Donald Trump's “We are from India” Quip

April 28, 2016 12:53 pm | Updated 6 months ago.


“You want to find out about your credit card — guess what, you’re talking to a person from India,” Trump declared during an event in Delaware. “How the hell does that work?” declared Trump with the flagellating of his hands.

Trump then went on to add that he had called a credit card customer service number and asked the agent helping him, “Where are you from?” The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination the then mimicked the accent, saying he was told, “We are from India,” and followed by a gesture like he was hanging up.

The BPO agent’s tone of “we are from India” which Donald impersonated was earnest, respectful and clearly decipherable.  If we are to go by Donald Trump’s evidence, the BPO agents from India do a pretty good job.  There are over 265,000 BPO jobs in Bangalore alone, of which call center positions represent a sizable position. Donald Trump’s stance on outsourcing positioned as ‘them v/s us’ does not augur well for the tele agent (and thousands like him) who answered to Donald Trump’s phone call in a polite and professional manner.

Indian BPO industry, which is predicted to touch USD 210 billion by 2017, not only has Trump nipping them at the heel but also has to negotiate a much graver challenge posed by analytics and robotics.  Also, there has been a perceptible shift in the engagement behavior of customers younger than 40, who prefer social media and web chat to access information and services. The low-end BPO, especially the contact centers, will have to incorporate digital channel or perish. The lower end BPO contact centers, which are a significant USD70-80 billion market, have already started to face the heat with industry growth rate slowing to 5-6% annually.

Firms which can make robust tech investments provide value added services and patiently weather out Trump’s diatribe will find themselves surviving in the long run.