Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Malaysia outsourcing position could be in jeopardy (Call center Malaysia)

By Biz Times

MALAYSIA'S position as a preferred outsourcing hub could be in jeopardy as investors turn to cheaper locations during these tough economic times, an industry official said.

"While we may fare well with infrastructure, political stability, human capital and financial security, the million dollar question is still 'Are we cost-attractive?'," Customer Relationship Management and Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CCAM) president Leo Ariyanayakam said.

He said since January this year, the industry has seen global clients looking for ways to cut costs.
"In the past month itself, we have seen blue-chip companies that used Malaysia as an outsourcing hub migrate up to 80 per cent of their back-office operations out of the country. "In times like these, cost is pivotal to global companies operating outside their shores. Malaysia may not have the desired cost advantage today to drive global outsourcers to its shores without stiff competition from countries like the Philippines," Ariyanayakam told Business Times.

He said there are many areas that the government can help to make Malaysia attractive as an outsourcing destination.

They include:
* Subsidising the cost of providing local human capital to the industry;
* Re-training grants to deploy displaced workers into the contact centre industry; and,
* Subsidising real-estate cost so that immediate value and cost propositions can be made to outsourcing clients to retain their businesses in Malaysia.

"A national framework for retraining and skills enhancement needs to be accelerated to provide value-added job creation for all categories of workers, be they unemployed graduates, the recently retrenched or the under-employed.

"With this in mind, speed-to- market is of the essence and funds for the re-education of our workforce are urgently required," Ariyanayakam said.

He said the government could also increase the number of value-added jobs available by providing enhanced services to the public, through the provision of outsourced contracts to local firms.

CCAM has about 500 members and they comprise mainly those in the banking, finance, hospitality, telecommunications and entertainment sectors.

Ariyanayakam is also chief executive officer and group executive director of Scicom (MSC) Bhd.
*Scicom (MSC) Berhad is a call center located/ address @ Menara TA One, Jalan P.Ramlee. Their clients include Nokia, GE money, Singtel, BAT, Viva Macau and etc.