Boston (Agencies): India remains the most preferred back-office of the world thanks to its "first-mover advantage" and deep skill base, as per global management consulting firm AT Kearney's ranking of the best outsourcing destinations.

The top three positions in AT Kearney's 2011 Global Services Location Index (GSLI) are occupied by three Asian countries: India, China and Malaysia.

"India is the all-around standout, able to provide manpower for any type of offshoring activity. With its first-mover advantage and deep skill base, it still maintains the lion's share of the IT services market," the report stated.

Moreover, the report says India has established itself proficient at competing in all dimensions of the industry, being the "preeminent destination and leader" in all fields of offshore services.

India has excellence in IT, in BPO because of the large annual output of qualified graduates and in voice, because of the English language capabilities of its population.

Asia ranked highly all through the rest of the top 10, which features Indonesia (5), Thailand (7), Vietnam (8) and the Philippines (9).

China has begun proposing specialised skills not only in English, but also Korean, Japanese and in the country’s own language.

However, China may not make a great impact in the call centre arena, the report said that China's most attractive avenues are high-end analytics and advanced IT, where it is an alternative to Russia and Eastern Europe. Yet it can be a strong competitor to India in the BPO sector.

The Global Services Location Index analyses and ranks the top 50 countries across the world for locating outsourcing activities, including IT services and support, contact centres and back-office support.

The rankings are based on performance in categories such as financial attractiveness, people and skills availability and the business environment of a country.