By Moses Nosike & Emmanuel Elebeke
Leading global telecommunications company, Bharti Airtel yesterday announced a new strategic partnership with IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco to drive world class customer service across 16 African countries where it operates.
The partnership is also aimed at igniting a rapid growth in the nascent African Business Process (BPO) to deliver economic growth to many countries across the continent of Africa.
Under the new agreement which is expected to be finalized soon, Bharti Airtel, which owns and currently operates the Zain brand in 16 countries across Africa, will outsource core customer service functions like call centres and back office to over 40 million of its subscribers as it prepares for significant growth in the region.
Unfolding the agenda to the press in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer (International) and joint managing Director, Bharti Airtel, Manoj Kohli said “Our partnership with IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco is aimed at redefining and providing a world class and seamless customer experience in all 16 countries we operate in Africa”
He explained that the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) model partnership would enable Bharti Airtel customers to enjoy world class customer services with the partners introducing quality best practices based on their experiences of working with international organizations in the telecoms, banking, finance, insurance and retail sectors and also benefit the countries in which they operate and their economies.
He also said that partnership with such world class organizations on such a massive scale will galvanize the BPO sector in Africa and be a catalyst for growth in the sector.
Apart from creating additional jobs, Kohli further explained that the new deal when consummated will provide services in each market which will sustain and build skills, capabilities and resources.
“These partnership will offer career enhancement opportunities to our team in this specialist field as they will now get exposure to global best practices and the latest technologies,” he added.
With the outsourcing of customer service operations as part of the partnership agreement, the Bharti CEO said that the company will become more competitive in Africa as it focuses on making mobile communications affordable and available to everyone across its operational areas in Africa.
In his own remarks, the general manager, IBM Managed Business Process services, John Lutz said “IBM’s strategic relationship with Bharti Airtel illustrates its focus on emerging markets like Africa.”