Sci­com eyes emerg­ing mar­kets

> E-gov­ern­ment busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cam­bo­dia and Laos

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ - BY EE ANN NEE

KUALA LUMPUR: Sci­com (MSC) Bhd sees op­por­tu­ni­ties in the e-gov­ern­ment busi­ness across emerg­ing mar­kets with its end-toend suite of dig­i­tal ser­vices of­fer­ing, said group CEO Datuk Leo Ariyanayakam.

“We look at emerg­ing mar­kets as op­por­tu­ni­ties, typ­i­cally Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cam­bo­dia and Laos. There’s more op­por­tu­nity (in these coun­tries) be­cause they’re con­strained in terms of bud­get and our model can do a lot more for them in terms of value ad­di­tion. We’re cost-com­pet­i­tive,” he told re­porters after the group’s AGM here yes­ter­day.

Sci­com has grown from that of a pure play con­tact cen­tre out­sourc­ing propo­si­tion to that of an in­te­grated so­lu­tions player in cus­tomer life cy­cle man­age­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, e-gov­ern­ment as­so­ci­ated e-com­merce. This has pro­vided the group with an op­por­tu­nity to lever­age on typ­i­cally higher mar­gins for these so­lu­tions sets.

“It’s no longer a sin­gle propo­si­tion. You need to pro­vide the en­tire (end-to-end) so­lu­tions,” Leo said with­out dis­clos­ing the group’s projects in the pipe­line.

For the last two to three years, Sci­com has been ac­tively pur­su­ing e-gov­ern­ment jobs in emerg­ing mar­kets.

In the fi­nan­cial year ended June 30, 2016 (FY16), 44.57% of Sci­com’s rev­enue was de­rived from out­side Malaysia and this is ex­pected to rise as it en­ters into projects in the mar­kets that it operate in.

Coun­tries are em­bark­ing on e-gov­ern­ment pro­grammes that en­able the pub­lic to ac­cess ser­vices elec­tron­i­cally such as tax, land man­age­ment, busi­ness reg­is­tra­tion, e-health, e-pro­cure­ment, bor­der man­age­ment and elec­tronic pay­ment.

“We think there’s a real play in emerg­ing mar­kets in digi­tis­ing gov­ern­ment ser­vices. Govern­ments are putting these in­fra­struc­ture to­gether. A lot of emerg­ing mar­kets don’t have that,” said Leo, adding that the emerg­ing mar­kets’ ac­cep­tance of the group’s e-gov­ern­ment so­lu­tions is en­cour­ag­ing.

“But the gov­ern­ment sec­tor is par­tic­u­larly daunt­ing in any gov­ern­ment. It’s a process of ed­u­ca­tion, pro­vid­ing value for money, there are re­la­tion­ships to build, it takes time but it’s lu­cra­tive,” said Leo.

In Malaysia, he said, there is room for Sci­com but pointed out that the coun­try is a com­pet­i­tive space. “It’s tough to go in Malaysia so it’s bet­ter go­ing out­side (over­seas) and it’s eas­ier. But Malaysia has been our spring­board.”

Mean­while, Leo said by March next year, Sci­com will be the largest busi­ness process out­sourc­ing provider in Sri Lanka. Sci­com was re­cently handed the global call cen­tre op­er­a­tions for SriLankan Air­lines.

For the first quar­ter ended Sept 30, 2016, Sci­com posted a net profit of RM12.02 mil­lion, a 23.6% rise com­pared with RM9.72 mil­lion in the pre­vi­ous cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod, thanks pri­mar­ily to the in­crease in billings for out­sourc­ing projects.

Sci­com chair­man Kr­ish­nan Menon (left) and Leo after the group’s AGM in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

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