Ikenna Odike, Managing Director, Customer Contact Solution Limited, an indigenous company, which specializes in professional, high quality outsourced customer contact solutions, says that with the current national policy on outsourcing and increased investment, the outsourced call centre industry will be worth $1 billion in the next three years.
This is even as India 's share of outsourced Information Technology (IT) services alone stood at $12 billion in 2004 with the growth continuing over the years. Also, global outsourcing, which in 2005 stood at $140 billion, is expected to cross over $220 billion by 2010, growing at an average of 10 percent annually.
He said this at media parley heralding the Customer Service and Contact Centre West Africa Conference scheduled to hold at the Victoria Crown Plaza Hotel, Lagos over 19-20, November with the theme: "Achieving World Class service through World Class technology".
Odike said: "Over the last two decades, outsourcing, especially IT-enabled version, has taken the world by the storm, becoming one of the major revenue generators in developing countries."
"With increasing high costs of labour and other operational costs, companies in developed countries are shifting their operations to third party companies located in developing countries that have comparatively lower labour costs with abundance of high level skills", he added.
He pointed out that the governments of India , Malaysia , Singapore and even China are investing massively to make their countries the preferred destinations for global outsourcing.
He noted that outsourcing is critical to addressing the unemployment crisis in the country. " Nigeria has many endowments that make it attractive to outsourcing. The country has highly skilled manpower with excellent competence in the use of English language. What we need is the enabling environment and framework to convert these endowments into competitive advantage."
In the same vein, Chiekezie Emeribe, Chief Technical Officer, T3 Communications observed: "For us, there is a huge market for outsource services In Nigeria. If you look at the capacity that we have got in terms of resources, in terms of population, If you look how we have grown over the past seven years from 400, 000 lines to over 55 million lines. There is a capability for us to become the next India , the next outsource country of the world."
He said: "With over 54 million active subscribers, the GSM companies do not have enough installed capacity to cater for this population. Therefore, it is a huge latent business opportunity for Nigerians to get involved in this industry."
"British Telecommunications Group (BT) had more than 20, 000 call centre agent and more than half of them are outsourced, however the active subscriber base that BT alone has is nowhere near what we have in Nigeria. That gives you an idea of the kind of opportunity there is for contact centres in Nigeria . We see it mushrooming in the next three years time."
Speaking on the conference, Ryan Moroney, Events Director, AITEC Africa, the continents leading organisers of ICT events said: "This will be a focused event for the increasing number of organisations in West Africa with established contacts centres - and those planning to set up centres - to learn about world trends and latest developments in contact centre technologies and management strategies."
"Telecom operators, banks and other financial service companies, outsourcing operators, airlines, oil companies, public utilities and government departments will be key participating sectors."
He pointed out: "The event will provide a unique marketing platform for vendors in the contact centre and customer service industries to market their products, services and solution in a focused exhibition as part of the event, and present case studies and educational presentations in the conference."
"What we anticipate with this conference is that it will bring about the awareness that there are indigenous companies offering world class services"
Source: BusinesDay Nigeria