Sykes launches call center in India

Monday, 30 September 2002, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: Sykes Enterprises, a global leader in customer management services, has launched its call center in India to meet pressure from U.S. clients in the wake of the September 11 spin to business worldwide.

The opening of the Tampa (Florida)-based company's 42nd call center in the world here marks the further consolidation of a trend started by multinational GE Capital to have multiple locations, globally as well as within the country, here in India's tech capital.

The call center of the Nasdaq-listed company, with an initial capacity of 255 seats, would be scaled up to at least 1,000 seats by end of 2003 to provide offshore services for credit card holders of a financial services customer across the U.S.

"India allows us to give tremendous voice and data support with its highly educated workforce. But from the U.S. point of view, it will be real time disaster capability in the wake of 9/11 that customers are paying more attention to than anything else in the last one year," John Sykes, chairman and CEO, said.

"Companies in the past always spoke about global support. But it is only in the last one year that global support is becoming truly global."

India is the 18th country in the world where Sykes runs business process outsourcing operations.

"The Bangalore center will provide technical and customer service."

The new center, which went live this week, is integrated into Sykes' private global ATM network which provides a "lot of functionality", linking its call centers all over the world, particularly in the Asian region.

The local center works, in tandem, with the customer support service centers in Manila.

"India has built a strong reputation for its peoples' resources. We were, as a matter of fact, persuaded by our clients to have a center in India because the costs are also low," said Michael Henderson, managing director, Asia Pacific Rim.

"Multiple locations also give us an opportunity to explore another labor market. And expand our global footprint to provide business continuity."

Sykes does not rule out the possibility of looking at other centers within India once the Bangalore operations go beyond the current target.

"We have one U.S.-based financial services client, right now. Let us see as we get more."

Henderson adds: "In the U.S., we look for multiple locations once the seats cross the 650 mark at one center. It is easier to manage a 1,000 seat center at any point of time."

The trend among multinational customer relationship management companies of going in for multiple locations is currently on in Indian companies.

Several companies are opening call centers in multiple centers to maintain business continuity under pressure from their customers.

Sykes operates in the U.S., Canada, Costa Rica, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and in China, the Philippines and now India.

Source: IANS
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