Virtual captives are increasingly becoming an acceptable solution as they occupy a median position in a spectrum that is occupied by third party outsourcing on one end and captives on the other. For the mid-market enterprises, who end up experiencing a ‘small-fish’ syndrome with large third-party providers and captive remains a pipedream due to lack of capital/appetite, virtual captive offers best of both worlds. It is essentially a hybrid model wherein a local provider will provide all the necessary infrastructure (managed facility, hardware, connectivity etc), talent (sourcing, recruitment & HR), compliance and support services (accounting, compliance, IT operations) while letting the client retain full control of the operations.
Some of the specific advantages this sourcing model offers
- Higher degree of control: This model allows the enterprise to have full control of the business operations while the back-office set-up and processes are managed by the local provider. The enterprise leadership can practically walk-in and focus on business without having to worry about the ‘operational’ and ‘compliance’ overheads on Day 1.
- Transparent and Flexible Pricing Model: The most common construct is a cost-plus structure wherein the provider charges a mark-up on costs i.e., Talent (typically 70-85% of the costs), Infrastructure and Support function costs. Numerous as-a-service pricing models (GCC-as-a-service, Talent-as-a-service, Compliance-as-a-service etc) are also available for enterprises who may want to a bundled price or specific services.
- Reduced time to market: Mature providers are able to provide a significant jumpstart to the timeline leveraging their well tested operations templates and readily available workforce.
- Low Capex: Unlike a captive that involves significant upfront investments in infrastructure set up, this is a fully variable ‘Pay as you grow’ model. This is extremely useful especially for mid-market enterprises who can test the concept without necessarily having to block large sums of capital.