Tata plans first all-female outsourcing center in Saudi Arabia


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.

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that the Southern Phone Company Limited (SPC) breached various obligations by inadvertently removing the silent number classification from its customer records when uploading customer data to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND).

An investigation into the conduct of SPC was commenced by the ACMA following complaints from two SPC customers alleging that their unlisted telephone numbers had been published online. The ACMA's investigation concluded that SPC had failed to protect the unlisted numbers and associated name and address details of 3,854 residential SPC customers by incorrectly classifying them as listed numbers when it submitted data uploads to the IPND manager on 18 March and 15 April 2013.

SPC's incorrect classification of customer's telephone numbers directly resulted in the personal information of those persons being published in the IPND and some regional directories. The IPND is a critical source of information for the emergency services, emergency alert system and law enforcement and national security agencies and as such the provision and maintenance of accurate IPND data is a paramount obligation of carriage service providers under the Telecommunications Act 1997.

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Advanced safety technologies are playing a bigger role in the customer satisfaction scores for the auto industry following a sharp increase in vehicle recalls and growing interest in autonomous driving, according to a closely-watched survey released Wednesday.

Blind-spot detection, parking assist and lane-departure warnings are among the features that can most significantly boost the appeal of vehicles, according to J.D. Power’s annual "APEAL" survey. The study examines the way new car buyers judge automotive performance, execution and layout based on the impressions of new car owners. J.D. Power's study found, for example, that the overall score among owners of vehicles with blind-spot warning systems is 38 points higher than among vehicles that didn’t have the technology.

The auto safety issue has been clouded by recalls over the past 18 months, including General Motors Co.’s recall of cars in the U.S. due to an ignition switch issue that has now been linked to 124 deaths. Faulty air bags made by Japan’s Takata Corp. have been the subject of the biggest recall action in the U.S. auto industry’s history, affecting models made by nearly every major auto maker in the world.

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NewVoiceMedia, a leading global provider of cloud technology which helps businesses sell more, serve better and grow faster, has today been shortlisted in The Inflexion International Growth Business of the Year category of the 2015 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

Going up against other finalists, NewVoiceMedia will compete for the prestigious award, with the winner being revealed at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards gala dinner held on 10 November at Park Lane's Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

"We are honoured to have reached the final of the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, which hold a very high standing in the business community", comments Jonathan Gale, CEO of NewVoiceMedia. "We celebrated over 500 percent international growth last year and are outpacing the rapidly expanding cloud customer contact market fivefold. Our world-class technology, market position and momentum are enabling us to attract the highest calibre people around the world who are excited about our vision of using cloud solutions to dramatically enhance the customer experience and drive a more effective sales and marketing team, and we look forward to continuing our growth trajectory ahead of the market".

An all-encompassing range of industries are represented in the shortlists for this year's awards, with companies from recruitment and children's clothing, to pet food and online marketing being selected for the chance to win a coveted Lloyds Bank National Business Award. The scale of the finalists is just as varied, with companies turning over less than a million pounds to over £25 million, employing 20 people or over 70,000 people.

Tom Broughton, Programme Director of the National Business Awards said, "The quality and range of this year's entries exceed even those of last year, which is no mean feat. The draw of being involved with the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards has seen companies from all kinds of industries submit applications, which have been narrowed down using our thorough and comprehensive scoring system. We are now looking forward to the next step in the judging process and meeting some of the finalists face-to-face".

Finalists were chosen from the hundreds of businesses that entered or were nominated across 18 award categories. They will now prepare for live presentations to expert judges who will decide the overall winners that will be revealed at the awards ceremony on 10 November.

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Dr Catriona Wallace defines Customer Experience Strategy.


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