Media Room: Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 (NNN-Bernama) -- Malaysia's outsourcing industry is expected to grow between 15 and 20 per cent this year as more companies outsource their services to remain competitive.
However, to remain competitive in the outsourcing market in the future, Malaysia will have to focus on segments where it can have an edge such as the mid-layer segment as the low-end segment is now dominated by India.
"I foresee good growth in the outsourcing industry because it helps to drive down cost," said Interactive Intelligence Inc's regional sales director for Asean, David Toh Yue Heng.
He told Bernama recently that the outsourcing industry in Asia was led by India for years but as salaries went up, people started to look at other countries that offered better and value-added outsourcing services.
According to Toh, Malaysia's advantage is its multilingual talents.
"We can speak multiple language apart from English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil, and some even speak Japanese and Korean," he said.
Based on a study by AT Kearney, Malaysia is ranked third in the Asia Pacific region for outsourcing.
Asked whether Malaysia was prepared to become a contact centre hub in the future, Toh said Malaysia has "all the ingredients to become a successful hub".
Among them were skilled workers, resources and infrastructure as well as reasonable cost, he said.
"Hence, with all the ingredients, it is possible," he added.
Toh said the government and the people in the industry should work hand-in-hand to achieve their aims and attract external markets.
Among the key areas that Malaysia could focus were the government sector, and inbound and outbound markets, he said.
Toh said the ongoing efforts by government agencies to improve the public delivery system offered opportunities for call centre operators to look into the segment.
Traditionally, he said, most government agencies used the telephone system for communication.
Of other segments, the outbound market is one of the key areas with potential for growth, Toh said.
He said outbound call is one initiated from a call centre agent to a customer on behalf of the call centre or a client.
Typical outbound calls include include telemarketing, sales or fund-raising calls, as well as calls for contact list updating, surveys or verification services.
A call centre may handle either outbound or inbound calls exclusively or deal with a combination of both.
MALAYSIA'S outsourcing industry may increase to US$1.1 billion this year from about US$900 million last year, according to the Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry of Malaysia (PIKOM).
Wong said Malaysia's outsourcing industry has a small share in the US$220 billion global IT and IT-enabled services outsourcing market.
He said BPO services were expected to grow at a CAGR of 15 per cent boosted by more banks, financial firms and companies looking to outsource human resource services.
Wong said presently, the industry was focused on expansion in Asia, Middle East and Africa markets, enhancing service niche areas like Islamic finance and strengthening position in shared service outsourcing.
"To sustain growth in the long run, local players should identify, invest and strategise for capturing niche opportunities rather than blindly follow large successful outsourcing companies in India and Philippines.
"The local companies can leverage on domestic market with capabilities in legal, engineering, manufacturing design and animation services," he said.
Wong said PIKOM also encouraged government-linked companies and large multinational corporations to outsource their non-core activities to widen the outsourcing market scale.
"The non-core activities include maintenance, help desk, ICT equipment, call and data centre," he said. – BERNAMA