Indian telecom service provider BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd) started outsourcing their work some time ago following the footsteps of Bharti Airtel.
Some of the outsourcing work of BSNL has resulted into poor customer experience. In some places, BSNL customers need to wait for one or two weeks to repair a faulty landline connection or their broadband network.
Interestingly, BSNL is the top player in both fixed broadband with 9.98 million customers and fixed land line phone business with 62.2 percent market share in India, according to the latest TRAI report.
Telecom ministers including Ravi Shankar Prasad demand that both BSNL and MTNL need to step up their quality. But BSNL does not guarantee quality of service to its end consumers. BSNL officials admit that they are pressure to execute work due to shortage of workers. They feel that some BSNL divisions are top heavy.
BSNL, when started outsourcing some of its work to third party agencies, seems to have neglected its earlier casual workers, who have worked for them for nearly two decades. Some of these casual workers are now part of the outsourced company / ies.
Anticipating a permanent job in the state-run BSNL, some of the cable workers had joined the then telecom jewel on temporary basis. Due to outsourcing, these workers never got an opportunity to become permanent workers of BSNL.
Adding to their growing concerns, these cable casual workers are currently receiving significantly low remuneration as compared to other workers in Kerala. For instance, a carpenter in Kerala would fetch around Rs 700 per day as compared with Rs 287 per day to a cable worker of BSNL outsourcing company MeeGuards Info Services. When these workers were doing the work of BSNL directly, their daily income was close to Rs 500.
In addition to the low salary, these cable workers are forced to do technical work as well. In the end, these cable workers are becoming the face of BSNL, though they have no direct connection with the telecom major BSNL. Cable workers at MeeGuards Info Services now demand that they need higher salary in line with skilled workers.
BSNL is still enjoying its reputation for offering broadband and land phone network in rural India. If it can meet customer demand, rivals will be forced to re-think on their strategies. BSNL is still maintaining its investment in fixed broadband at a time when rival telecom Bharti Airtel is cutting down in fixed broadband.