Aegis inks $2bn call centre deal with Saudi Telecom

Each firm will hold 50% stake in JV, which will run call centre operations in India
Aegis inks $2bn call centre deal with Saudi Telecom
NEW VENTURE: Aegis will shoulder operational control and responsibilities while STC will have an exclusivity contract (Getty Images)
By Karen Leigh
Sat 05 Feb 2011 12:04 PM

Aegis, Essar Group’s outsourcing services arm, will partner with Saudi Telecom – the largest telecom operator in the Kingdom – in a call centre venture.

Under the deal, Aegis will get $2bn in business in eight years, reportedly one of the largest deals in the process outsourcing sector.

Called Call Centre Company, the venture will have a near-equal stake from both partners.

STC will hold 50 percent and one share in CCC; Aegis the rest.

Aegis will shoulder operational control and responsibilities, STC will have an exclusivity contract with CCC.

CCC will provide over-the-phone customer care service to STC’s 28 million customers in Saudi Arabia.

“This is certainly one of the largest organic deals for the company, as well as the industry. It will have an IT component as well; this also validates our strategy of growth,” said Aparup Sengupta, managing director and CEO of Aegis.

“So far, we have focused on an inorganic route but now we have the ability to pull off a large organic deal” that makes us “one of the biggest players in the region.”

STC can release its fixed cost and free up management to focus on emerging opportunities.

“This would provide a huge leg up to Aegis’ West Asia presence, since the joint venture would actively seek new businesses. We have aspirations of making this the largest BPO operation in the region,” Sengupta said.

STC, a pioneer in the Saudi telecom market, is now focusing on expansion into the GCC, Africa, and India. It will rely on Aegis’s expertise “in managing customer experience across multiple geographies,” said STC’s group CEO, Saud Al Daweesh.

As one of the biggest deals in the West Asia telecom segment, it could have the effect of inspiring foreign providers to expand further into the GCC.

“This deal will encourage a lot of service provider to pursue business in the region, said Alok Shende, principal analyst at Ascentius Consulting.

Aegis currently serves 150 clients through a network of 47 delivery centres across 11 countries. It has more than 50,000 employees.

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