Aegis Limited, the leading global outsourcing services provider and part of the Essar Group, opened their first European office in Manchester in 2011, creating 600 new jobs.
The customer service centre, which is located in the city centre, is the first step of Aegis’ significant expansion plans across various countries in Continental Europe, which will be opened over the next few years.
Aegis, which is one of the world’s largest outsourcing businesses with over 50,000 employees across 50 locations globally, is entering the UK and European outsourcing market at a time of strong forecast market growth. The multi-billion pound outsourcing market in the UK is expected to see significant growth in the future.
Businesses in a variety of industry sectors, both public and private, are increasingly looking for efficiency improvements across all their operations, which is opening up fresh opportunities for skilled outsourcing providers. Unlike many outsourcing companies, Aegis focuses on serving customers from service centres based in their own markets and employing people from that culture, rather than on offshoring services to customer centres overseas. This is reflected in its philosophy of “Citizens serving Citizens”.
Aparup Sengupta, Global CEO and Managing Director of Aegis, said: “We’re delighted to be launching our European presence with a new customer centre in Manchester. Our strategy is to ensure that people calling our centres get an excellent experience, and we think that generally, the best way to do that is to have a strong onshore presence, rather than having centres offshore. This approach of setting up greenfield centres in our target markets will be at the heart of Aegis’s plans to further expand in other European countries.”
Sudhir Agarwal, Aegis President of Global M&A and Strategic Initiatives, said: “Manchester’s authorities and agencies have been entirely supportive throughout the process and they’ve really impressed us with their focused engagement and understanding of our expansion plans. We are looking at hiring 600 people in the UK and at further significant expansion and recruitment across Europe.”
Lord Green, UK Minister of State for Trade & Investment, said: “This is a clear testimony of confidence in the UK economy and another success story of a large Indian conglomerate using the UK as a springboard for global growth.”
Aegis, whose headquarters are in Mumbai, India, has annual revenues of US$700 million and serves 12 countries including the USA, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and India. In the Americas alone, over 10,000 people work for Aegis. The business offers a full range of tailor-made solutions to clients, spanning customer facing and back office functions. These range from customer acquisition and retention activity, order processing and loyalty management through to finance, accounting and human resources processing, as well as technology and shared services.
Aegis made its decision to open a customer centre in Manchester following a consultation process with local businesses and civic leaders of the city. Manchester won over a number of other mainland European destinations due to factors such as availability of a large and flexible labour pool and Manchester’s well-known universities.
The company is a part of the Essar Group, which has annual revenues of approximately $16 billion. The new customer service centre in Manchester will occupy 40,000sq ft of space at the City Tower in Piccadilly Gardens, owned by property company Bruntwood, and will be operational by the end of the year. Aegis will service a number of major blue chip clients from the Manchester contact centre.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This is excellent news for the city and we look forward to welcoming a major firm like Aegis to Manchester. Winning this significant investment shows how Manchester has both the infrastructure and the workforce to attract global business to the city. It also demonstrates that we can compete on the world stage to generate much-needed jobs and investment.”
Angie Robinson, chief executive of Manchester’s investment and development agency MIDAS, said; “This is fantastic news for Manchester, reinforcing the City’s position as a leading European business destination, and a real coup for MIDAS. We have worked hard to foster a strong working relationship with Aegis and will continue to work closely with them as they settle in, providing support and guidance.”
Chris Oglesby, chief executive of Bruntwood, said: “We welcome Aegis to Manchester and we are focused on ensuring their business is a success in the city. Bruntwood works hard to support Manchester’s drive to create jobs and encourage overseas investment.”