One of the great things about today’s tech-driven world is that everyone has the liberty to perform their daily jobs digitally, anywhere. All thanks to the wonders of the internet. It has also been easier for businesses to hire professional talents, like virtual assistants, from across the globe through outsourcing.
Notably, two of the top outsourcing destinations as of today are India and the Philippines. While hiring through an outsourcing company is a good choice, another excellent staffing option would be individual contractors like virtual assistants. To be specific, hiring an Indian VA offers a lot of favorable perks to all types of organizations.
For foreign companies that are looking for a reliable virtual assistant, it is always a viable solution to hire in developing countries. These are not just because of the people’s skills and talents but also of its cost-effectiveness.
Further, India is one country known to have skilled VAs that have in-depth knowledge in various online tasks.
What does a virtual assistant do?
A virtual assistant is someone who performs remote administrative tasks given by clients. Virtual assistants are considered individual contractors that usually operate on a home office setup. More so, they can work for one specific client or different clients at the same time.
In terms of the services they provide, it can range from a simple data-entry task, or customer service, to tasks that require specialized skills and experience. As they become more in-demand today, so as their wider scope of duties and responsibilities.
VAs also perform tasks related to social media management, content writing, graphic design, bookkeeping, appointment scheduling, and more. Basically, a VA’s role for every client will depend on the company’s needs, including the terms indicated in their contract.
Startups as well as small business owners are the ones that can get the most out of virtual assistants. VAs are very helpful for these types of companies as they are able to save massive costs. More so, allocate these expenses into more important aspects of their growing business.
Another good thing is that having an extended workforce allows them to save more time to focus on their business core.
Virtual assistant qualifications
Anyone can become a virtual assistant as this type of job has no specific educational requirements. There isn’t a specified age bracket for VAs, they can be fresh graduates with no experience or retirees with wide industry experience. They can also be employees with full-time jobs that are looking to do some extra work for extra income.
A good work ethic, skills, technological resources, and a reliable internet are what makes a virtual assistant. A good virtual assistant should be tech-savvy, have excellent communication skills, and is well organized.
Outsourcing VAs in India
India often comes to mind in terms of foreign companies that are looking to offshore. These days, it has also been on top of the list of go-to countries in hiring virtual assistants. This is mainly because a huge portion of the country’s population is able to speak the English language fluently.
Further, India also has a good number of BPO hubs that are employing virtual assistants.
Indians are known to be hard-working, polite, well educated, and are very popular in terms of technical skills. In fact, 52% of India’s GDP comes from the outsourcing sector and a huge part of it specifically from the IT industry.
Aside from professional skills, what draws foreign companies to hire VAs in India is its lower costs. Paying for a virtual assistant in the country is way cheaper compared to a VA in the US and Europe. Because of the time-zone differences, Indian VAs are able to offer their services around the clock or at least for extended periods.
This is a good advantage for foreign companies as they are able to operate over extended hours or even for twenty-four hours.
Top VA services in India
Companies of all sizes and different types of industries can outsource almost anything to virtual assistants. Virtual assistant tasks in this day and age are very diverse.
Here we have outlined the top VA services that foreign companies commonly avail of in India:
Administrative virtual assistant
This is perfect for startups or small businesses with a growing customer base. A skilled admin VA can help business owners run their daily operations smoothly. In terms of their roles, they usually handle repetitive daily tasks.
Examples of their responsibilities are setting appointments, calendar management, scheduling meetings, and more.
Virtual personal assistant
A virtual personal assistant commonly works for business executives or busy people who do not have enough time for their personal lives. Virtual personal assistants handle their travel bookings, holiday plans, restaurant reservations, and spa appointments.
In some cases, VAs are also tasked with buying specific gifts for their client’s loved ones.
Social media personal assistant
In terms of social media, VAs manage specific parts of their clients’ social media marketing as well as their customer support. Social media personal assistants are usually in charge of keeping all their clients’ social media accounts engaging and relevant to the public eye. They can also manage scheduling posts, advertisements, analytics, and also writing business blogs.
As for customer service, a lot of customers prefer reaching out to brands through social media. It is also a part of a VA’s role to respond to customers’ inquiries at all times.
Virtual marketing assistant
A virtual marketing assistant has a wider scope of responsibilities than a social media personal assistant. This type of VA requires domain knowledge about the client’s business.
Part of a virtual marketing assistant’s tasks can include performing market research, keyword research, and SEO optimization.
Ecommerce virtual assistant
Entrepreneurs who run an e-commerce store in amazon or Shopify are the usual ones that acquire an e-commerce virtual assistant. Ecommerce VAs are often in charge of listing their clients’ products on different e-commerce platforms. They also handle writing product descriptions, data entry, customer management, and inventory management.
Where to find an Indian VA
There are a lot of freelance online platforms that organizations can look through in searching for the right Indian VA. Upwork has always been one of the top freelance platforms with thousands of available virtual assistants with specialized skills.
As we have discussed earlier, Indian virtual assistants are typically employed in BPO companies in the country. Unlike in the Philippines where most VAs are individual contractors that work from the comforts of their homes. As for organizations that are in search of the right Indian VA, start by looking at the leading outsourcing companies in the country. In one of our previous guides, we have outlined the TOP 30 BPO companies in India.