Today we ask our infamous ten probing questions of Rajesh Ranjan (LinkedIn, Blog) from the Everest Group. Rajesh Ranjan, is the Vice President of the Everest Group’sBusiness Process Outsourcing (BPO) research program. Rajesh is also a frequent participant and presenter at industry forums.
- What are your coverage areas?
I cover Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and associated next generation global services themes such as Business-Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) and Analytics.
- What’s your typical day like?
My base location is Delhi, India. Any given day is somewhat varied given the global nature of my role. Some of the elements on a typical day include:
- Start the day by checking and responding to overnight e-mails from colleagues and clients in different time zones (primarily North America and Europe)
- Check what/if anything has changed in the BPO world overnight (through various news feeds, etc.)
- Participate in local team meeting with India-based analysts to review the progress of various reports and custom projects
- Work on a custom engagement proposal for a client to optimize their BPO initiative
- Review a report due to be published in three weeks
- Participate in a working session to brainstorm a framework to analyse a new area of coverage and the associated trends; check to ensure the data gathering methodology will link to the framework
- Attend service provider briefing call (typically starts in the afternoon going into evening to match North American and European time zones)
- Conduct calls with clients to provide answers to their questions as part of syndicated analyst inquiry or custom engagement deliverables (typically starts in the afternoon going into evening to match North American and European time zones)
- Wrap-up the day by sending documents (work-in-progress reports/custom project deliverables) to the team members in North America/UK to advance progress (we utilize a 24*7 model)
- How do you position your firm?
Our clients say that we bring fact-based, actionable insights and advice to help them make critical and impactful decisions about their global services strategies. We are able to do this because of our exclusive focus on global services, our fact-based research approach, our talent model (a combination of domain expertise and high-level analytical skills), and a global delivery approach.
- What is your business model?
We serve three constituents in the global services market – Enterprises (Buyers), Service Providers, and Service Enablers (country associations, industry bodies, private equity/investors). The revenue mix is around 45% each from Enterprise and Service Providers and the remaining 10% from Service Enablers.
- What is your research methodology?
There are three key components to our research methodology:
- Robust definitions and frameworks – Specific value chain / process framework for the market being analyzed (e.g., Finance and Accounting BPO) to ensure consistent data capture
- Primary data collection – Detailed RFI leveraging the definition/framework to capture the data (typically deal-specific granular information)
- Extensive market interaction (e.g., telephone interviews, in-person workshops) – Interaction with key stakeholders across market constituents to understand their perspectives, experiences, and outlook
- Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
I attended an AR event in U.S. last year which I particularly liked for the following three reasons:
- Careful selection of analysts – The service provider had carefully selected analysts to attend the event based on their reputation, focus, and expertise. This ensured that a smaller, but relevant group of analysts participated.
- Focus more on interaction than one-way presentation – Instead of ‘death by PowerPoint’, the focus was more on interaction with senior leadership and business heads (the smaller analyst group helped this further)
- Unfettered client access/participation – Instead of a typical ‘client presentation session’, the service provider’s clients also participated in most of the discussions in an open and transparent way. This allowed us to get a good understanding of their experiences, aspirations, and challenges with the service provider (after all no presentation can be better than direct client testimonials!)
- What are your offerings and key deliverables?
Within our BPO area, we serve our clients both through syndicated services as well as custom research projects. From a syndicated stand-point, currently we cover the following BPO segments – Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO), HR Outsourcing (HRO), Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), Procurement Outsourcing (PO), Contact Center Outsourcing (CCO), Managed Service Provider (MSP), and Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance BPO (BFSI BPO). Beyond BPO, we offer services in IT service (especially deep in cloud-based services, plus banking/insurance and healthcare), global sourcing, global locations, and pricing of services. All of these areas follow the same basic methodology, which allows us to have extensive integrated datasets.Our custom research offerings include strategic engagement reviews, market opportunity analysis, competitive analysis, price and cost benchmarking, location optimization, and service provider selection. We generate around 40% of our revenues from syndicated work while 60% comes through custom research projects.
- What are your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months?
As we are scaling-up rapidly to meet increased market demand, one of my key areas of focus is to ensure that we continue to provide industry-leading BPO research and insights to our clients. This means staying close to our clients’ changing needs, refining/aligning our research coverage and methodologies accordingly, and attracting, hiring and developing analysts who are passionate about the work we do.
- Any hobbies or favorite restaurant/food that you’d like to share?
I love watching movies. My interest is not only limited to watching them, but I also like to track their box-office performance (analyst’s habits die hard!). Recently, I have also developed a growing interest in Indian politics as a result of the fundamental changes going on in this part of the world (again analyst streak I guess).
- Do you have an AR horror story you could share?
Can’t say horror, but let me share two things that I would recommend avoiding when presenting to an analyst (I have experienced both):
- The first one I have experienced a couple of times. This is a situation where the service provider positions itself vis-à-vis other players in the market place based on their own analysis. Think about the credibility of such analysis. In fact, I would also suggest that you shouldn’t harp on too much about any positioning that uses the framework/assessment of a competing firm to the one whose analyst you are speaking to – you are likely to be asked lot of tough questions which you may not be ready for!!
- The second one I have experienced only once – but it was really weird. In this situation the head of platform business for a leading IT/BPO service provider was trying to explain to me the company’s positioning and differentiator. However, on being probed, instead of responding to questions, he started questioning the relevance of the questions themselves! It was clear that he was finding it hard to defend his position but resorted to a method which created a pretty bad picture of himself and his organization.