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. [Exit above]
Romeo And Juliet Act 2, scene 2, 176–185

And thus wrote Shakespeare.

This quote came to my mind when Padmaja Sonawane came to me today and sought my blessings for the future life that she is going into. A life of wedded bliss, which naturally will come with mixed aprehensions.

Padmaja story is one of the many typical ones at Vital Link Outsourcing. Padmaja joined us in the first batch of Data Entry Associates whom we recruited when we first set shop in Pune. That was 9 years ago as she reminded me.

Over the years Padmaja rose from the entry level position to head the Process team of girls in the morning shift. Heading the most productive group, she ensured that over close to a decade our deliveries to our clients were faultless and on time. The processes that she handled includes some of the leading corporate names of USA.

It is dedicated employees such as Padmaja that keep the core of thousands of organisations humming smoothly. They are the unsung heroes of the battle trenches while the business leader get to take all the credit :-)

Padmaja would have continued merrily into the future but for the fact that the husband she chose works in Mumbai. She will thus have no choice but to leave us. And with mixed emotions on both sides.

Best captured by the bard in the above quote.


Monday, 4 June 2012

Importance of Systems and Processes

As many of you know, Vital Link has been faultlessly delivering to clients over past 7-8 years.
On any given day we process more than  100,000 images and files. Since we deliver them correctly and on time, our clients keep on giving us regular business.

We used to be ISO certified, but gave up getting ourselves certified some years back, when we found that the process of certification did not add any value to us.

Why am I telling you all this?

This is because, without a faultess system process design and operations team in place, none of this could happen. I see so many businesses struggling to deliver every day and failing.

Last week I was given an opportunity to present the important of  "System design and processes " to a group of about 30 Entreprenuers at the platform provided by TiE - Mumbai Chapter, of which I am a Charter Member


I believe the presentation was well received. After the talk on the lunch table many start ups could come over and discuss their individual issues which I had the pleasure of offering suggestions to.

A good time was had by all...and here is the ppt that I used



Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Location, Location and Location

They say in the Realty business that what matters is Location, Location and Location.

This point was driven home to us last week in a rather emphathetic manner.

To go back a little, our earlier Delivery Center in Pune was on a main bus route and within walking distance from a Railway station. In a country where the dominant mode of access is Public transport, these things matter.

When we decided to move to a  new Delivery Center, we definitely wanted it to be in the center of town. The new premises now shares a common compound wall with the Pune Public Bus terminus and is within walking distance from the Pune Main railway station.

One of our clients who left us a few years back to move operations to China is now coming back to us ( but that is another story )...so we needed to hire about 40 transaction associates for their process. We put out an Job advertisement and the response was overwhelming....we got all the good team members that we wanted.

Nothing else has changed..so it can mean only one thing that has changed. The new location.

Driving the point home...location, location and location :-)


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Barefoot Ted visits us

Barefoot Ted is a leading figure in the world of Barefoot / Minimalist running. Those of you who have read the bestseller book "Born to Run" by Chris Mcdougall know that he is extensively featured in that book. He is also the Founder / CEO of http://www.lunasandals.com

He was in Pune recently at the invitation of our CEO P. Venkatraman, who is himself an avid runner. He visited our facilities and studied our Content Aggregation process with considerable interest.

At the end of his visit this is what he had to say. We couldn't have put it better ourselves.


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A serious 'disconnect'

At Vital Link Outsourcing we are happy to be NOT in the call center business.  We have often felt that there is a serious 'disconnect' between what the ultimate customer wants ( satisfactory service, a soft factor ) and what the immediate customer ( Ops manager ) wants ( productivity based on numbers, a hard factor ).

This kind of a business only results in unpleasantness all around. To the ultimate customer making the call, to the Company whose customer it is and to the service provider who is constantly pounded by clients who are barking up the wrong tree.

This cartoon from Dilbert puts it so succintly.


Monday, 6 February 2012

Long term client visits us from USA.avi

Bhairavi, Project Manager with long term client of ours came visiting from Sunnyvale CA. We already provide them services centered around Data Capture and Data Validation. She learnt of our offerings in areas of Internet Research and Content Aggregation etc...
We hope to work with each other in an increased range of service offerings.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

UK Visit

Two weeks back, I was in UK for about 4 days. I used the opportunity to visit some of our existing UK Accountant clients ( CA / ACCA ) from whom we regularly outsource Accounting and Book Keeping work. I also visited couple of new prospects who are seeking to outsource their Book Keeping / back office function.

My meetings were very interesting with each one  of them. Almost all of them wanted to give work to us. Besides the cost factor, which was obvious they realised that they were getting more value for money since we employ career accountants who are dedicated to their work, whereas they were using work at home moms, or entry level employees to get their work done, who were lacking in a certain resolve to do their best.

But one of the things that is foxing me is that even though they accept the benefits of changing their approach to client delivery, there is the human resistance to change that makes them drag their feet, so to speak.