Tata plans first all-female outsourcing center in Saudi Arabia

25-Sep-2013

Indian outsourcer Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is breaking new ground with the opening of the world's first business processing outsourcing center staffed entirely by women in male-dominated Saudi Arabia.

Tata has unveiled plans for its "all-female services center" in the Saudi capital, Riyadh as part of a plan to access a largely untapped pool of workers in the segregated Middle Eastern nation. The center, to run as a joint venture with US manufacturer General Electric, will initially employ some 400 women, with plans to expand to 3000.

Conservative culture and strict rules on separation of the sexes limit female employment in Saudi Arabia. Most banks and some factories have women-only sections, but exclusively female operations are rare. "This is the first time to our understanding that anyone has done this, because this (Saudi Arabia) is a unique market," TCS CEO Natarajan Chandrasekaran said. "In India, there has been huge opportunity for our industry to liberate underused talent and, while Saudi isn't on the same scale, there is still a big opportunity to help people, especially women, find good professional jobs," he said.