India Blackout: Outsourcers Deliver Uninterrupted Service

While much of India was operating by candlelight after a massive blackout plunged more than half the country -- 9 percent of the world's population -- more than 600 million people into darkness in the largest outage ever globally, Indian outsourcing companies  didn’t miss a beat. Companies such as IT-BPO providers Wipro, Genpact and WNS, accustomed to India’s outages as the country grows faster than its power supply, had put their business continuity plans into place.

The industry is running its operations, centers in north and eastern India using diesel-powered back-up generators, according to this report in the Economic Times. All three firms reported no impact whatsoever as they put in place their contingency plans. Genpact said it has a four-day supply of diesel, and the other companies reported they had similar measures.

Other measures include plans for “critical and non-critical resources put on optimum utilization to control the wastage,” according to WNS Group CEO Keshav Murugesh.

The biggest problem these companies were encountering? Employees delayed or stranded by heavy traffic and transit outages due to the power outage. Still, the companies reported that they had backup plans in place for even these issues.

The BPO business makes up 7 percent of the Indian GDP. BPO exports are expected to reach $16 billion in 2012.

Three of India's five interconnected power grids failed earlier this week, leaving more than half of the country without power.

The cause of the outage was not known, but theories included high demands placed on the grid by many demands including disappointing rains during the monsoon season that forced farmers to pump more water and the possibility of interference by a large solar flare.

Much of the power had been restored by Tuesday night.

Have you had any help desk or other outsourced services affected by the blackout? Let us know by dropping me a note [ Jessica at ] or in the comments below.

TAGS: Technology
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.