Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company, which acquired Zain Africa (including Zain Nigeria) four months ago, announced its selection of IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco as partners to drive world class customer service across 16 African countries. It made the announcement in Lagos, Nigeria at a world press conference this week.
Speaking at the news conference, Swaroop said the customer service outsourcing deal will create between 20,000 to 30,000 jobs in Africa in the next two to three years, stating that 30% of the employment opportunities will be created in Nigeria.
“I am very happy to see the very best in class partners such as IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco to work with us in transforming customer service experience in Nigeria and Africa. Without a deal, this deal will not only excite and increase the level of customer satisfaction but also create more jobs for Nigerian youths,” said Swaroop.
While stating that the deal will further create opportunities for manpower development, he said the partners will provide services in each market which will sustain and build skills, capabilities and resources.
Swaroop also commended the Nigerian government for creating the right business environment and for supporting the company since it acquired Zain Nigeria in June, this year.
Under the BPO agreement, Bharti Airtel, which owns and currently operates the ‘Zain’ brand in 16 countries across Africa, will outsource core customer service functions like call centers and back office as it prepares for significant growth in the region. The mobile telecommunications operator currently has over 40 million customers across its African operations and is targeting to achieve 100 million by 2013.
The selection of partners like IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco will enable Bharti Airtel’s mobile customers to enjoy world class customer service with the partners introducing quality best practices based on their experiences of working with international organizations in the telecommunications, banking, finance, insurance and retail sectors.
The outsourcing of customer service operations will play a key role in making Bharti Airtel competitive in Africa as it focuses on making mobile communications affordable and available to everyone across its 16 markets of operation.
Currently over 4,000 people are employed in Africa supporting Bharti Airtel’s customer service operations. Going forward, the number of people employed in managing Bharti Airtel’s customer service functions will increase as Bharti Airtel expands its network and customer base.
Bharti Airtel has operations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.