Wachovia practices what a lot of other companies give lip service to but cant quite deliver. It has entered into an outsourcing model that speaks of a true customer-provider partnership.
Calling its BPO operations in India with Genpact a virtual captive setup, Wachovia seeks to benefit from the complimentary strengths of the two companies.
The setup is neither a captive nor a pure third-party relationship. Placing immense significance on its overseas staff, Wachovia has adopted an inclusive model for hiring and retaining staff. When recruiting, it goes under the co-brand of Wachovia-Genpact. This achieves two purposes: One, it has the potential to attract high-calibre professionals who understand the financial-services domain; two, it helps Wachovia establish its brand in a country where, surprisingly, it is little known. Wachovia has a large footprint in the U.S.A., but it is relatively lesser known in India, says Sanjay Gupta, SVP, Strategic Initiatives, Wachovia, the architect of the deal with Genpact. On the retention front, Wachovias trainers educate their overseas staff in both domain skills and company culture. The knowledge of domain skills is very important to Wachovia as it is a very diversified banking institution, and the staff needs to understand the various areas of the institutions business. At the cultural level, Wachovia insists that all of its staff including those at the offshore providers end exemplify the culture of customer excellence that it has built over the years. This is in contrast to most other offshoring customers training plans they simply train the trainer at the service providers end, who in turn trains the providers staff.
Another retention strategy is to be open about absorbing high-performing employees to the Wachovia parent company. After discussion with Genpact, Wachovia can take on some staff to itself. The intent is to have an exchange program, says Gupta.
Are these plans likely to keep attrition levels down at Wachovias Indian BPO operations? I cant reveal numbers, but we are expecting significantly lower attrition levels than industry standards, says Gupta.
While on the one hand Wachovia follows an inclusive strategy to bring itself closer to the provider, on the other it neither extends any guarantee of volumes to Genpact, nor does it demand exclusivity. No, we have not made volume commitment to Genpact. Such a commitment is detrimental to growth. We dont want people chasing numbers. We believe in the old Indian philosophy that if you do good, good results will follow, says Gupta. Moreover, Genpact is free to take work from other banking customers, he adds.