The country has been urged to tap into the opportunities the Business Process Outsourcing can offer the economy in the age of Information Technology, especially in job creation and its contribution to lifting the Gross Domestic Product.
The appeal came from iSON BPO, saying that Nigeria’s BPO market was worth over $300m, just as MTN stated that it signed an outsourcing contract with ISON BPO Limited in 2015 following a competitive bid process.
“Indeed MTN’s call centre operations were outsourced to independent third party agencies since 2008, as part of continued efforts to improve the efficiency and quality of customer service delivery in MTN. This is in line with global best practice for organisations in our industry,” the MTN’s Executive, Amina Oyagbola, said.
The iSON Group Chief Executive Officer, Pravin Kumar, said, “We have been managing MTN’s call centres since last year when the first phase of the transition was carried out, with the second phase taking place at this time.
“We are pleased to have emerged as the new partner to deliver cost-effective solutions, adopting state-of-the-art technology that supports world-class customer service.”
“The drive for efficient customer service delivery without compromising on quality within prevailing economic realities comes with structural adjustments and we work to balance this with the need to ensure the sustainability of our operations.”
He added, “We have continued to engage with those who are interested in taking up the opportunity to work with iSON under agreed terms. At iSON, we remain committed to delivering outsourcing solutions to our clients that also provide thousands of job opportunities to members of the communities in which we operate.”
Although India and China have dominated the BPO industry, as the cost of outsourcing gets higher, companies are looking for other possible destinations.
With the high youth population in the country, the next market, according to iSON, should be Nigeria.
The Head, iSON Call Centre, Abeokuta, Shobhit Saxena, said the firm had presence in 29 countries and employees’ strength of over 10,000 in Africa and Middle East countries.
He said that iSON BPO was the largest independent outsourcing service provider in Africa and ASEAN regions, stressing that it served 200 million customers providing analytics, customer experience management, voice process solutions and CRM process solutions.
With iSON customers, including MTN, Airtel, Vodafone, Etisalat, Tigo, Standard Chartered, GTBank, Safaricom, Multichoice, Globacom, Fastjet, Union Bank, among others, Saxena said the BPO was a new economic opportunity for emerging African economy.
However, he said government in Africa needed to partner the private sector under a Public Private Partnership arrangement, for a virile BPO sub-sector to evolve in African countries.
According to him, apart from helping African economy to grow and be in tune with the international business ethics, the establishment of the BPO will help reduce high unemployment rate in Africa countries.
Giving more insight into how outsourcing business could be more effective in Nigeria and other parts of the continent, the iSON’s Chief Marketing Officer, Opemipo Alebiosu, said authorities in African countries would need to remove entry barriers for investors in the BPO, develop fast and integrated infrastructure in transport logistics and telecommunication.
Alebiosu, who hinted that five per cent of iSON staff quota had been reserved for people living with disabilities, said Nigeria and indeed Africa had the resources to evolve a virile competitive BPO outlet.
This, he stressed, was because of the availability of cheap labour, skill manpower, and huge market for Western products as well as cultural affiliation with the Western World.
“But governments in these countries need to create the enabling environment for prospective BPO investors to operate in Africa,” he added.
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