Aegis Ltd. in Sri Lanka: Focusing on skills development

Saturday, 3 May 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Founded 30 years ago in USA, Aegis Ltd. is a global outsourcing and technology services company spread across 56 locations in 13 countries, with over 55,000 employees. The company marked their presence in Sri Lanka in 2009, by acquiring 80% of Ismart-Timex Ltd., thus imparting their expertise to the local market. Growing from strength to strength, Aegis Sri Lanka serves leading enterprises in the country with a base of over 350 professionals that continue to grow especially with the new expansion drive commenced by the company. With a view of expanding their services in the country while adding 1,000 jobs to the Sri Lankan market within a 12 month period, Aegis Sri Lanka opened a new state-of-the-art facility all equipped with the latest technology, customer experience tools and globally acknowledged best practices. Formed with an initial capacity of 600 seats, which translates to 1,000 jobs which in turn paves the way for 3,000-4,000 indirect employment, Aegis’ five-storied facility will be at the forefront in providing ‘a holistic Business Process Management and technology solution’ to Sri Lanka. “We believe we have an opportunity in Sri Lanka to develop the BPO market and be the largest player,” said Sandip Sen, Global CEO Aegis Ltd. who affirmed that the company puts equal emphasis on both, the back office as well as the front end operations globally. He further elaborated: “We believe that we can create an integrated BPM centre here and therefore, while there is competition, it is welcome, because Sri Lanka will be better known, and we can all grow. Our aim is that we would like to be one of the key players in what we call now the BPM or Business Process Management Market.” New approach to quality Bringing in a range of expertise that sets Aegis apart from others, the company pays detailed attention to quality and have partnered with COPC, Customer Operations Performance Centre based in Texas, which is renowned as the world’s leading authority on quality standards for customer experience. “We believe that we bring a new approach to quality, which has benefited all of our clients. We call it QPO – Quality Process Outsourcing. And that is an Aegis product,” said Sen. Further with a global presence and an extensive client list, Aegis provides the opportunity for their clients to touch different markets in various countries depending on the skill set and requirements. According to Sen, Sri Lanka has several advantages in gaining an edge in the industry – among these, an educated workforce, partiality towards finance and accounting among people and the ability to provide BCP or Business Continuity Planning are prominent. Explaining the concept behind BCP he said: “We are in the Philippines where there are typhoons. Can I give the clients more than one location as a disaster recovery or as a Business Continuity Plan? As such we could go to a client and say, listen, I know that you are doing this business in Philippines, but can you do this in Sri Lanka? And that spreads the risk for the client.” Challenges One of the main challenges faced by the company not only in Sri Lanka but also worldwide, is the availability of trained or skilled people. As such, Aegis has invested and continues to invest much on training, skill and career development, especially through their program called Aegis Aspire which enables employees to enhance their expertise and to grow within the company. “We want to work in developing skills for the business process management industry,” said Sudhir Agarwal, President, Global M&A and Strategic Initiatives – Aegis Ltd. “We would like to partner with Sri Lanka – whether it is government institutions – whether it is others to invest in skills development. That is how we can grow in Sri Lanka.” He further stressed on the importance of understanding the outsourcing industry and of gaining government support. “If you look at outsourcing, in any destination in the world, they have been successful because everyone came together. Private companies like ours can only take it so far, in any industry, and I feel if the Government can support us and we can come together, there is huge potential for this industry. Otherwise other countries would come in and take that space. Given the level of knowledge people have here everyone can come together and create the right platform where Sri Lanka can see a huge growth.” Solutions Providing end-to-end solutions, services rendered by Aegis include high-end analytics, social media, back office operations, FNA, HR and HRO (Human resource outsourcing), taking care of the entire lifecycle of customer care, where improving and moving with the rapidly changing industry standards and client requirements are addressed as well. “From a technology and facility point of view, this is the best possible and it is up to the global standards. That is the level of investment that Aegis has made and we will continue to make our investment for our clients,” said Agarwal speaking about the new facility in Sri Lanka. On a concluding note Sen added: “While we are a global company, in Sri Lanka we are a Sri Lankan company. 99.99% of our workforce is Sri Lankan. And we would love to work with the Government in Sri Lanka.”