Opinion

Teleperformance makes a wise move in Malaysian expansion

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The decision for global contact center services provider Teleperformance to expand into Malaysia is one of the wisest offshoring strategic moves seen in 2017.  Not only does this market afford significant value to both outsourcers and clients, its overall level of attractiveness as a destination cannot be understated.  Couple this with a rapidly-expanding base of domestic consumers, and it is clear to see that Malaysia is a strong play in the global contact center outsourcing sphere.

Teleperformance deserves much credit for looking at Malaysia as a market in which to offshore.  That being said, it is a firm that has been at the forefront of new offshoring market leadership for some time.  The Philippines, Portugal, Egypt, Albania and Colombia are all examples of where Teleperformance jumped in when these countries were in their infancy as offshoring delivery points, and demonstrates the firm’s willingness to think beyond established norms.  It is an approach that has served Teleperformance well, and continues to do so.

And in Malaysia, Teleperformance is certain to find a great deal of delivery value.  The country’s central geographic positioning relative to the rest of Asia-Pacific makes it a nearshore option for several demand markets in the region, as does the large number of languages that can be readily serviced from its shores.  The choice to situate operations in Penang is also wise.  With nearly two million people, Penang has the resources of a major metropolitan center, but without the cost pressure of Kuala Lumpur.  Equally, with Malaysia’s consumer class growing rapidly, the chance to service local clients at some point also has to be enticing.

With respect to the broader English-speaking market, there are true opportunities for Teleperformance in Malaysia. In fact, the 2017 Ryan Strategic Advisory Omnibus Survey that sounded the views of enterprise contact center buyers in the US, Canada, UK and Australia showed that Malaysia was among the top-five most favoured locations out of over thirty different offshore and nearshore delivery points.  This is almost certainly due to Malaysia’s lower cost of doing business, as well as its reputation for stability, labor force sophistication and quality infrastructure.  Thus, the opportunity for Teleperformance to build out the Malaysian value proposition from an Asia-Pacific nearshore destination to potentially one that compliments English-language support for British, North American and Australian consumers alongside its deployments in the Philippines, India and South Africa is compelling.

 The question now becomes how long until more global providers follow the Teleperformance lead by establishing their own Malaysian beach-head.  Certainly, the country has been promoting itself more in recent years by way of government efforts and the existing contact center association, the efforts of which are having an impact on the broader offshore discussion.  However, in the interim, it is certain that Teleperformance is on deck to take advantage of a very robust market that fits very well into their global footprint.

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