Brandt International to invest US$56m to grow BPO business

Servion vice president and region head of Asia Pacific Abhijit Banerjee, Brandt International CEO Munirah Looi and Cisco Malaysia country manager Albert Chai at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur, January 29, 2015. — DNA pic
Servion vice president and region head of Asia Pacific Abhijit Banerjee, Brandt International CEO Munirah Looi and Cisco Malaysia country manager Albert Chai at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur, January 29, 2015. — DNA pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — Brandt International Sdn Bhd said it will be investing up to RM200 million (US$56 million) over the next three years in an effort to become one of the leading BPO (business process outsourcing) companies in Malaysia.

Currently, the company runs its Malaysian BPO operations from its office in Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur, which has a capacity of 65 seats.

By the end of the first half of this year, it will expand its BPO business with a new site in Nusajaya, Johor that will have an initial capacity of 100 seats, but which can scale up to 500 seats.

“The investment includes infrastructure, as well as human resources. We are very optimistic about the market and the business,” Brandt International chief executive officer Munirah Looi told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur on January 28.

Besides Malaysia, the company also has about 3,500 seats in Jakarta. “Overall, in terms of our capacity, we are seeing more than 65 per cent of our seats filled up. We expect all our seats to be filled up over the next few years,” she added.

Citing statistics by the Asia Pacific Research Group for 2015 to 2017, she said call centre operations in Malaysia are expected to enjoy single-digit growth, while the number of global business processes being managed from Malaysia is expected to see double-digit growth, during this period.

Munirah, a Digital News Asia Digerati50, was speaking to the media during a briefing announcing Brandt International’s collaboration with US tech giant Cisco Systems Inc and Chennai-headquartered contact centre management technology solutions provider Servion Global Solutions Ltd.

The collaboration involves Brandt International getting 2,000 licences for Cisco’s Contact Centre Enterprise platform — each licence represents one seat, she said.

“With the 2,000 licences, clients can choose to allow us, as the service provider, to operate [contact centre services] at our office, or if they want, to have it run on their own premises.

“The platform provided by Cisco is virtual — it means regardless where you are situated, I can extend the licence to where it is required. The capability of the Cisco solution is that I can be anywhere, all I need to do is to switch it on,” she added.

“Together with Servion, we are able to deliver a next-generation contact centre solution that is highly scalable to serve Brandt’s business requirements,” said Cisco Malaysia country manager Albert Chai.

“Cisco’s Unified Communications technologies are deployed by companies around the world across industry verticals, and we are excited by the opportunities to drive Brandt’s growing business and help increase the productivity of its employees — and in turn, improve customer experience,” he added.

The collaboration follows in the wake of the partnership that Brandt International and Servion announced in 2013, to provide a full suite of solutions to take on the regional customer experience market.

Servion vice president and region head of Asia Pacific Abhijit Banerjee said that the partnership will allow Brandt to deliver consistent customer experiences, at all times.

“To deliver consistent customer experience in line with their brand promise, organisations need to tailor their customer experience infrastructure… by combining design, technology and people,” he said.

To be No 1

Brandt International CEO Munirah Looi says the company aims to be leader in the BPO customer management space. — DNA pic
Brandt International CEO Munirah Looi says the company aims to be leader in the BPO customer management space. — DNA pic

Even if it scales its Nusajaya site to the maximum capacity of 500, as well as use up all 2,000 licences, Brandt International would still be behind big BPO players like VADS Bhd and Scicom (MSC) Bhd.

How can Brandt International aim for a leading position?

Munirah said that it aims to be leader in the BPO customer management space, elaborating on how Brandt International intends to differentiate itself from other BPO players.

“Most BPO players are very transactional in nature. Basically, it means that if a customer wants a 20-seat operation, all they need to do is set up the workstation, switch it on and get ready to take calls.

“But we use what we call a consulting-led BPO approach — we will work with clients to understand their business, their strategic intent, and help them to craft their customer experience strategy.

“We will look at what their channels are and how to service their customers, then develop the processes, hire people with the required skills set, and then train them to deliver what the client wants,” she said.

“In short, most BPO players focus on the mass market, but we focus on high net worth customer services kind of platforms, where we help to drive customer retention and customer loyalty,” she added. — DNA

This story was first published here.

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