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
KitsoWorks holds stakeholder engagement sessionThe implementing partners of Botswana's KitsoWorks initiative are working on scaling up the youth empowerment pilot project. Read More
New i2i initiative to draw customer data for better financial servicesThe Mastercard Foundation has launched a $9.6 million Initiative with Finmark Trust and Cenfri to provide better aggregated data to help financial service providers respond more appropriately to banking needs of poor clients. Read More
Airtel Kenya, First Lady launch mobile clinic in Embu countyAirtel Kenta CEO Adil El Youssefi yesterday joined Her Excellency the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for the official handover ceremony of the Airtel funded 34th “Beyond Zero” mobile clinic to Embu County. Read More
Schneider Electric launches 2016 graduate programmeSchneider Electric South Africa has launched a graduate programme for those students who want to become world-class engineers in the field of energy management. Read More
Airtel Ghana wins CSR excellence awardAirtel Ghana has been named Best CSR Company for Education at the 5th Ghana CSR Excellence Awards. Read More
COMESA, Microsoft collaborate to promote access, skills and innovation in 19 African countriesCOMESA, through the COMESA Business Council (CBC) and Microsoft, have taken a step toward strengthening their working alliance by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which sets out how they will collaborate in the areas of access to technology, development of relevant skills and the fostering of innovation in COMESA ... Read More
MainOne upgrades school ICT labIn line with its vision to improve broadband penetration across Nigeria, MainOne has given a facelift to the ICT Laboratory of Herbert Macaulay Girls Secondary School, in Yaba, Lagos. Read More
MTN Cameroon wins ‘’Y’ello Care” challenge againFor the third time in four years, MTNC has emerged as the top OPCO of the MTN Group in the domain of CSR. Read More
Shelter 4 Education makes dreams come alive at EjuraA new school block has been built by Tigo Ghana for the people of Ejura. Read More
Samsung Electronics East Africa boosts fight against maternal and child mortalitySamsung Electronics East Africa has announced a partnership with VSO Jitolee to launch an ICT solution that will improve maternal and child health care. Read More
FEATURED STORYeCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile
The Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says Wood
Telecoms executive Adrian Wood speaks to Kokumo Goodie about investment potential in Nigeria.