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Aegis BPO to up workforce by 12,000

Source: PTI
June 04, 2009 14:08 IST
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At a time when the Bangalore versus Buffalo City debate spooks BPO employees in India, Essar Group's backoffice unit Aegis Ltd will augment its workforce by 12,000, summing up the total headcount to 43,000 by end of this fiscal.

The company plans to hire 1,000 people every month in India and across United States, Philippines, Costa Rica and Africa where it currently has operations.

"We will be recruiting a thousand people every month, so this year we will add 12,000 to our workforce globally. We have already hired 3,000 people since the beginning of this fiscal," Aegis Limited Managing Director and Global CEO Aparup Sengupta told PTI.

US President Barack Obama had last month announced end to years of tax incentives to those US companies, which create jobs overseas in places like Bangalore.

Instead, the incentives would go to those creating jobs inside the US, in places like the Buffalo city -- bordering Canada in upstate New York.

"The Ruias-led company has earmarked a capital expenditure of $30-35 million this year, excluding cost on infrastructure," he said.

Despite the downturn, Aegis is eyeing a turnover of over $550 million and aims to grow by over 50 per cent in FY10.

"There is still an opportunity for outsourcing. In the next 10 years, domestic business will expand to $50 billion, which is a case for the Indian BPO industry to go after. International BPO business will be another $50-70 billion," Sengupta said.

He said demand will keep up because of changing consumer behaviour, rising discretionary spend and the youth, which does not live frugally.

Apart from its capex, Aegis is also looking to spend on acquisitions and is currently evaluating 5-6 prospective assets in India as well as overseas.

"There are no constraints on resources. We have a free budget for acquisitions. We are looking to set up base in China and Continental Europe this year," Sengupta said.

He said they are bullish on expanding their global footprint and has just set up a maiden office in South Africa and in Nairobi.

"We will mostly acquire overseas, because value expectations in India are too high. It has to be economically viable," he added.

Aegis aims to be a $1 billion company in a span of couple of years, he said.

It will complete the acquisition of UCMS Group Ltd, a leading BPO services provider in Australia by the end of August, he said. With this acquisition, the company will add 2,000 UCMS employees.

In the past four years, it has bought the call centre operations of Time Warner Inc's AOL in India, US-based PeopleSupport, and TeleTech among others.

Earlier this year, it had offered to buy out US-based ICT Group for $128 million, which the latter rejected.

Aegis offers an end-to-end global delivery platform spanning onshore, near shore and offshore locations to several Fortune 500 companies worldwide in the telecom, banking and financial services, insurance, healthcare and travel verticals.

It services clients from 32 locations with over 20,000 seats and counts American Express Co, AT&T, and Vodafone among its overseas customers.

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