Jordan's high literacy helps BPO business

DUBAI — Jordan's first independent and multilingual contact centre, CrystelCall, is banking on the country's high literacy rate, low labour costs and highly skilled human resources to attract foreign firms, especially in the US and Europe, for inbound and outbound telemarketing services, consultancy and business process outsourcing (BPO) contracts.

By Jose Franco (at Gitex)

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Published: Mon 10 Sep 2007, 9:11 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:35 PM

Rami Sweis, the company's CEO, yesterday said in an interview that Jordan is a good alternative for regional and international companies wanting to cut costs but having competent workers by outsourcing their business operations or those needing call centre agents for their services done through the telephone.

Based in Ammam, CrystelCall was set up in January with an initial investment of $7.5 million and a projected income of $5 million by 2010. It began operations in May but already hit monthly revenues of $200,000, the same amount that it earned during the first two months.

Sweis is confident of getting a bigger share of the regional telemarketing and BPO markets saying that it is more expensive to run business operations in many other Arab countries, especially the UAE.

"So, companies are looking for alternatives, and Jordan is a prime alternative..." he said in an interview at the ongoing ICT trade show in Dubai wherein CrystelCall is a participant.

He said that 50 per cent of Jordan's six million people are 18-27 years old, the age bracket for call centre agents. The country also has many graduates capable of speaking in both English and Arabic since it has a high unemployment rate.

"In fact, Jordan is the only other Arab country other than Egypt that offers Arabic outsourcing," he said, adding that Jordan is ranked 14th in the world in terms of BPO, while Egypt is at No. 13.

CrystelCall, which counts Jordan Commercial Bank, the UAE-based specialist management firm Tamweel and Canadian Wireless Co. as among its clients, wants to attract more companies focusing on financing, labour, trade and investment and human resources.

For its inbound and outbound calls services, the company also provides technical support, customer care, market research and database updating. Its BPO services, which were introduced in August, target the insurance and banking sectors, and those engaged in accounting and credit card verification.

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