CAIRO: Egypt’s Xceed plans to double the size of its operations by 2013, the vice president of the company said.
A provider of multilingual business process outsourcing (BPO) services, Xceed currently has two contact centers in Egypt and one in Morocco with 2,000 total employees. And right now, “business is booming,” said Xceed Vice President Osama Nazmy.
“There is a great potential around the world for outsourcing and the necessary environment conducive to the business is available here,” Nazmy told Daily News Egypt in a telephone interview
Outsourcing and off-shoring are viewed as cost-effective, productive and strategic components to Egypt’s rapidly emerging IT sector.
Egypt expects the outsourcing industry to bring in $1.1 billion this year, with the goal of generating $2 billion in revenue by 2013 and $10 billion in 10 years, reported Reuters in March. The global outsourcing industry was valued at $13 billion in 2009.
Last year, Egypt was ranked 13th in the field of global service delivery, according to an AT Kearny survey, and moved up to sixth place this year.
Xceed is seen as a pioneer in Egypt’s budding outsourcing and off-shoring industry. Since the establishment of the company as a call center and technology hub for Telecom Egypt in 2001, Xceed has acquired a large number of global business powerhouses as clients, Nazmy said.
“The center started serving Microsoft in 2004 and we now serve Microsoft in 19 different countries in nine different languages,” he added.
Xceed also provides services for Cisco Systems, Videotron, the second biggest cable and phone operator in Canada, as well as UAE-based telecom operator du.
While Xceed focuses mainly on offshore outsourcing, they also have important local accounts.
“One example is the call center for Egypt’s emergency ambulance services, the 123 hotline,” Nazmy said.
Xceed was named the largest exporter of IT services in Egypt out of 57 companies, according to Nazmy.
BPO entails selecting specific processes that are usually done in-house that can be outsourced to increase efficiency and decrease costs.
“It’s not only answering the phone and customer care. This is just one aspect of our work,” Nazmy explained.
Xceed provides a wide array of services, including payroll processing, data entry, records management, order management, claims management, and case management.
Nazmy attributes the particular success of call centers in Egypt to the country’s competitive multilingual labor force.
“Accents are very important; we can have employees with accents and skills in different European languages, nearly as good as in Europe, while offering competitive prices,” he said. “Our accents are much better than in India, although their prices are more competitive.”
The available infrastructure, in terms of connectivity and reliability of power, also support the success of the industry.
The business environment has improved, with additional funding and support from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), which now subsidizes exhibitions and travel expenses necessary to promote these services abroad by up to 80 percent.
“The MCIT also subsidizes the intercontinental line connections between Egypt and Europe, allowing us to charge cheaper rates for phone calls,” he added.
“This [environment] is the main reason why many global competitors have moved in. This business is very profitable and I see it growing and expanding in the future,” said Nazmy.
Talking about the company’s value to the economy, Nazmy said that they have a high turnover rate, with people working there an average of two years. After gaining business training, employees usually move on to higher earning positions — taking the newly obtained knowledge of business processes and professionalism with them.
Xceed’s corporate social responsibility also includes investments in human capital by starting a center in cooperation with Microsoft, teaching basic digital literacy to the Abu Rawash community close to the Smart Village where Xceed’s first center is located.
According to Nazmy, the company has also started a move towards a more sustainable corporate development strategy, striving to “go green” by recycling all the paper they use and donating the proceeds to a development NGO.
Xceed Vice President Osama Nazmy