India’s Aegis to invest R500 million into SA’s economy

Aparup Sengupta, Managing Director and Global CEO, Aegis Ltd (image credit: Aegis Global Academy
Indian outsourcing services group Aegis is on track to invest a total of R500 million in the South African Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector in the next 18 months. The investment will see the creation of at least 5 000 additional jobs.

Aegis, which entered South Africa last year with the acquisition of CCN Group, is part of the $15 billion Essar Group. Encouraged by the current market response from the SA BPO sector, the company is now well on its path to ramp up its presence in the country.

According to the latest figures from Frost & Sullivan, South Africa has a $960 million annual BPO industry, which is forecast to grow to $1.9 billion by 2015. Revenue was estimated at $885.2 million in 2007.

The country’s BPO sector is seen as a key economic driver and has the potential to create thousands of jobs, especially for lower-skilled people. However, the industry, and the call centre segment in particular, has been under strain recently, as a result of the global economic crisis.

“Despite a challenging economic environment which has resulted in the sector reporting flat lining, we have delivered growth. We are very bullish on the future and have received very good traction from new customers, particularly in the insurance and telecom space,” says Aegis BPO Holdings SA Senior Vice President, Kobus van der Van der Westhuizen.

Van der Westhuizen says that in order to address the employability concern and skills development issues, Aegis plans to launch the Aegis Global Academy’s ICEM in South Africa, which will assist in addressing the current skills shortage.

Aegis Global Academy’s ICEM is a centre of excellence that arms students with both the academic skills and work experience they need to enter the BPO sector.

The impending launch of the Aegis Global Academy’s ICEM has also been welcomed by industry association BPeSA. “It is wonderful to see a company in the industry showing that it is prepared to put its hands in its own pockets for skills development,” said BPeSA CEO, Bulelwa Koyana.

Aegis is an outsourcing services partner for more than 135 clients and with over two decades of leadership in total customer lifecycle management. The company has more than 39,000 employees across 42 locations, with a presence in ten countries, serving verticals such as BFSI, Telecom, Healthcare, Travel & Hospitality, Consumer Goods, Retail and Technology.