The Offshore Captive Life Cycle

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Suma Subramanian

Partner and Director, CaptiveAide

Like all things, your Global Inhouse center / offshore captivehas a Life Cycle. While this may not come as a surprise, let’s understand the broad nuances…

You have researched and debated the need and ROI for sending work to another center, going offshore, engaging a third-party vendor who has expertise in the field, or having your own entityto serve your needs. If you have decided on taking the captive route, this is for you.

Let’s get candid: going captive can be more hard work (depending on your entry strategy) than hiring a third party service provider (SP). That is because a service provider (SP) has an existing set-up that will be expanded or refitted to suit your needs. You could begin to put your entity together through the many entry methods – some are explained on the CaptiveAide site – let us assume that you mean to start with a clean slate and write on it what you want and how you want.

Set up: Jump-start your Set-up phase while your entity is being formed through incubation or warehousing, both of which are a quick and easy way to get going. This is possible today because expert consultants can get your project up and running.

Build: This phase includes Learning & Transition. As employees begin to troop in, you will go through the learning and transition phase. Training sessions, cultural exchanges, work-ethic sharing, process transitions/ project set up…all this sharing to generate alignment, a sense of belonging and ownership and set up the center for success.

Run: Production/ delivery in full swing: Process tasks, or projects are now being done at the captive center. Employees are restless to do more as they gain confidence and knowledge about their work and contribution in the overall scheme of things. Productivity may slide if the bar is not raised at this stage – I’d put this stage at about nine months to a yearafter start up.

Stabilize: This phase is all about Consolidation: The ship stays steady for about 24 to 36 months, if everything stays constant. This period could be shorter if different processes/ Lines of business are sent to the entity, decisions on technology changes or inorganic growth create an upheaval. Employees will look to handle a larger share of the pie, would want to contribute in a more meaningful manner and will definitely have toough questions about their careers and where they are going.

Transform: Like a gardener who needs to repot and replant at regular intervals, you will need to renew the mandate of the center; rehaul your operations model. systems, people, technologies and ideas if further growth is desired.

Chug-along: This is an alternative stage to transform, where things are expected to run along familiar lines. Beware of this though, for we believe this will lead, at some point, to a phase called Decline, and this isn’t what you would want. Talk to us and we will ensure it doesn’t happen.

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