News : Aegis Plans to Enter Call Centre Markets in Japan and Korea
Mumbai, July 29, 2014 -- Aegis is looking at a strategy known as 'cross-shoring,' as well as acquisitions, as it looks to crack the call centre business in the unpenetrated and insular call-centre markets of Japan and Korea.
The 'cross-shoring' plan involves the Mumbai-based company basing native speakers of Japanese and Korean at its offshore centres to offer what it believes will be a full range of potential options to customers.
Earlier this month, Aegis said it agreed to sell its US, Philippines and Costa Rican centres to Teleperformance as it focuses on the faster-growing Asia-Pacific markets.
"The US market is mature and though it is large, there is a lot of competition. On the other hand, Asia-Pacific is immature, it's growing quickly and we would have first mover advantage over there. We are looking to make Malaysia our base for serving countries like Korea and Japan," CEO Sandip Sen told ET.
The business process outsourcing market in Asia-Pacific is expected to exceed $9 billion by 2016, according to research firm Gartner.
"The Asia/Pacific BPO market is still relatively underdeveloped and underexploited (with the exception of Australia and New Zealand) when compared with other markets or regions. This presents opportunities to BPO service providers that are willing to invest in the region," TJ Singh, research director at Gartner, wrote in a note.
Even though it is ready to invest, Aegis admits that there are challenges to growing in the Japan and Korea. The countries have traditionally been insular markets and there are few in India who speak Japanese or Korean.
"We are looking at bringing small groups of native Japanese and Korean speakers and base them in Malaysia for two-three year stints. That way we can offer clients native speakers, a mix of native and non-native speakers or just nonnative speakers, depending on what they want. We can still offer a cost benefit even with the native speakers working out of Malaysia," Sen said.
The company had earlier piloted a cross-shoring proggram in Coimbatore for the US market in 2012. Sen added the company is in advanced talks with a Korean player for an acquisition in that market. He declined to name the company or give a timeline for any potential deal. Aegis, which already works with some multinationals based in Japan, is looking to grow its Malaysian headcount as the country will become a significant delivery centre for North Asia.
Since the acquisition in Malaysia, Aegis has more than doubled the headcount of that unit to 2,000 and is looking to add more sales teams. "We already have half a dozen salespeople in Malaysia, a couple in Singapore and are looking to build teams in Japan and Korea. These are just the hunters. Then there will be presales and things like that which we are also looking to expand," Sen said.
In addition to growing in Malaysia, Aegis is also looking to boost the headcount of its India business to about 30,000 from 21,000 by the end of the current financial year. The company is also opening centres in Karnal, Ajmer, Dehradun, Guwahati, Trivandrum and Bhubhaneshwar in August.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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As a provider in customer care and acquisition for over three decades, Aegis has a track record of introducing process and technology innovations. Today, several Fortune 500 clients trust Aegis to manage their customer interaction, back office and other routine business processes. Aegis’s culture is unique in terms of recognizing its employees as the foundation of its success. We invest in our people because we recognize their importance in our partnerships with clients. In the virtual business environment, there is no difference between your team and ours; more importantly, there is no difference between your customer and ours.
Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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