When outsourcing grows local skills
DEVELOPMENT| Aug. 16, 2012, 9:57 a.m.
It might be argued that outsourcing specialised software engineering work to an Indian supplier could take away from local skills development and job opportunities.
But nothing could be further from the truth, says Indian IT outsourcing giant Zensar Technologies. Zensar, which has been very active in South Africa for several years, provides IT outsourcing services to the South African market and not only brings software developers and engineers from India to service immediate needs and scale, but also invests heavily into sustainable local skills development to create a balanced mix across shores.
Harish Lala, VP and Regional Business Head for Africa at Zensar, points out that it’s a matter of servicing the IT needs of the business in an environment where supply of skilled resources is not enough.
“Businesses focus on their core activities and outsource non core activities to specialist IT service Providers like Zensar, who then leverage on their capabilities across various countries to bring in the scale, efficiency and quality needed by its clients. But simply bringing the skills from overseas is not going to solve this long term challenges of not having enough skills in the country”, he says.
To create a long term sustainable model, businesses & IT service providers need to come together and develop local skills which cannot be done by academia alone. We need collaboration between academia, IT service providers as skills alignment agents and end user industry, to not only develop skills but generate meaningful employment to generate momentum. That’s what Zensar’s model is, to create that platform and bring all parties together to ensure a sustainable skills development agenda, Lala says.
“For the past 18 months, we have been sourcing suitable graduates from local universities, based on their skills and the needs of our clients. They then undergo training and spend six months in India, where they are exposed to off-shoring processes and culture. They come back employable and enter a work environment within our clients’ operations. And all this is done in collaboration with our clients.”
Zensar has its own development centre in Rivonia, South Africa, where local graduates are also trained and later on work to support the businesses. As Zensar expands its operations into the rest of Africa, this development centre will serve as offshore centre for those countries and gradually the same model will be rolled out there too.
Around 100 graduates are absorbed into this system every year. While the programme does require an investment, it isn’t a charitable exercise, but a business model, says Lala.
“These graduates are now employable, and they generate revenue for the company,” says Lala.
Lala feels that more South African companies could benefit from this model. “Developing skills is everyone’s responsibility,” he says.
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Social Entrepreneurs provide sustainable solutions for Africa’ development priorities - ReportIs social entrepreneurship the new face of development? A recent impact report released by Reach for Change suggests it might be. Read More
Dimension Data, Cisco to protect rhino by tracking peopleIn a bid to reduce rhino poaching in South Africa, Dimension Data and Cisco will leverage technology to proactively intervene and stop people entering game reserves illegally. Read More
Global partnership launches programme to save children affected by HIV in LesothoMobile technology will be harnessed to help Lesotho combat the impact of HIV in a new global partnership programme. Read More
Rockefeller Foundation funds nonprofit bringing online business course to AfricaIn May, the Center for Global Enterprise (CGE) will offer a unique online course designed to provide practical management expertise in emerging platform business models opening up new opportunities across Africa and the global economy. Read More
Ethiopia gearing up to transform education through technologyMicrosoft and the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia are coming together to transform education, further innovation and develop employability. Read More
Next Einstein Forum launches global call for a new era in science and technology in AfricaThe Next Einstein Forum has launched a global call for support for Africa’s scientific and technological emergence. Read More
MTN Ghana rewards Heroes of Change for their selfless actsMadam Paulina Opei, Founder of “Save our Lives Orphanage” and a trained nurse was crowned the overall winner of the MTN Heroes of Change Season II at the Accra International Conference Centre. Read More
Egypt to launch digital hub to help Africa better track and control disease outbreaksA new African Health Data and Disease Control Hub will serve as a data, information and communication portal for African citizens, governments and institutions. Read More
MTN Ghana set to collect 1,700 pints of blood for National Blood BankGhanaians from all walks of life trooped to the various MTN’s “Save a Life” campaign blood collection centre across the country to donate their blood to support the National Blood Bank. Read More
Love comes to pupils of Tigo’s Shelter 4 Education ProjectValentine’s Day came early for the pupils and teachers of Obeng Yaw Basic School in Adeiso, and Tupaa MA Basic School in Ga South Municipality. Read More
FEATURED STORYCriticism over Remita borne out of ignorance, says SystemSpecs
The CEO of SystemSpecs, the company behind the revenue-saving Nigerian Single Treasury Account (TSA) system, speaks to Biztechafrica.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSKeeping up with the mobile banking evolution
Africa especially has witnessed the trend of mobile banking, due to the well-known fact that today more people on the continent have access to a mobile phone ...