Think global, act local

T.V. Mahalingam        Print Edition: December 16, 2007

Seven acquisitions in less than three years—that’s a feat that most companies would find difficult to pull of successfully. But that’s exactly what Aegis BPO, Essar Group’s BPO venture, has done. Last fortnight, Aegis acquired TeleTech Services, a joint venture between TeleTech Europe BV and Bharti Ventures, for an estimated price of $13 million.

Ravi
Ravi
Other than TeleTech Services’ 2,200 employees and its two centres in Gurgaon and Delhi, the acquisition strengthens Aegis’ play in the domestic BPO market.

“We entered the domestic BPO market by acquiring Orian Dialog and Customer First in April 2005,” says Aparup Sengupta, Group CEO and MD, Aegis. “Today, we are the largest player in that space (domestic BPO),” adds Sengupta. Buoyed by the appreciating rupee, India-based BPOs are finding the domestic market more attractive than ever before.

The domestic BPO market was estimated at around Rs 6,000 crore in 2006 and is growing at a rate of 50 per cent annually as sectors like retail and telecom continue to do well. With this acquistion, Bharti Airtel becomes a customer of Aegis.

With the acquistion, the $188-million Aegis becomes the 12th largest BPO player in the industry with 23 global centres in the US and India (including 14 Indian cities) and 14,000 employees.

Shashi
Shashi

“We have been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 44 per cent in the last three years and expect to cross $500 million in revenues within the next two years,” adds Sengupta who believes the company will expand its delivery footprint to Europe and South-East Asia.

The company currently operates in three verticals—telecom, BFSI and healthcare and has more than 10 Fortune 500 companies on its client roster. The Essar Group had acquired Aegis Communications Group in November 2003 to make its foray into the BPO business. Ever since the Ruias of the Essar Group have acquired half-a-dozen smaller companies.

Earlier this February, the company acquired Global Vantedge and entered the offshore collections and receivables management business and currently provides end-to-end customer life cycle solutions. Like Sengupta says: “We never acquire a company to just boost headcount. It is to either enter a strategic market or to add certain skills.”

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