Gain a Business Foothold in China With the ‘Build – Operate – Transfer’ Model of Outsourcing

China offers appealing business opportunities because of a highly skilled workforce, attractive wage levels, reliable IT and telecom infrastructure and government support for foreign ventures. Most attractive of all, of course, is the world’s largest and fastest-growing market.

Domestic demand for consumer products and services expands annually in China, and did so even during 2008-09 global economic slowdowns. In turn, there’s a strong need for Western expertise to design, market and administer insurance, banking, investment and credit services.

North American and European companies that have business process, R&D or manufacturing operations in India or Southeast Asia increasingly recognize that prudent risk management means diversifying with a second location in a separate region with a large, well-educated labor supply.

China provides an inviting commercial arena that meets all requirements to assure uninterrupted operations, although it has entry hurdles for foreign-based newcomers. They include:

o Extensive location choices: National and provincial governments support numerous High-Technology Industries Development Zones and software parks in regions with lower labor and facility costs than in the business centers of Beijing and Hong Kong.

o Navigating the bureaucracy: While China welcomes foreign enterprises and encourages private ventures, an elaborate series of permits, licenses and other paperwork are required by municipal, provincial and central government agencies.

o Site development: Leasing, remodeling, equipping and maintaining workplaces for international business requires prescreening local vendors, soliciting and evaluating bids, negotiating contracts and overseeing installation of work stations, electronic networks, telecommunications, backup capabilities and other logistics.

o Recruiting and training: Reliable, well-educated managers and qualified production employees are widely available — and in demand by Western firms. An experienced business process outsouricng (BPO) company can provide industry knowledge and local contacts that are essential to recruit, hire, orient, train and retain skilled workers who can perform back-office functions reliably — services a general employment agency clearly cannot provide.

This White Paper illustrates how the Build – Operate – Transfer approach lets foreign-based providers in the BPO industry or other fields develop an efficient production center in China through a limited-time startup relationship with an experienced local partner.

The Build-Operate-Transfer Model

As the name indicates, B-O-T is a three-stage process that lets companies outsource the logistics of establishing offshore capacity to deliver services, develop products or perform manufacturing. To gain a secure foothold in China at minimal risk, software developers and other Information Technology Outsourcing companies currently rely on this proven business model — which is especially well-suited to the BPO industry.

The business owner forms a strategic alliance with an experienced local partner already established in the same industry who plans and manages every aspect of opening and running one or more work centers in the first two stages — Build and Operate. (“Build” refers to constructing a client-dedicated operation, not a physical location.)

The final stage — which arrives after a contractually specified time, productivity/quality level or a combination of factors — brings a Transfer of all tangible and intangible business assets to the owner.

During each of the first two phases, the local partner’s industry experience and host country familiarity are applied to:

Achieve the foreign owner’s business objectives
Transfer knowledge from the client to managers and workers it will inherit
Uphold the owner’s best practices, quality levels and other requirements
Maximize short-term and long-range profitability for the owner

This model can be applied to a variety of industries and to small, mid-size or large MNCs, and has proven to be effective in China.

BOT also provides powerful advantages for business process service providers.Benefits for new and existing BPO companies expanding to China are evident from the following look at services furnished between the first steps and the final business transfer.

Services at Each Stage

A detailed contract specifies the work production, space, staffing, wage rates, English proficiency, productivity, quality levels and other metrics that the client wants in exchange for a management fee and reimbursement of actual costs. After this needs assessment and planning stage, the local partner then assigns a setup team exclusively to the project.

That team conducts a site selection review of real estate matching the client’s requirements for size, location, cost, capabilities, amenities and other factors. Reports, diagrams and photos are furnished so that the client’s project team can analyze options and the local partner’s recommendation.

Next, lease terms are negotiated and site preparation begins. Work spaces are configured, furnishings and production equipment are procured, and services are arranged (telecommunications, high-speed Internet with backup, etc.) In this Build stage, the local partner also secures required permits, licenses and other registrations from the Ministry of Commerce and regional government departments.

While workplace development is under way, the Operate phase starts with staffing (labor arbitrage). Qualified personnel are invited to apply, are pre-screened, are interviewed and are hired for work only on the client’s business.

Knowledge transfer is the next step — and one that continues throughout the Operate stage. Managers, supervisors and employees are given orientation and training to become well-prepared for handling the client’s work processes at an expected pace.

Maintaining and expanding skills is a vital part of the operating agreement. Clients should look for a service partner who recognizes the importance of continuous, adaptable training to prepare employees for:

Progressive advancement
New client projects
Next-generation software and hardware

Continuing education — combined with on-site English-improvement classes, if wanted — helps increase staff reliability, retention and value to the client. Human resources groomed by the local partner, after all, are among assets the client inherits at Transfer.

The Operate portion involves work supervision, quality assurance, record-keeping, purchasing, facility maintenance, government liaison and administrative support services (invoicing, payment processing and other accounting tasks, if requested).

At the Transfer to client ownership and management, after perhaps one to three years (based on a pre-determined scale), the local partner arranges a transition of leases, vendor contracts, utilities, personnel, administrative services and other functions during an orderly process of joint supervision.

The client inherits all training and procedure manuals, proprietary software, work product templates, business records and other intellectual property generated on its behalf.

–> Key points

Client-stipulated quality assured from the start and at each step of growth
New operation is a seamless extension of client’s work environment
Client inherits a smoothly functioning team familiar with its processes
Client captures valuable support documents and proprietary software
Fixed-fee arrangement eliminates startup risks and assures budget control

Ideal Fit for BPO

Unlike software or electronic product suppliers, who use small technical teams to conduct R&D at offshore testing and development centers, BPO providers typically rely on hundreds of multiple-shift employees to enter data, process forms, convert records, verify claims, perform coding and handle other back-office services.

BPO also has a critical need for absolutely reliable infrastructure — power, telecommunications, high-speed Internet access — to deliver deadline-sensitive work without interruption.

China’s size and sophistication assure that it can meet all labor and infrastructure demands.

Companies can achieve significant gains in costs, time and productivity through a BOT alliance with an established partner in China who has a working knowledge of Western business methods — knowledge that is transferred swiftly and seamlessly.

In addition to needing a large, skilled labor pool, BPO players depend on advanced, reliable infrastructure. broadband Internet access from redundant service providers, multiple international telecom lines, top-level data security and separate servers for each client.

Calgary Jobs: Boundless Opportunities Away From Home

Calgary is famous for being the first city in Canada to host the Olympic Winter games. Aside from winter sports, it is fast becoming a popular destination among tourists and immigrants with its colourful festivals, great outdoor adventure experiences, and pristine wilderness.

Exploring a Vibrant Core

Calgary is one of Western Canada’s biggest cities. It is home to many tourist spots, stunning high-rise buildings, skyscrapers, walkways, and bridges. Moreover, it ranked on the 24th spot, among 215 cities around the globe based on 39 criteria measuring quality of life, personal safety, and other social, economic, and environmental factors in Mercer Human Resource Consulting’s international survey. It is also recognized as the “Nashville of the North” with its modern cosmopolitan traditions, hotels, saloons, western bars, and hockey. Moreover, it has one of the largest Chinatowns in Canada, as well as “Little Italy” in the Bridgeland neighbourhood.

Economic Powerhouse

Immigrants are given boundless opportunities through numerous Calgary jobs. According to Don Campbell, author of the “81 Financial and Tax Tips for the Canadian Real Estate Investor,” Calgary and Edmonton will have two of the strongest economies in migration and job creation in North America over the next five years. Furthermore, the city has had the strongest economy and highest average GDP in the country for the past ten years and is expected to stay on top through 2016. The city’s continuously growing economy is because of the following factors:

The city has the most productive and best-paid workers;

It has the greatest purchasing power;

It has a lower cost of living compared to Toronto and Vancouver;

It has the lowest unemployment rate; and

It has the second highest total retail sales growth over the past 10 years.

These key sectors including financial services, transportation, logistics, film and creative industry, information and communication technology, agriculture business, tourism, and health and wellness are considered as the most significant sectors that greatly contribute to its economic success.

Different World Views of Art

Art through the centuries acquired different forms and conceptions. First of all there was naturalism, then developed romanticism, and then there was impressionism, followed by cubism, which was followed by surrealism and finally trends moved on to postmodern art. Here I would like to provide my understanding on various schools of art.

Naturalism proceeded out of mimesis. The aim of art was to mimic nature. A classic example of mimetic art would Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Mona Lisa lives through the ages for its enigmatic style. Another example would be the Last Supper by Da Vinci. Art became permeated heavily with religious motifs. What has naturalism contributed to the world? An answer would be representation of a mimetic ethos. There is very little to interpret in naturalistic art but we can admire its imitation of nature. I would also like to take Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. What would a postmodern interpretation take? It would perhaps couch it as being gay.

Another style of art that developed during the 18th century was romanticism. What is romanticism? The poet Wordsworth defined romanticism as the spontaneous overflow of feelings. Romanticism captured feelings on to the canvas. The canvas became permeated in rich colors of the baroque. Romantic painting is fanciful and ornamental. When we think of romanticism in the postmodern age we encounter a catharsis with the past. Goya’s exhibit: Saturn devouring his son can be taken as a classic example. The grotesque Saturn is portrayed as an admirable beauty. Romantic painters are endowed with passionate neurosis. Feelings and emotions lie with us to contemplate in ravishment.

Another school of art which developed during the beginning of the 19th century was impressionism. The great masters of impressionism are Van Gogh, Monet, and Gauguin. Impressionism is a unique style of art. Impression is marked by a wide usage of brilliant colors. Strokes were left like scars on the canvas. Impressionism was marked by a tendency of art to become modern. Van Gogh was a brilliant artist who etched out paintings in a style that marked a departure from his predecessors. When we look at Van Gogh’s starry night, we get a passion that is akin to listening of music. Similarly Gauguin’s painting: ‘where do we come from and where do we go’, highlights mythical allegories in brilliant dashes of color.

Another school of art which developed during the beginning of the 20th century was Cubism. Its master exponent was Picasso. With the advent cubism art left its mimetic modes and became the sole creation of the artist. Cubism had a tendency to portray art in abstract terms. Picasso’s La Demoiselles D’ Avignon presented harlots. Their features especially their breasts, hips and asses were made incongruous with oedipal fantasies. Another notable creation of Picasso was the Guernica. Guernica is fantastic rendition of the horrors of bombing Basque, presented in abstract terms. When we look at Guernica we become fascinated to the point of disgust. Cubism highlighted that art can be repulsive.

The next school of art which developed by the middle of the 20th century was Surrealism. My most loved surrealistic artists are Dali and Paul Delvaux. Dali’s most famous painting is the ‘persistence of memory’. Surrealism following Freudian psychoanalysis attempted to portray art with a conglomeration of reality and fantasy. In the painting, persistence of memory, we find melting clocks hanging on trees and covered by an embryo. The tree can be symbolized as a phallic construct. The melting clocks portray time as flowing with the literature of streams of consciousness. The embryo can represent the artist’s oedipal trauma. Delvaux most famous painting is the call of the night. In the ‘call of the night’ a barren land is seen with skulls. There is a nude standing on the open with luscious vegetation growing on her head. There is also a nude whose head is covered standing outside a building with a candle on her head. Delvaux is trying to portray ancient fertility rites in modernistic terms. The painting can also be interpreted as a sexual awakening. Thus surrealism attempted to portray dream with reality.