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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Online retailer Mighty Ape beat out big chain stores like Dick Smiths to be ranked at the most recommended home appliance store. A retail expert says it's no surprise independent retailers beat out many of their big box rivals in an opinion survey by Consumer New Zealand.

The consumer magazine conducted a survey of 10,000 of its members to rank their experiences in four types of retail store - hardware and DIY, bedding and furniture, carpet and flooring, and home appliances and technology. Forty-five brands were involved. Online retailer Mighty Ape and independents Heathcote Appliances and 100 Per Cent Appliances ranked highly, leaving behind JB Hi-Fi, Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith.

Chris Wilkinson, of First Retail NZ, said Consumer's research reflected a growing trend in retail which placed high importance on shoppers' experiences. "The reason the smaller businesses like Heathcotes have done well is because they have a much strong engagement with their market and essentially are at the heart of their communities - and consumers recognise this."

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Cathay Pacific Airways has marked another important milestone for the airline as it unveiled a new livery that will be progressively introduced onto all the aircraft in its fleet. The livery was showcased on one of the airline's Boeing 777-300ER aircraft at a special event held at Hong Kong International Airport.

Ivan Chu, chief executive, Cathay Pacific said, "Today represents the beginning of a new era for Cathay Pacific. We are very happy and proud to unveil our new aircraft livery which represents our journey into the future and also celebrates the many great things we have achieved over the past seven decades as the home carrier of Hong Kong."

The update to the livery is part of a series of ongoing improvements to Cathay Pacific's customer experience. These include not only the new livery, but also the website and mobile app, as well as major enhancements to the airline's airport lounges in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila, Bangkok and beyond.

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Premium-quality customer service powered by ContactWorld boosts conversion rates and pushes the retailer ahead of the competition

NewVoiceMedia, a global provider of cloud technology which helps businesses sell more, serve better and grow faster, today announced that Ritani, a leading online retailer of engagement rings, diamonds and fine jewellery, is using its ContactWorld solution to deliver unparalleled service to its customers, pushing it ahead of competitors and raising its conversion rates by 30 percent.

As a luxury brand, Ritani prides itself on being able to offer its customers exceptional support. That means no waiting times and immediate, personalised attention for every customer who contacts the company. It also means using the most innovative technology to offer the best and easiest experience to customers.

“Most of the jewellery industry hasn’t been quick to adopt innovation, and we believe that’s a major oversight”, said Simon Tam, CTO of Ritani. “Today’s consumers are used to services being quick, easy and universally accessible. With that in mind, we’ve focused on serving our customers exactly the way they want to be served. The best way to do so is by adopting technology that supports an effortless, personalised experience, which is what NewVoiceMedia delivers”.

“Ritani is really disrupting the jewellery industry because it’s applied the latest technology innovations to an industry that’s steeped in tradition and made it better”, said NewVoiceMedia CEO Jonathan Gale. “And because it’s serving customers who are much more emotionally invested in their purchases than the average buyer, the stakes are far higher than for other vendors. We’re delighted that ContactWorld has enabled the company to take such a successful approach”.

Ritani has deployed a unique clicks and brick experience by allowing visitors to its site to design a custom engagement ring and choose to either ship it directly to their home or office, or to an independently owned local jeweller in their area for a ‘free in-store preview’. This provides customers with the ultimate assurance that they are purchasing the perfect ring for their betrothed. The company is equally accommodating through all means of contact with its non-commissioned support staff; be it via online chat, email, or toll-free number, Ritani’s aim is to provide a superior experience for an exceptional product.

“When people are buying diamond rings, it’s usually one of the most important purchases of their lives”, Tam said. “They deserve to have every detail perfect, and if they have questions, they deserve immediate answers. Thanks to ContactWorld’s integration with Salesforce, NewVoiceMedia ensures we deliver what our customers expect every single time”.

Ritani also uses the technology to inform the way it structures its service organisation. The company uses the reporting feature to understand market trends and track activities through both its call centres and website, making it easier to identify correlations between the two and concentrate resources where they’re needed.

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Dr Catriona Wallace defines Customer Experience Strategy.


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