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BPO Firms Strive to Secure Financial Future Amidst COVID-19

BPO firms have begun putting together all their resources as they prepare their business continuity plans amid the rampage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.

Startek has launched talks with its lenders to restructure debt, and Teleperformance is looking for more credit lines, with both of them talking about allowing more employees to work from home.

Startek’s newly-appointed CEO, Aparup Sengupta, has announced that he would forgo his salary for the entire year, an apparent bid aimed at helping his company shore up its finances.

Startek owes more than US$130 million to various lenders, according to its annual filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Teleperformance has stated that it is trying to secure US$764 million in credit to help cope with the crisis.

With country after country going into lockdown, voice-based BPO firms are struggling to continue servicing their clients. In the Philippines, known as the global call center, the government has asked BPO workers to work from home. But BPO clients are worried that work-at-home policy might put their data in jeopardy.

Teleperformance says it has managed to move 50% of its employees to a ‘work-from-home’ model, about 120,000 employees, adding that another 16% would start teleworking by mid-April.

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Startek has launched a virtual command center to monitor its agents working from home. “We are continuously enabling employees to work from home after obtaining requisite client approvals,” Sengupta stated in a press release.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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