When I ask some of the larger LPO vendors about who they consider their competitors, they rarely name Infosys. However, if I ask specifically about Infosys, there is always the recognition that, as I outlined in Expanded Service Models for LPO Vendors, it has the potential to change the market.
I recently spoke to Rahul Shah, LPO Practice Head at Infosys, about the LPO market and Infosys’ place in it. In the first of this two-part post, Rahul talks about Infy’s LPO offerings and clients, his estimate of the market size, and the ways in which LPO works with law firms. Rahul’s responses to my questions are below.
GLOBAL LEGAL: What are the major LPO services offered by Infosys? How long has Infosys been offering LPO services? Who are your major clients? From where do you deliver services? What is the composition of your staff (i.e. lawyers, Intellectual property specialists, non-lawyer-BPO-specialists etc.)?
INFOSYS: Infosys LPO offers Contract Management including our own Contract Administration Platform called ICAP, Intellectual Property services, Litigation & Administrative Support, Document Review, Legal Research and Legal Services Consulting. We are two and a half years old and service clients chiefly from the US and UK markets. Our major clients include – a large legal publishing firm, a Magic Circle law firm, a globally recognized courier company, Fortune 5 oil and gas company, large financial publisher, a life insurance giant and so on. Infosys has the capability to offer its services from multiple locations including US, UK, Philippines etc. in any type of hybrid combination depending on our clients’ requirements, comfort level and risk appetite. Most of our employees are subject matter experts for the various service offerings we have and they are lawyers as well as non-lawyers. The non-lawyers undergo extensive training at our world class training facilities in Mysore before joining any project.
GLOBAL LEGAL: To date, Infosys does not seem to have marketed LPO services very aggressively. Is there a new initiative to enter the LPO space for Infy? If so, why now? Is LPO a significant enough market to attract a company as large as Infosys?
INFOSYS: We have been late in marketing our services. In the last 2 years, we have been busy ramping up on our significant clients in this space and also creating and articulating our value proposition for the law firms and the general counsel. As mentioned, we entered LPO space 2.5 years back, so the initiative is this old. There are a lot of numbers out there in press and reports on how much this industry is worth and at present we think the industry opportunity is in USD 350 million area. Having said this, the global legal spend is upwards of USD 550 billion, which is huge and offers a significant growth potential for Infosys given the fact that general counsel and law firms are exploring alternative delivery models to tackle cost pressures, need for creating capabilities in emerging markets and reinventing themselves to morph into the lawyers office of the future.
GLOBAL LEGAL: What assumptions has Infosys made about LPO industry growth rates for the LPO industry? How do you assess the difference between specialized providers (like Pangea3) vs. full-service ITO/BPO providers like Infy? Do you think that eventually LPO will be done primarily for law firms, who integrate it into their services for clients or will business clients work directly with LPO providers and manage both LPO and law firm providers?
INFOSYS: Twenty to twenty-five percent would be a realistic growth rate for the LPO industry according to us.
Full service providers like Infosys offer a very different proposition to the clients that can take the LPO industry towards maturity much faster. We believe in being transformational partners with our clients leveraging consulting, technology, BPO and LPO capabilities. This helps in the following ways:
a) It provides scale to us thus enabling us to invest in best of breed talent and management oversight to provide world class experience to our clients.
b) It enables connect at a much higher level in the client organization – Head of Business Services in law firms and CFO’s / COO’s / GC in corporates. This enables us to make the LPO initiative much more strategic then tactical.
c) It enables a mix of mature services like F&A to be in play apart from LPO services – thus bringing about proven and tested business benefits through mature services and enabling a higher appetite for the clients to do more offshoring.
Right now, we see all the 3 models working. LPO’s will work through law firms and for law firms, they will also work in a 3 way arrangement with the law firms and corporate counsel, typically where corporate counsel pushed for cost reduction but wants to hold law firms responsible for the final delivery and last but not the least working directly with the corporate counsel, particularly in Infosys’ case where we have direct relationships.
Part 2 has been posted at Infosys Finally Focusing on LPO (Part 2).