Friday 20 February 2015


If you make customers unhappy in the real world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.                                  — Jeff Bezos, Founder,
Any successful large company spread trans-globally, say Citibank, can expect to receive thousands of telephone calls 24/7. Over 75 percent of these will come from across the seas, from countries where they have their many branches running. The company will be inundated by the sheer volume of calls originating every second! That’s perfectly natural; what’s 10 am in Dhaka is 10 pm in New York, with time zones split so widely. A working day call in USA will be an evening or night-most often late night call in say, Bangkok. 

A call centre is a simple solution to handle the volume of calls. Every country that the company has presence in has a dedicated office to take all calls from within that country, and reduce the volume of calls to its main office to zero, or thereabouts. Such a centralised office handles all matters related to that company’s local operations, receiving a manageable volume of requests by telephone and responding to calls asking for special or specific advice, be it administrative, financial or technical. 

There are two types of call centres, depending on the nature of services provided. These are:

·         Inbound Call Centres: Companies operate inbound call centres to service incoming calls from customers on product support and generalised information inquiries.

·         Outbound Call Centres: Companies operate outbound call centres for telemarketing, soliciting donations for charitable cause, political corpus building, debt recovery, market research, etc. 

A Call Centre in India                                                                                                        Source:


Call centres usually have a large, well lit and open workspace with seats reserved for that centre’s agents. These seats are called work stations; each work station today includes a dedicated computer for every agent, a telephone headset linked electronically to other stations as well as to the shift supervisor. Call centres can be independent or part of a network with other centres, using local area networks (LAN). As technology jumps in leaps and bounds, voice & data routing inbound to any centre today are interlinked using something novel, the so-called computer telephony integration.

Monday 2 February 2015

We, the people. . .


A cable theft left us (and several others) without telephone and internet connectivity over the weekend. Thrilled to be disconnected from the virtual world, I got busy with household responsibilities. And also managed to attend the Sunday evening service at our parish church, St. Alphonsa’s.

Imagine my confusion when I found myself staring at several whatsapp messages this morning. The same church had been vandalized. Last night.

Some reports term it an “attack on the church”, the cops call it “burglary”. The fact that this most recent one comes just a few days before the Delhi State elections surely seeks to politicize the issue.

I think of it as neither. We are exactly where we were a decade back. I wouldn't even begin to think of it as one religion against another. That's trivializing it and will serve as perfect ammunition for those seeking to divide us.

An attack on a church is an attack on Democracy. Liberty of belief, faith and worship is one of the cherished tenets of our democracy. Those bent on intimidating Christians in India are attacking democracy –their futile efforts will only serve to unify, not divide.

Without falling victim to dogma and hysteria, and rather than succumbing to the usual communal narrative, what emerges for me from this incidents is a narrative that undermines equal citizenship for persons of all faiths; and the freedom to practice one’s faith without fear or insecurity.

There is clearly a failure of the State in addressing the social and political challenges that feed these attacks. And as long as our Government led by the honorable Prime Minister chooses to remain silent, the PM's desire to transform India into a regional giant and a global force will never translate into a reality.

I refuse to be an unequal citizen. I will not let fundamentalists or burglars (whichever way you wish to see it) deny me my freedom. Gandhi was shot because the ‘freedom’ he propounded intimidated his killer. Freedom is a what these miscreants are afraid of. All over the world.