Riding on Airtel deal, Spanco sees Africa headcount climbing to about 5,000

Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee New Delhi | Updated on March 09, 2011

BPO company Spanco plans to leverage its recent contact centre order from Bharti Airtel in Africa, to secure a larger foothold in the market. The company said it has entered into talks with at least three large telecom firms to tap more customer services business in Africa.

If all goes well, the company expects to its Africa headcount rising to about 5,000 professionals in the next 12-18 months, from the current stated commitment of 2,700 professionals (as part of the Bharti Airtel deal).

Speaking to Business Line, the Spanco CEO, Mr Pravin Kumar, said, “As part of the Bharti Airtel deal, we will be taking over 2,200 of their existing call centre staff and 500 showroom staff. As we speak, we have already taken over 700 staffers.”

Even as it adds more staff to service the Bharti Airtel account, Spanco is also looking to hire professionals to serve other clients that the company signs up with in the coming months.

untapped market

“There is a huge untapped market in Africa for BPO work, including customer lifecycle management for telecom customers, and collections and credit counselling services for banking clients. Since we have a telecom domain expertise, we are talking to three large telecom companies for business,” he said.

In October last, Bharti Airtel selected IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco to manage its customer contact centres across 16 African countries. Bharti has outsourced core customer service functions such as call centres and back-offices, as it gears up for significant growth in the region. Spanco claims to have cornered 50 per cent of the total business under the deal.

The BPO contract was the second deal from Bharti Airtel in Africa. In September, Bharti selected IBM to build and manage IT systems to power the mobile communications network across 16 African countries.

Commenting on the expansion plans for India delivery centres, Mr Kumar said that the company was “seriously evaluating” opening a centre in Mysore or Hubli to service clients in the domestic market. Spanco has delivery sites in locations such as Gurgaon, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dehradun, Coimbatore and Mohali; it will shortly start a facility at Nagpur.

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Published on March 09, 2011
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