Monthly Archives: June 2012
From the land of mythologies to the land of opportunities, Indonesia is fast emerging as a global business hub. My recent visit to this 3rd biggest democracy of the world, changed my perspective of the Indonesian market. The occasion ladies and gents was the TBCCII Award Ceremony 2012, at the suave, Indonesia Contact Center Association in Jakarta.
If ever there was a mix of the bulls and bears there were also teetotalers like me. As the presenter of the award I met entrepreneurs both small and big, but it were the rookies who took the centre stage. The other trend that stood out in this terms ceremony was the emergence of women entrepreneurs, if it were up to me I’d give away awards for the best dress, the best smile, and such for the beautiful ladies that graced the occasion.
But the life of a cubiclewallah is not meant for such contrivances it is meant for numbers and stats and held hostage to the economics of survival. So here are a few stats that I happened to impress an earnest intern with:
The Indonesian call center market is big and by big I mean big, because more than a 1000 people just came from this industry alone at the awards. The name of the game is SMBs ladies and gents because a lot of startups, you know the 50 to 100 seater ones serve as the quarterbacks for the expansion goals of the industry.
Wandering on to the ambience of the event I moved towards the dinner table. So I talked to this guy from the ICCA Hong Kong, because I hate eating alone at an event. So small talk led to a discussion and eventually a typical business analysis of the entire scenario, here is what he had to say, “I am an HR guy, so from my perspective there is a massive scope for lending training expertise to the Indonesian call center markets.” Judging from the MTI influence of most of the speakers at the event I agreed that the guy had a point. Ancillary Industries would hate to miss this open barbeque,(loved the food !) and are already exploring advanced options to cater the industry.
Being at an event without an aid to chat with usually makes me more of a social animal. So with scotch in my hands and socrates in my head, my attention was drawn to Uganda. Why Uganda? because this was the first time I was seeing another east African country projecting itself as an outsourcing destination. Least of all when it is shedding the all Africa stereotype of being just a wildlife tourist attraction. Seriously! we have only heard about Kenya trying to make the right noises in the BPO arena till now. Apparently, the east except Kenya and West Africa (MENA) region has been slower than others in surfing on the waves of outsourcing, but it seems like a high tide time for the region.
Par exemple Badru Ntege, whose company NFT Consult does human resource management is helping Uganda build business relations in India & Kenya. Uganda’s expected to grow at a much faster rate than any other country in the region over the next 3 years under a new programme “Turn to Uganda… Your Smart Shore Destination” which is by no means a stilted proposition but a fast approaching reality. He further adds Uganda has a great potential for wildlife and natural fauna .WHAT! sorry for the googly, of course I meant it has a great potential for becoming a preferred BPO destination in the East and Central African region. The event dredged on and I needed a drink.
Later in the evening, I happened to meet Kofi Worlanyo from Ghana, and as I joked with the idea of having an equivalent of NASSCOM in Ghana with him, I put my foot in my mouth when he handed me his card,
(Ghana Association of Software and IT Service Companies)
The African countries are now beginning to position themselves very strongly as an outsourcing destination and the existing players in the market will be left with few options, but to move up the value chain and find newer niches for themselves or open up shops in these developing nations. Should we be worried about new competition from Africa? Time for another drink I’d say ..
On a more sober note opportunities abound at home, Indian companies are increasingly looking to acquire a global footprint and establish their leadership in other countries too.Since Thomas Friedman wrote “The World is Flat”, going global has an added charm to it.