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Middlemen, new chink in BPO armour

Aug 11, 2006 03:05 PM IST India India

Bangalore: Sandeep and his two friends come to this house in Puttenahalli everyday, hoping that they would get back the money they invested in the company they once worked for.

The three students took data entry work which was outsourced to them by Moni Systems, but unfortunately the board of Moni Systems no longer exists.

C N Vinay Bhushan, a student, says: "In the first two months, we got money. Later on I invested Rs 20,000 more. He said he would give me an agreement, and then this ruckus began. He said he'd give back the money, which didn’t happen."

The man they are talking about is Mohan Manayangathodi, who has disappeared with money that nearly 200 students put in.

Mohan was basically a middleman - he outsourced work that was outsourced to him. And according to the Union of ITES, middlemen are thriving in the BPO sector.

Karthik Shekhar, secretary of the Union of ITES Professionals, says: "Middelemen are there everywhere. They are either settled in the US and come on holiday, bring work and pass it on to someone here. At the end of the day, the middlemen swallow all proceeds and disappear. The irony is, there is no legal binding."

That's the problem for the police too.

Alok Kumar, the DCP of south Bangalore, says: "Actually when there's an agreement between individual and a company, and the company is not paying money, its' a breach of contract. It's a civil matter. These cases are becoming more frequent with data and outsourcing companies in Bangalore."

There was a time when middlemen ruled the agriculture sector and took home high profits.

Well, thanks to the huge demand and supply mismatch in the BPO sector, history repeats itself.

It's once again middlemen who are pocketing huge profits at the cost of others.