KPO or Knowledge Process Outsourcing involves outsourcing of knowledge
intensive business processes to other geographic locations. KPO and BPO
are closely related sectors.
The major difference is that BPO is labor intensive and requires low level of
expertise, while KPO requires in-depth knowledge in the area that is
outsourced. Also, BPOs are more process based while KPOs are knowledge
Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) is the outsourcing of knowledge-
intensive processes to third party service providers. KPO is often used to
describe the use of technology to outsource human tasks that require
specialized skill sets or training. In addition to being cost effective, KPO can
help organizations improve their productivity and increase their efficiency.
The major areas that are outsourced under KPO
Since outsourcing offers several advantages like cost savings, access to
skilled resource pool and better quality, many global companies are
outsourcing their knowledge based processes to India.
The major ones are designing, web applications, business and market
research and analysis, data management, financial and legal services,
research and development, medical, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
related services, training, publishing, content development, remote
The biggest segment is however, data search integration and management
which holds 30% of the KPO sector revenue. Next is biotech and
pharmaceuticals, followed by engineering and design, R&D, education and
publishing, and animation.
Growth of KPO sector in India
KPO is expected to grow at a cumulative growth rate of about 45% and it is
estimated that by 2020, India will have 70% of the global KPO market. The
Indian KPO exports are estimated to touch USD 100 billion by 2020. The
current number of KPO employees in India is estimated to be 1, 25,000.
NASSCOM projects that the number of KPO professionals will increase to
500,000 by 2020.
India is all set to become the global KPO leader
KPOs were started in India by McKinsey when it opened up a knowledge
center in 1987. In 2000 companies like OfficeTiger, GE, Gartner, etc.,
opened their research centers too. Since then KPO sector is growing as
India is evolving to become the leader. There are many advantages that
India offers, these include:
• Established support infrastructure
• Talented resource pool of qualified professionals and subject matter
• Better English language skills than other major outsourcing destinations
• Lower cost
• Government support
The top KPO companies in India
The biggest companies in KPO sector include Evalueserve, McKinsey,
RocSearch, Copal Partners, Pipal Research, Inductis, WNS Global,
Accenture, Aptara, etc.
Career scope in KPO
KPO is creating a huge number of career opportunities for educated and
talented professionals including engineers, doctors, lawyers, accountants,
designers, teachers, consultants, etc. It is also estimated that the salaries in
KPO sector would be 25-50% higher than in other fields.
KPO companies look for a diverse range of professionals who have a certain
level of expertise in some domain. This sector is not too great for freshers
or beginners as it offers better opportunities and salaries to more qualified
and experienced candidates.
If a person is armed with right qualifications, experience, managerial skills,
and client interaction skills, then there are endless possibilities of growth in
You need in-depth domain knowledge, passion and aptitude for that field of
work, and great communication skills, to soar high in this sector.
There are many benefits of a KPO for a business. Knowledge Process
Outsourcing lets you scale your business. As your business grows, you'll
want to add more staff. But if you outsource some of your high skilled jobs,
you can easily expand your team without having to invest in additional
office space or hiring new employees.