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Call center chief sees offshore growth in Egypt

Reuters SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: The chairman of Egypt s largest offshore call center company said on Sunday his company was growing at 50 percent a year and that in this sector Egypt could become to Europe what India is to the United States. Adel Danish, chairman and chief executive of Xceed, told Reuters in an …


Reuters

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: The chairman of Egypt s largest offshore call center company said on Sunday his company was growing at 50 percent a year and that in this sector Egypt could become to Europe what India is to the United States. Adel Danish, chairman and chief executive of Xceed, told Reuters in an interview that the country was ideally placed to take advantage of the multilingual European market in terms of the price and quality of labor, communications costs and geographical location. Xceed, set up in 2000 to serve the customers of state landline operator Telecom Egypt, now has 1,000 seats (the industry term for operator workstations) and its employees work in Arabic, French, English, Italian, Spanish, Greek and even Hebrew. Its biggest foreign account is for European customers of Microsoft products. Other clients are Oracle, General Motors and the French telephone company Neuf Cegetel. We re expanding at 50 percent a year and my problem is to find enough space, said Danish, an entrepreneur who set up businesses in France and the United States before returning to Egypt. When I place ads (for staff), I receive 10,000 to 15,000 applicants. There is no problem finding people who speak French, Italian, Spanish or Greek. Portuguese is the one where I have the most trouble, he added. He said basic salaries in Egypt, at about LE 1,500 ($260) a month, were slightly higher than in India, one of the best known bases for offshore call centers. But staff attrition rates at Xceed are much lower, at 10 to 15 percent a year, against up to 85 percent in India, he said. Staff attrition adds substantial costs because it can take three months to train an operator, depending on the technical content. He said another advantage of operating in Egypt was the low communications cost he obtains from Telecom Egypt. An E1 line with 30 channels costs the company $3,500 a month, down from $18,500 a month just before the company started operations. With these advantages, Egypt can be to Europe what India is now to the United States, he added. Xceed is 98 percent owned by Telecom Egypt, which was partially privatized through an initial public offering last year. The company had turnover of $15 million to $20 million in 2005.

Topics: FJP

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https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2006/05/23/call-center-chief-sees-offshore-growth-in-egypt/
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