- This topic has 36 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 10 years, 3 months ago by Adil Salik.
12th May 2005 at 08:20 #15956attn: AtifGuest
She posted this question about one and half year back and you are giving him this suggesstion now 🙂15th May 2005 at 09:38 #15957hassanGuest
HI Ambreen !
I want to be your financial partner if you open call center in Pakistan16th May 2005 at 08:21 #15958Saeed QadriGuest
I can see a lot of interest in opening and operating a call center by a number of aspirants in Pakistan, especially Karachi, Lahore and in Islamabad. Here is what I have to offer as my 2 cents of advice.
1) If you have previously worked in a call center as a CSR for lets say 6 months or one year; that does not automatically give you enough experience to go launch a call center. There can be brilliant people out there who can do this but I am skeptic about this. Call centers are human resource extensive businesses. And HR management skills are not easily bred. Apart from that HR in a call center is not only CSR’s; it is also tech, middle management, administrative, business development, accounts and sales. Solid experience of ALL of this is required to run a call center. It cannot be a one man show.
2) Start-small vs. Start-Big:
After seeing/interacting and running a call center I would propose the first pilot call center to be between 10-15 seats for Pakistan. Start with a management ream of at least three people besides yourself. Spend money in training and getting YOURSELF trained. Travel/ Talk / Attend Seminars…don’t just jump in to get burned
3) the Broker … the consultant
Both of these are sometimes necessary but I cannot assert more that these two can and have cost a lot of companies a lot of undue money. Watch out … all that glitters is not gold. Especially be very careful with brokers and the middle man. Generally remember the rule of thumb…if some company already has business…why is it not doing it itself. The cost of entry in call centers are not to high and usually the first two payments from a god client can payoff the capex…think, think and think. It happens that there is genuine business …but it just cannot be LOW hanging fruit. People from this very forum have used big names like Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, BOA, Mettle toys, radio shack, Hitachi corp. etc to con start up companies. Always remember that the whole call center industry in Pakistan is not even 3 years old yet…our prices are cheaper then India but the learning curve is still there. These Tier 1 companies do not outsource work to some rag-tag guy in San Jose and pay them to conduct scope studies in Pakistan. My current “CON-COUNT” for just one guy in Pakistan is around 6 call centers and close to 100K USD in “Business Procurement Fee”. DO NOT PAY PEOPLE UPFRONT for business development period. As far as involving the consultant; try and involve company’s and not individuals to implement your center, or to do your network etc. Curb the “Pakistani-Attitude” (I usually don’t stereotype Pakistan; so sorry in advance) of hiring the consultant off the consulting company to save money. Teams are not build by BUYING/POACHING people … money will keep them there and more money will take them away.
4) What technology?
If you are a small center and are starting with outbound performance based work…start with an ASP…like Five9, Promero, EchoPass , White Pajama etc.
If you have business but only for a few seats…go to another center and lease some seats off them (No capital investment, proof of concept and win-win) Make sure that you hire your own management and sign non-circumvents and NDA’s.
And please also note that if you are in SW development that does not automatically mean that you know call center business.
5) Getting Paid
This is tricky…small companies biggest issue is cash flow, make sure that you get paid. Do quality work, sign agreements but push for getting paid on time. Go weekly, audit everything, extend lesser credits. Use online payment systems like the one UBL has…there are no guarantees…watch out for middle man effect. Remember that the LOW hanging fruit is out there available so work with reliable partners.
In the mean time…invest in programs that are long lasting, are directly with the client and are legitimate. These will be smaller programs to start with, will no pay a lot initially but once you have them figured will be your greatest assets. These can be appointment setting or mortgages (easier to get) or tech support or TAS etc.
My biggest worry is that the investor community who is putting the money in will be taken-in by scams, cons and failures and the genuine entrepreneur who needs funding will suffer. I hope it doesn’t happen that way.
Saeed Qadri18th May 2005 at 14:24 #15959Atif kamranGuest
Can you plz tell me some resources from where we can get some call center business. How much does it cost to open up a 15 seat cal center in Islamabad?18th May 2005 at 14:24 #15960attn: Saeed QadriGuest
I am impressed by your candid review and insight Mr.Qadri. Can I have your contact details. We are a private equity firm looking to make investments in call center and BPO businesses.21st May 2005 at 11:57 #15961jamal mustafaGuest
Dear Saeed Qadri sahib,
How can I get in touch with you.
Thanks21st May 2005 at 11:57 #15962EddieGuest
Saeed , Pl publish your contact info.
Thx24th May 2005 at 08:12 #15963Harris IqbalGuest
Its not about how much it costs to setup a call center. That will really vary on what you need your call center for and what purposes it has to serve.
If you look at the broader picture, call centers like any business are to make money. And money is not made by huge investments or by saving, it is made by EARNING. And to earn in this business you need good quality work that actually pays.
Having being in this industry for more than 2 years, I would strongly suggest to everyone who is thinking on setting up a call center to firstly think on what they actually want to do in their call center. Having as little as Rs 1 million to as much as Rs 1000 million can start you a call center, but that does not guarantee that you will earn money.
Money can buy you a wonderful facility, help you hire good people, help you purchase the best hardware but cannot get you good quality work. For that you need to travel, meet people, discuss and prove your worth. And for all this experience and contacts are requried. Call Centers (also known as Contact Centers) are all about contacts. If you know the “right” people who can help you get the right kind of work, you will have no problem in setting up a call center. With the latest government policies it takes only a few days to obtain a call center license. And if you have money you can have a facility setup within weeks.
So concentrate on getting good quality work. That is what will make you money. Not a big fancy facility.
– Harris31st May 2005 at 00:10 #15965Attn: HarrisGuest
Harris its nice to see you here on this forum. Its true call center is all about contacts. Question is from where we can get the reliable contacts as there are many scams going on. Can you tell me some forums from where we can get the true and reliable brokers. regards Atif (Massair)8th June 2005 at 10:26 #15966saeed ripped offGuest
Well Saeed aren’t you also on the list of the call centers ripped off by a con artist from US who promised a lot and delivered little. I hear you paid the most.9th June 2005 at 00:45 #15967attn: Saeed QadriGuest
Dear Saeed Qadri,
I saw you bieng mentioned in Spider magazine; it is great to see your efforts to promote and support this industry ,I need some answers:
1) Do you think that there is any viability for a local BPO or a call center in pakistan financially ?
2) Is there any local solution available in the market for a local call center.
3) How much capex will be required to setup a 20 seat facility for servicing a 0800 number.
4) Does it make sense to just run a local call center or international work is necessary ? is it allowed by PTA ??
Thanks in advance and keep up the great work.
Karachi17th June 2005 at 15:00 #15968arsalan :HarrisGuest
Harris ,can you give me a bit help in getting the bandwidth ,we are a new call center have started with 3 seats at the moment(as this is clients requirement) right now we are thinking of getting a DSL 128k dedicated for 3 seats ,will that be fine ,would you recommend us to do so for now ..
hope to hear from you soon
arsalan18th June 2005 at 13:02 #15969Harris IqbalGuest
What kind of help do you need acquiring bandwidth? Whether 128K is enough or not for 3 seats/agents really depends on the dialer that you are using. If it is a manual IP phone then 128K will not be enough. You will need at least 256K with at least 2 ATA 186 devices. Let me know how else I can be of any help
– Harris19th June 2005 at 12:24 #15970arsalanGuest
thanx for your concern ,could you tell me what are ATA 186 devices ,well yes we are using manual dialer by the name of terracall21st June 2005 at 08:28 #15971Harris IqbalGuest
ATA or Analog Telephone Adapter is a device which is used to create a VoIP connection. It provides you the ability to establish a connection to a provider based in the US for a voice link. The voice quality is reasonable.