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Interviews

“We are partnering with Kofax to deliver services around Digital Transformation and gradually towards Robotic Process Automation”— Kapil Sharma, Founder, Five Splash

Kapil Sharma, Founder, Five Splash

Business Process Outsourcing involves outsourcing those business operations that are not a part of an organization’s core, to a third-party. This enables business owners to reduce the hassles and cost associated with different tasks and help them focus on their core operations and increase revenue.

India is counted among the top global outsourcing destinations, owing to the availability of a number of talented, well-educated and young individuals. We interviewed the founder of Five Splash Infotech, an ISO 9001:2008 certified concept BPO company in India, Mr. Kapil Sharma, this week.

An organization that works as a Business Operation Partner for its clients, Five Splash solutions include back office processes, call centre processes, document management and application development. They provide integrated business process support services to industries like FMCG/E-commerce, Telecom, BFSI, Government, and Consumer Electronics. Read on as Kapil discusses the journey of his organization, his success factors, major milestones and what factors should companies consider while choosing an outsourcing partner.

1. Let’s begin with the introduction of Five Splash and its journey through the years.

We are a 9 years’ old company and have been growing steadily over the years. The company started with its very first project in 2009, coming from one of the leading political parties, where we helped our principals with vernacular support. Since then, we have not looked back.

We commissioned our very first international project in 2010. And, today we have several clients, ranging from Govt. of India to State Govts, to the leading businesses and technology companies in India, and leading blue-chip companies in Europe and the US, along with our onsite partners.

I would say, it has been a difficult yet fulfilling journey because none of the core team members come from atypical BPO background. Still, we have been able to break the jinx, enabling lot many youngsters from nearby areas and women to lead their lives successfully. More than a BPO, we are an enabler company.

Five Splash was established to create sustainable employment opportunities for the youths of smaller town. And, I would say, by God’s grace and my parent’s blessings, we have been able to achieve the primary objective fairly well. I joined the company 2.5 years back full time, till then it was philanthropy. And, over the last two years, we have grown by 52 and 79%, respectively.

Now, we are a part of Global Impact Sourcing Coalition, which has a total of 35 niche companies across the globe, and we have joined the leaders like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Grundfos, Tech Mahindra, etc. Long way to go, still, I believe we are on the right path. The impact has been growing since the beginning.

2. From starting with a team of 12 in 2009, Five Splash’s workforce now includes 600+ talented employees, with a presence in multiple regions across the country. When you look back, what are the main factors you would say contributed most to your growth?

The operations started with a small team of 12, in our residence’s basement area. And, today, we are present in 3 states, 4 cities, and 6 delivery centres, with clients across 3 major continents, and we are impacting more than 600 families directly. I believe firmly that there are a number of factors that have contributed to our growth:

  • Persistence and the risk-taking ability of my parents. We come from a working background, not business. And, both my parents deployed all their savings to this cause. And, I think I have inherited the same. And, all my earnings from the last 10 years of work has gone into building Five Splash.
  • Hunger to learn and contribute meaningfully to the community. We all come from a non-BPO background, still, we managed to sail through. As we live, we learn.
  • Sticking to our values – recognizing our strengths and weaknesses effectively.
  • The right set of people surrounding you, who can be your resounding board, who can question, mentor and guide you. So, we have been lucky enough to get the right mentorship over the last few years, that has kept us moving. Specifically, Gaurav Mehra from Aegis, Ruchir Srivastava who was with Airtel then, Bawa Grover who was on the TCS’s leadership board, and Nandita Singhal from Secure. All these people have had a great impact on the way we operate today.
  • All these years, we have been able to show the growth path to a fair amount of people who joined us and continue to work with us.

So, in all, it is about the determination this team has got. We are doing a lot of new stuff, which is going to reflect in our strategy for the next couple of years.

3. How do Five Splash and its outsourcing services help customers? What are the various markets you cater to and the services you offer?

First of all, we avoid using the word “outsourcing” in any of our conversations. We believe in “impact partnering”. It is engraved in our vision and mission statement. Five Splash’s foundation has been built on sustainability objectives.

By virtue of our business model and the places we operate from, we focus on providing back-office support services to our customers in the overseas market, it ranges from basic support to technical support, which might involve emails or chat support, IVR support, invoices, claims processing, etc. So, anything which is not their core, we make it our core business.

With respect to the Indian market, we focus on providing contact centre services and end-to-end BPM services. Vernacular delivery is one of our strengths, wherein we provide support to our customers in 10+ regional languages through our delivery centres in Northern and Southern part of the country. Remember, while our arbitrage is Quality of Services, by virtue of our model, we deliver services to the customers at highly competitive cost points. We are carving out market specific services and are soon going to launch services that will enable smaller industries to focus on their core business.

4. What is OSPREY DMS solution? Which industries can gain benefit from this offering?

Osprey DMS is a document management solution from Five Splash. This was built and tested in the telecom market. However, it can be customized and is industry agnostic. Customers can scan and manage their document flow within this system. It can be either be provided as a license or as a service.

Apart from this, our technology team is capable enough to customize systems as per their business needs.

5. What are the main benefits of outsourcing call centre services? Why do companies do that?

We at Five Splash firmly believe that each business has its core, and they should just be focusing on the same. Like, in our case, we also just focus on providing BPO/BPM services to our customers, and our logistics, security, housekeeping, etc is taken care of by the experts.

So, for any business, it is important to identify the key aspects and impact areas. And, that’s where an organization like us comes into the picture. In the world of technology, while most of the things can be done away with self-help, there are a lot of areas wherein people who have gained expertise in process, product, technology come handy.

Key benefits include flexibility, scalability, process excellence, efficiency building, deploying the right technology for right use, etc.

6. Can you please tell our readers the differences between inbound and outbound call centre services?

Inbound services simply mean when a user or customer or stakeholder wants to reach out to a company for some help or assistance. Outbound services are usually meant for scenarios when a customer or partner or stakeholder is approached from our end for any input required, information requested or grievance redressal. Overall, the objective is to provide omni-channel options like email, chat, web, call, self-help for the customers so that they can use the services in a better way.

7. Considering that there are numerous outsourcing vendors in the market, what factors should companies consider while choosing an outsourcing partner?

This is a great question! Often, companies get carried away with the names. Ideally, in today’s scenario, it is recommended to have someone who is ready to become a partner rather than just a vendor. That’s because outsourcing comes with a norm that changes are never instant. So, here are a few key aspects:

  • Whether the partner has done its homework before discussing the business processes.
  • While experience is important, it is better to focus on competency and readiness to learn quickly.
  • A company that can complement your business needs by being flexible, quick and supportive.
  • Business Continuity Plan is implemented in the model or not.
  • What all kind of services can be offloaded. Ideally, companies should focus on not having too many partners, it at times leads to chaos.

8. FIVE SPLASH! An interesting name. How did you come up with the name of your company?

Five Splash is all about life. So, while the origination was based on the kind of services organization wanted to offer, we ended up realizing that the essence resides with various elements of life, i.e. Jal, Vayu, Agni, Aakash and Dharti. We believe every one of us is a star in a way or the other. So, we are just looking to encapsulate all-stars together.

Suggested reading: “Our mission is to simplify lives through great digital experiences”– Ravi Teja, CEO, Robosoft

9. Please tell us about your awards and recognition. How do they help you deliver better services?

We were awarded Social Change Agent award by the World CSR Congress in 2015. We were picked amongst a few changemakers across the country to be on the mission Global Action on Poverty (GAP) being run by Head-Held-High foundation, supported by Tata Trusts in 2017.

Osprey DMS was awarded at the STPI’s BPM product conclave last year in Bangalore. And, now, we are part of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC), officially. And, on this journey, we were covered by YourStory, YoSuccess, DNA, The Hindu, etc

I believe all these recognitions have enabled us to walk a mile extra and be persistent on this journey. Many mistakes that we would put such social recognition as our arbitrage, but in the end, it is all about business. So, our main arbitrage still remains – quality and openness.

So, we have strengthened our values system, it is known as CATER, and everyone in the organization follows it rigorously. Our customers have appreciated our speed, openness, quality of service and flexibility at par. Today, we process more than 150k transactions every day and handle around 30k calls from across the locations. Every day, we are getting better.

10. That’s really great! To wrap up, please tell us about the culture in your organization and the team Five Splash. Also, give us a sneak peek into your roadmap 2019.

2019 is looking very vibrant. With our participation in the challenge thrown at GISC, we are looking to commit and contribute towards providing jobs to 300+ more people in the year 2019. We are looking to set up one more delivery centre in the East, with the idea to provide opportunities to the youths of East and Northeast locally.

We are looking to strengthen our board by bringing leaders who have seen this industry grow. Also, strategically, we are focusing on building tech-driven solutions and services for Indian as well as international market. We are partnering with Kofax to deliver services around Digital Transformation and gradually towards Robotic Process Automation. So, in all, it looks like we are up for another interesting year ahead while continuing on the growth path.

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