Direct BPO this week outlined its strategic intent in the multi-million pula Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry, indicating they are ready to rattle the status quo with their innovative services. Direct BPO is a subsidiary of Mascom Wireless, a telecommunications company which traces its origins in Portugal. The Managing Director of the company, Asnath Breseno, said, what will separate them from existing players will be their ability to offer ‘not only call centre services’ but integrated back-up solutions which will also use popular social media platforms which are a hit with the youth.
According to Direct BPO boss, this has not been the case. “We decided to set up the business since we have realised there are a lot of opportunities which remain untapped,” said Breseno, who until his appointment was Mascom’s Chief Customer Management Officer.
In a matter of weeks, the company will be able to provide call centre services, email,
social media, back office support, among others to companies interested in outsourcing the above services. Direct BPO which was registered in the third quarter of last year will be open to do business with all sectors of the economy such as insurance, financial services, transport utilities, agriculture, and tourism, among others.
“There are also opportunities in the public sector,” said a confident Breseno. Meanwhile, a player in the market, who refused to be named, said the domestic market is very small, and the company will have to go an extra mile to convince the market that they are the best.
“Look, all these big companies have their own call centres and it is very difficult to convince them to outsource such services. Guys have been talking to government about the importance of BPO but nothing has really come out,” said the player who runs a call centre company in Gaborone. BPO is a subset of outsourcing that involves contracting the operations and responsibilities for a particular business process to a third-party service provider.
Even before they can roll out a red carpet to prospective customers Direct BPO looks set to secure Mascom as their first client. About 400 employees mostly youth, will be employed by the company in the coming months. Some of them are already being trained ahead of official opening. Speaking to Botswana Guardian, Breseno said the sector by its nature requires a lot of people on the ground, especially call centre agents. Other services which the company will be offering include setting up call centres services for companies that do not need to outsource such services. “We have all the technical know-how,” she boasted. Both Breseno and Mascom Chief Executive, José Couceiro said it is still early days to state how much the new unit will contribute to the group. The move by Mascom to open Direct BPO is seen as a strategic plan to diversify away from the cutthroat mobile telecommunications sector which also has players such as beMobile and Orange Botswana.
The Mascom Chief Executive was not in a position to state how much they have used to set up the company save to say ‘a lot of start-up capital will be used for training’. Direct BPO is already aiming high. Once settled, the company will expand in Botswana, the region and internationally.
“The African market has opportunities but other countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Egypt have already made their presence felt in the sector,” noted Breseno.