Xchanging: The New Number One

DQI Bureau
New Update

Ever since its debut as an independent company in 2004, the NYSE listed,

Gurgaon headquartered Genpactthe erstwhile captive services subsidiary of

GEhad remained the #1 BPO company in the world. For the first time in 2009, it

has been overtaken by another company. The new #1 is not the BPO subsidiary of a

high profile Indian IT company or an American company. It is the relatively

lesser known UK based firm, Xchanging, which has left Genpact behind in terms of

the 2009 revenue.


In FY 09, while Genpact recorded a revenue of $1,120 mn, Xchanging clocked a

revenue of 750.4 mn. Going by the average exchange rate of $1.56 per GBP in

2009 (source: OANDA), it comes out to be $1170 mn. With the difference being a

good $50 mn, even a little variation in exchange rates would not affect the fact

that there is a new #1 in the BPO street.

What made this possible for Xchanging is a robust growth of 34.5% in 2009, a

year in which Genpact managed to grow by only 7%.

The Cambridge acquisition has helped Xchanging enter the

American and Australian markets as well as enhance the offshore capabilities

in India

David Andrews, CEO, Xchanging


Interestingly, what has helped Xchanging to dislodge the Indian company from

the top is the acquisition of another Indian companyCambridge Solutions, though

its organic growth has been impressive too.

David Andrews, CEO of Xchanging, who had started Xchanging in 1999, plays

down the fact that it is the new #1. He highlights the major changes instead.

One of the changes that he has consistently pursued in the last three years is

to convert the company from a European BPO firm to a global firm.

During our IPO in 2007, we had said we would create a global footprint. With

the Cambridge acquisition, we have today 75% of our employees outside of the UK.

We have a scale and critical mass in India driving our lean processing and a

sizable presence in Australia, the America and the Continental Europe, Andrews



The Cambridge acquisition has been instrumental in entering the American and

Australian markets as well as in significantly enhancing the offshore capability

in India. Bengaluru currently has Xchangings largest processing center. The

company will soon be setting up a state-of-the-art processing center in Shimoga

which is a tier-3 Indian city located about 275 km north of Bengaluru.

The opportunities for Xchanging is arguably better than any other BPO firm.

Today, it draws only 10% of its revenue from the largest BPO market in the

world, the US. That means it has ample opportunity to grow there. Similarly,

today, its offshore component is far less compared to any other large company.

That promises upside on the margin front.

Yet, Andrews next focus is something else: technology. A technologist

himself, he however underestimatedthe role that technology can play in a BPO.

Andrews says this despite the fact that Xchanging probably has some of the most

mature platforms in areas such as insurance and securities processing.


India has a lot of potential, and it is not just about processing, he

asserts. He also informs that Chennai is going to be the companys next

technology hub.

Our technology vision is to create highly competitive and lean BPO platforms

by utilizing web 3.0 and 4G collaboration technologies. We see a very exciting

future for BPO with technologies such as 4G and cloud computing, he says.

Mehak Chawla