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US insurer Fidelity National to offshore more work to India

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Tue, Oct 05, 2010 18:00 hrs

Chennai, Oct 5 (IANS) Spotting an opportunity to cut its costs by around 30 percent with increased productivity, US-based insurer Fidelity National Title Group Inc has decided to scale up its business process outsourcing (BPO) and software development activities in India.

The company had set up its captive BPO company Fidelity National Financial India in Bangalore three years back.

The $4.6 million revenue Fidelity National Financial India has around 800 employees searching and confirming property titles in the US for its insurance parent.

'We will be increasing the headcount by 1,000 to 1,800 starting next year for our BPO operations so that we can shift work like accounts payable, legal operations here. We are also planning to expand the software development team here,' Senior Vice President Andy Giddings told IANS.

According to him, the insurer has decided to develop software for its core title insurance business back home out of India in May and formed a small team of 25 people.

'We will be expanding that team by adding 100 more software engineers during the first quarter of the next year. We have around 15 different software applications and we expect the number to go down with the development of integrated programmes,' Giddings said.

About BPO activity in India, he said the company has now graduated from doing indexing and data entry to detailed property title searches and other value added transactions like title policy underwriting and engineering, database management, mortgage and tax services.

'We have also changed the systems and procedures which in turned improved the productivity as well as the job content for the employees. The utilisation rate is around 90 percent whereas the average for other captive BPOs is around 50 percent,' added Country Head of Indian Operations Sameer Dhanrajani.

The changes in the work procedures and cross training improved the job content for the employees and it is no more repetitive in nature as it is in any other captive BPO, he added.

Dhanrajani said the company's employee attrition level is around 30 percent, which is 10 percent lower than that of other captive BPOs.

The Indian company is also mulling setting up operations in other cities like Chennai where the attrition rates are low.

Asked about the business opportunities in India, Giddings said: 'It depends on the digitisation of the land records by the states. Only when the land records are digitised then insurers can start offering title insurance here.'

Simply put, title insurance is an insurance policy that protects residential or commercial property owners and their lenders against losses related to the property's title or ownership.

'The Land Titling Bill is yet to be tabled in Parliament. Once the Bill becomes a law then the title insurance business can kickstart,' Dhanrajani remarked.

Once that happens, Fidelity National Financial India would be interested in bidding for digitisation works.



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