…pilot scheme takes off with 40 youths in Lagos
…Lawal tasks Govt. on enabling environment
Posted by Sade Williams
As part of plans and vision of Boku Academy/Innovatum Technology to create jobs opportunities and invest in the Nigerian youth, the company is partnering with a reputable Frenchl organisation, Teleperformance, a leader in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and call centre operations, to start the first investment in Lagos.
At the introduction of the first set of young people hired for the project by Boku Academy /Innovatum, to Lagos State Governor Elect, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in Lagos on Friday, Mr. Abiola Lawal, chairman of Boku Academy/ Innovatum, noted that the basic idea behind it all is to create job opportunities for the youth.
He said his company is partnering with an international company to bring the experience to Nigerians, disclosing that it will start with 40 people.
“Many of you know my passion about youth and job creation and job opportunities. I started that with Boku Academy, but that was more limited to travel and tourism and technology. What Innovatum Technology and Boku Academy has done is that we are partnering with Teleperfomance, a global business outsourcing body, to come and create opportunities for Nigerians. When we talk about Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) or what we used to call Call centres which we now call Contact centres , it is the whole idea of how customer experience can be extended beyond the four walls of the building , Teleperformance is the global leader in that. Teleperformance has made a huge move to extend their footprints in Africa to Nigeria.
“They are in South Africa, Morocco , Tunisia. The idea is how we can develop people for good paying jobs. Out of the 300,000 persons around the world in the employ of Teleperformance, about 100,000 is in Philippines, so we think that Nigeria could be that Philippines of the next generation in the next few years, we could have 5,000-10,000 jobs here n Nigeria, so that is the picture.
While conducting journalists round the facilities acquired for the take-off of the project, Lawal said: ‘This building will have the first 40 people, these young people are going to be the first set of those 40 people. It’s about job creation, it’s about opportunities. So, Innovatum Technology and Teleperformance are here together to create that experience here. The Governor Elect was here and we know how he feels about job creation and opportunities, so I thought it’s important we bring him to the picture so that he can provide the right support for us as we create opportunities for these amazing young people. When people say call contact centres, it’s not just about answering phone, we talk about multiple experience, developing business and marketing. The first young man we hired is Nosa, he is going to train the trainer. He just got his first passport and he is heading to Europe for training and we expect the same for these young people. And I call on government to create the enabling the environment because it’s all about the private sector”.
Also speaking, Mr. Giorgio Modesti, Regional director, Middle East and Africa, Teleperformance, expressed confidence and happiness that the project would be successful in Nigeria, given the infrastructure and level of education of its people.
Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Gov. Elect in a handshake greeting with Mr. Abiola Lawal, chairman, Boku Academy, on Friday
According to Giorgio, “What I can tell you in a nutshell is that Teleperformance is a worldwide leader in customer experience, the company is currently in 76 countries. 300,000 people is the biggest community in the BPO. Nigeria has not been in the footprint but now it is, and it is a big economy. I think we can call this a soft opening because we are going to approve of consent to be sure that things can be done according to Teleperformance standards. I am absolutely confident that this can be, this can happen and that we can even achieve above standards. When you are working in the global market, you need to go through facts, the beautiful places, a fantastic people, a common understanding and speaking of English which is an amazing one, good lover of education and Lagos is definitely a perfect environment to develop, so all the ingredients are there”, he said.
Explaining what Teleperformance intends to do, he said: “this is what we are going to do, we will invest not just in infrastructure and technology, but in human capital, this is the main aspect of Teleperfomance, 300,000 community is a big one and now this community is going to be extended to Nigeria. So we are so confident, happy and proud and are looking forward to have the first achievement. The presence of the Governor Elect this morning is a very clear message that this is going to be a fantastic marriage between somebody who has the knowhow and somebody who has the environment’.
“In Philippines, we have 4,000-8,000 employees in one single company, in Brazil, we have 21, 000. I spent the five years of my life in Egypt leading the company, we brought the company from 1,000 to 4,000, in Athens, we have 8,500 employees. Considering the local market in Nigeria, the fact that everybody speaks English, the level of Education, the infrastructure and seamless flight connections, Lagos is the right place”, he added.
Meanwhile, Lawal noted that there must be conscious efforts by government and the private sector to ensure that Nigeria’s huge population becomes an enviable asset and not a liability, by investing in the people.
“One of the things that the Governor also said to us is that we should be audacious in our goals and plans and that the support will be there. But the exciting thing is that it is high time that population number we quote all the time become an asset and not a liability. It is high time we knew that technology and digital infrastructure and knowledge would be the driver of future wealth and generations. And we think that Teleperformance as a leader in BPO is the good place for us to be. When you want to accomplish, you have to benchmark with the best globally, so there is no limit. When we started Innovatum Technology as a BPO idea in 2009, that was the offshoot that led to Boku Academy, we knew that nobody can handle everything in-house, so we say let people have expertise and so they can now leverage it on companies brands.
Lawal, who disclosed that Teleperformance has a University which is also an added advantage for the people that would be taken, noted that discussions are on for Lagos Government to partner the institution to further enhance the programme.
“The brief we have today is to get the first best of the 40 set of people working for Teleperformance. Nosa is a trainer. That means he must understand the job already because he has been trained. This is also about human capacity development, you can’t give what you don’t have, we have to compete in the 21st century, we have to equip Nosa, with trade for instance, and that makes him. That training is key to what we are doing here. Teleperformance has a University and we are looking at how to key into that too”, he said.
Modesti, the French company boss, also explained further that Teleperformance is known for spreading expertise around the world, noting that though, the challenges are there but they do not comprise standards.
“We are the perfect complement for companies to succeed and achieve a perfect customer experience. When we have any kind of expertise, we spread them around the world, it is a huge opportunity for companies that that they can count on people that provide them with the best standard in customer experience because our job is strictly working with and developing human capital”.