Due to its unique value proposition in terms of multi-lingual, multi-cultural capabilities, significant expertise, and supportive government bodies, Malaysia is well established to support voice-based and non-voice work . The market is also gradually expanding to offer high-end work such as analytics.
According to McKinsey Global Institute’s Emerging Global Market Survey Study in 2005, Malaysia ranked high as an “enabling business environment”, and its economy is mostly driven by services that run ahead of other markets, particularly in India, China, Poland, and the Philippines.
Malaysia has a booming service sector, shifting from its production-based economy to a rapidly expanding economy dependent on education and service. Malaysia benefits from its strategic location, its global integration, and its well-educated workforce.
Located between the economic powerhouses of India and China, Malaysia can be viewed as a gateway to the Asian Continent. Over 300 local and international BPO-ICT and Outsourcing organisations are taking advantage of Malaysia’s geographic position and economic environment to service customers across Asia.
Quality versus price
Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, CEO of MDeC, states. “Malaysia offers a unique value proposition, especially to foreign investors as the country produces over 90,000 multilingual graduates every year. It also provides investors with first class infrastructure and competitive costs of business operations. Also, Malaysia as a location is a safe haven with low occurrence of natural disasters.”
Badlisham added: “With a population of 28 million and unemployment rate of 3%, the biggest misconception is that Malaysia is competing against India, China and the Philippines based on cost arbitrage and economies of scale.
“However, we have long realised the need to focus on building Malaysia’s strength and competency in specific areas of expertise instead. Rather than going mass, we are looking at niche technical skills, knowledge and expertise in advanced and sophisticated areas of outsourcing through KPO.”
Malaysia is stepping away from offering generic contact centre work and trying to compete with other locations on arbitage and economies of scale.
As one of the strategies to help Malaysia become a high-income nation, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), the custodian of the MSC Malaysia initiative, wants to push the country’s SSO (Shared Services & Outsourcing) sector up the value chain towards such knowledge-based services.
Indeed, moving up on a higher value chain, where knowledge and specialised skills are present, will help preserve employment and sustain the SSO industry in Malaysia.
The MSC Malaysia SSO cluster recorded RM10.4 billion (US$3.22 billion) in revenue in 2012, a 14% jump from 2011. The cluster contributed US$1.8 billion to the Malaysia’s GDP (gross domestic product) in 2012, up 32% from 2011. It also saw a huge 57% hike in job creation with over 7,300 jobs created last year, bringing the cumulative number of jobs to 65,800 since MSC Malaysia’s inception some 18 years ago.
Over 16 years of experience, MSC Malaysia has put the country on the map and over 3000 multinational companies have now considered Malaysia as a location to do business.
As of now, 259 SSO companies have established their global business centre out of Malaysia, and the number is continuously growing.
Malaysia has the unique combination of the best people, competitive cost and world-class business environment.