Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Technology gives BLS International the edge in outsourced visa processing business globally.

Consular outsourcing & Visa services is a niche billion dollar industry with over a billion traveling annually for business, leisure or to immigrate. To handle such volumes this industry perforce invests heavily on cutting edge technology. BLS International, India’s largest company and second largest globally, with 102 offices worldwide in 51 countries and processing 16 million applications has a Data Management System that manages complex work-flows across five continents for the latest technology at work.

The visa application process value chain broadly consists of four major elements: application, verification, decision and document return. Barring decision making process BLS International has in-built proprietary software solution for each of the process: passport tracking, biometric solutions, e-visas, data handling, website development for each of the countries, online appointment scheduling and payment systems and more.

Digitalization is part of BLS’s every day endeavor in its drive to be user-friendly, secure networks for data security, and support client governments with that latest MIS. The technology is seen at every interface in the process for Passport and Visa cycle: 
• Appointment Booking System: Providing a user-friendly interface to the applicant for scheduling their appointment as per their convenience through Website, Call Center etc.

• Information Dissemination: Providing essential information to applicants through dedicated websites for each client diplomatic mission and call centers. .

• Acceptance of Applications: Visa applications are accepted across the counter at the VACs or applicants can apply online on a dedicated website, developed and operated by BLS. The skilled workforce ensures all the data are captured in a system for a single source for the next process of the cycle.

• Biometrics enrolment: BLS provides an end-to-end solution ranging for biometric data capture through customized software and its subsequent transfer to IT systems of the Mission.

• Database Creation: BLS has extensive experience in capturing text and photo-image data for uploading into the systems of diplomatic missions either through online file transfer or creation of data barcodes for subsequent scanning or CD-ROM.

• SMS Service Solution: Applicants can stay updated about their visa application status through SMS alerts at critical stages of the visa process; applicants are relieved of undue anxiety and impatience.

• Passport Track-and-Trace: This provides convenience and transparency to the visa process with the ability to track the movement of the passport through different stages of the process via the website.

• Hub-and-Spoke: This provides access to VACs through a wide network of collection centers, and streamlines the processing at one hub for better control and quality.

• Online Modules: These provide customized web-based solutions such as online appointments, customized application forms and various options of web payments to clients.

• Data and Document Management System: In the course of every day work there is large information flow and data management. BLS offers solutions in customized data storage platforms and manages papers currently used for visa processing. The digitized format of the documents through scanning and indexing is made available to the missions.

The benefits of digitization are that data can be readily accessed whenever required. The stringent quality check ensures that the complete end-to-end process are met and the cycle with zero error. Their operations are certified ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management Systems and ISO 270001-2013 for Information Security Management Systems.

The Boons of Digital India Initiative
Digital India was launched by the Government of India in 2015 to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and increased Internet connectivity. 

The motto of Digital India is “Power to Empower”. BLS International has followed that path since its inception in 2005 for the highest performance standards and transparency for a service delivery that every applicant is entitled. The power of technology and digitization for an empowerment in passport, visa, and consular attestation services. 

Partnering Governments for Visa, Consular & Citizen Services.

Call us on +91-11-23310658, 23716531 or
email us at info@blsinternational.com
912, Indra Prakash Building, 21 Barakhamba Road, New Delhi – 110001, India

Monday, 27 February 2017

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 2017, Bengaluru - a grand success

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Non-Resident Indian Day), is celebrated in India on 9 January every alternate year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to India's development. The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on 9 January 1915.

This edition was held in Bengaluru, capital city of Karnataka and attended by Indian diaspora from over 70 countries. This is a celebration of the achievements of the diaspora and also showcase the policy initiatives of the government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address said,“To me, FDI means First Develop India through Foreign Direct Investment, the norms of which have been fully liberalized for non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin.” The PM exhorted the diaspora to participate in flagship programmes such as Digital India, Make In India, Start-up India, Swacch Bharat and Namami Gange for the country’s all-round development.

Themed 'Redefining Engagement with the Diaspora', the conference had multiple seminar sessions on tourism development, as a preferred destination of holistic medicines, as well as contribute through “India Development Fund” in which NRIs could invest in the government's flagship projects.

Secretary (CPV & OIA), Mr.D M Mulay said in the press meet, “Presently there are nearly 3.12 crore Indians settled globally, of which nearly 1.34 crore are Persons of Indian Origin and 1.78 crore are Non Resident Indians.” 

To increase the effectiveness of the sessions Mr. D M Mulay explained “We invited overseas Indians who are domain experts in their respective fields. This is a platform that enables a direct dialogue between the overseas Indians and stakeholders in India.”

This edition made full use of smartphone features as Mr. Mulay explained,“A mobile app for convenience of delegates was introduced for the first time. The app PBD 2017 is available in Google Play and Apple App Store.”

The Ministry of External affairs in conjunction with the state government of Karnataka organized the event with the precision of a clockwork. BLS International participated as a delegate at the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, congratulates Secretary Mr. D M Mulay and team for ensuring the grand success of the three day event.

Partnering Governments for Visa, Consular & Citizen Services.

Call us on +91-11-23310658, 23716531 or
email us at info@blsinternational.com
912, Indra Prakash Building, 21 Barakhamba Road, New Delhi – 110001, India

UAE an important business destination for India and BLS International

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin
Zayed Al Nahyan Chief Guest, on the occasion of India’s
68th Republic Day celebrations.

BLS International congratulates both government of UAE and India for a special relationship built on mutual respect and close people-to-people ties as evidenced by 68th Republic Day Celebrations. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was the Chief Guest. BLS International has long relationship with UAE and works closely with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs providing specialised resources for UAE Embassies in Dhaka, Cairo, Delhi, and Kerala since 2015. It also provides expertise in the areas of Biometrics, Consular Services, IT, Attestations and to bring Service Efficiencies into the administrative processes for passport and visa at these four locations. BLS International's relationship with UAE is a testimony to the rigors of training process, cultural adaptation and competence of the organisation’s staff. It recently opened a center for Spanish Visa in Abu Dhabi in the prestigious business district of Reem Island on 22nd January, 2017.

The UAE Ambassador to India Mr. Ahmed AlBanna’s who had on the occasion of opening of New Delhi Visa Application centre late last year had said "We are proud to present the new innovative and advanced technology for improving the efficiency process of visa application centre and attestation of the documents by streamlining the process that will save a lot of time and will help manage the whole process at faster pace,” as reported in the Tribune.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi attended the celebration of India's 68th Republic Day Republic in New Delhi. A UAE Military Contingent opened the parade at the Rajpath along with the Presidential Guard only for the second time in India’s Republic Day celebration reflecting the close ties between these countries. On the occasion of Republic Day Celebrations, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: I thank HH Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for joining us during the #RepublicDay celebrations today.

The two leaders signed quite a few agreements including Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, UAE, Defense ties including manufacturing between public and private sectors, Institutional Cooperation on Maritime Transport, Road Transport and Highways, combating human trafficking, cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and more.

BLS International congratulates both UAE and India for signing an agreement on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of Diplomatic, special and Official Passports. There is a large number of Indians travelling to UAE on holiday vacations or Dubai Shopping Festival and BLS International is proud to be the Visa Application Center in the Indian capital.

It was moment to cherish when Burj Khalifa, one of the tallest buildings in the world, was lit with the colours of the Indian flag. The 68th Republic Day Celebrations were a joyous occasion to citizens of India and UAE and particularly the strong Indian community in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after Dubai. India and UAE are linked very closely thanks to over 2 million Indian expatriates who form nearly half of the UAE population. UAE is one of the richest countries in the world and a per capita income that’s over $70,000.

The 68th Republic Day Celebrations were a joyous occasion for the citizens of India and UAE and particularly the strong Indian community in Abu Dhabi.

Partnering Governments for Visa, Consular & Citizen Services.

Call us on +91-11-23310658, 23716531 or
email us at info@blsinternational.com
912, Indra Prakash Building, 21 Barakhamba Road, New Delhi – 110001, India

Visa Preparation tips

Visa interview is a face-to-face interaction between the applicant and a diplomatic officer of the country for which a request to travel is made. The purpose of a visa interview is to gauge the suitability of granting a visa after the applicant’s application has been processed and found eligible on parameters of financial security and educational qualifications.

During the visa interview, the applicant is not solely questioned on the provided information in the visa application form but also on intent and attitude. The objective of the diplomatic official is to re-confirm the applicant’s situation, his/her answer-ability, frankness, and accuracy. The Visa Officer wants to absolutely make sure the visa holder will return home within the expected time, and that he/she will not be prone to illegal activities during the stay in the foreign country.

There is an element of unpredictability to the visa interview outcomes. But there are some ground rules that improve the odds.
These essential fundamentals you just can’t afford to ignore:
1. First Impression Matters
A visa interview starts with first impressions of the applicant on the visa consular even before the first question is fired. A face-to-face provides a platform for a counselor to assess candidates through nonverbal communication as well as verbal communication.
Smile: A confident smile throughout an interview reflects a positive outlook and a person comfortable with oneself. So despite an understandable nervousness, applicants are advised to smile. A frown is an absolute no-no.

Eye contact: Eye contact with the visa officer is extremely crucial. Looking down or side may even give an erroneous impression of being dishonest and the data in the application fradulent. On the other hand an eye contact shows sincerity and friendliness.

Posture: Right posture is a positive sign of confidence and poise. Take a deep breath and stand up straight.Slouching, folding arms, and any sign of fidgetiness must be consciously refrained.
2. Dress formally
Never walk into the interview looking sloppy. A formal wear is recommended: neatly ironed shirt and tie and formal shoes for men. Women are advised to wear a conservative suit and formal blouse with minimal jewelry and sparse perfume. Don’t go heavy on make-up. The idea is to look neat and professional. Chewing gum, jeans, sneakers, T-shirts are a strict no. Avoid bright colours and be as formal in attire as possible.

3. Clear communication is vitally important
Communication can make or break in the interview. Effective communication projects a positive image and boosts your chances. Speak clearly and in a neutral accent as possible. Avoid using slangs and also filler words such as ‘Like’, ‘Um’, or ‘I guess’ in sentences. Pay extreme attention to the counselor questions and answer slowly and in a clear voice. Communication is often the deciding parameter for issue of visa and it pays to rehearse this aspect either with a native speaker or in your friends’ circle.

4. Keep it short and crisp
Normally, visa interview doesn’t last more than 10 minutes. And if you are fortunate, even less than two minutes if all the papers are in order and you make a good impression. As they are large number of applicants, counselors are extremely busy and try to conduct interviews quickly and efficiently. It is advised that you keep your answers brief and strictly to the point. Waffling must be avoided and so too elaborate explanations and needles examples.

5. Don’t let fear get the better of you
A little nervousness is but natural. The pressure to do well in the interview should not lead to excessive anxiety. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Just be yourself.

If you have a sound reason to visit that country then you are mostly likely to succeed in getting the visa clearance.

Partnering Governments for Visa, Consular & Citizen Services.

Call us on +91-11-23310658, 23716531 or
email us at info@blsinternational.com
912, Indra Prakash Building, 21 Barakhamba Road, New Delhi – 110001, India

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

BLS International – Soaring new heights

Visa/application processing is a niche market with only a few specialized players globally. BLS International is the only Indian player and is the second largest globally. It has processed ~ 16 million applications till date and ~ `1.5 million in FY 2016.

BLS International works with 23 Indian missions and 8 foreign missions and is aiming to expanding its footprint.

Winning the 175 million Euro contract of the Spain government in June 2016 has been a feather in BLS International’s cap. It is a testimony to its professional skills, technological competance and trained manpower to deliver services of global standards.

BLS International will open almost 100 global consulate offices in over 38 countries for exclusively processing Spanish Visas. Of these, 53 Spanish Visa Application Centers (VACs) have already gotten operational in December 2016. After winning the Spain Global contract, BLS International has offices in over 60 countries.

The Exective Director, Mr. Karan Aggarwal said, “Our company’s vision is to become the largest government-to-citizen (G2C) player in the world, facilitating related government agencies all over the world. Our business model is simple--we help governments to focus on judging and decision making and also on carrying out all other non-judgemental activities for them.”

The company is aiming to expand its presence in the Foreign mission category where there is immense opportunity. In FY 2017 around ten foreign mission contacts are coming up with a potential volume of ~7.56mn visas . BLS is aiming for Thailand Global and Canada Global contracts which would boost its market share and profitability. The optimism stems from being pre-qualified to these tenders.

Says Mr. Aggarwal, “Since major growth comes with winning of contracts, we have experienced that an industry growth takes place in steps. FY17 has been phenomenal for us with 2 major contracts coming our way. The growth is expected to be multi-fold in FY17 and FY18. On a 5-year horizon, we hope to maintain our compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45-47% on revenues.”

By executing the Spain contract BLS has proved itself to be in the major league. Given its sharp focus on customer satisfaction, partnering best global consultants, increased data security, manpower and organization structuring, and operational efficiencies; BLS International should make rapid strides in 2017 with more client governments signing into its services.

Partnering Governments for Visa, Consular & Citizen Services.

Call us on +91-11-23310658, 23716531 or
email us at info@blsinternational.com
912, Indra Prakash Building, 21 Barakhamba Road, New Delhi – 110001, India

BLS International completes e-Governance project in Punjab ahead of schedule!

All 2147 Sewa kendras allotted are now functional!

Chandigarh, 17 November, 2016 : BLS International Services Ltd. a specialist provider for Outsourcing of Visa, Passport and Attestation Services across the globe was awarded with the contract of providing citizen services at all Sewa Kendras constructed by the Government in Punjab and facilitating the e‐Governance project in the State, in the month of May 2016. In the last 6 months, the company has activated all Sewa Kendras and also taken over the management of the erstwhile Suwidha Kendras previously run by the Government, much ahead of the given timeframe.

The project was awarded to the company by the state government to provide over 250 citizen services with the setting up of Sewa Kendras across the state. BLS International has deployed state of art technology to secure and maintain sensitive citizen data and personal details. The company has so far processed over 500,000 applications across all Sewa Kendras over the last 100 days. BLS international is expected to generate approx Rs 1300 crs of revenues through this project.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Nikhil Gupta, MD, BLS International Services said “We are proud to announce that we have completed the e‐Governance project well ahead of schedule and have commenced operations across all Sewa Kendras. We are committed to serve the people of Punjab and would also like to thank the Government of Punjab for entrusting us with the responsibility”.

“We would like to take similar initiatives in other parts of the country and expedite the process of e‐Governance in those states” he further added.
Partnering Governments for Visa, Consular & Citizen Services.

Call us on +91-11-23310658, 23716531 or
email us at info@blsinternational.com
912, Indra Prakash Building, 21 Barakhamba Road, New Delhi – 110001, India