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Scicom eyes emerging markets (Sun Daily - 2016)

08 Nov 2016 (Tue)

KUALA LUMPUR: Scicom (MSC) Bhd sees opportunities in the e-government business across emerging markets with its end-to-end 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.

By Ee Ann Nee / thesundaily.my  | November 8, 2016 : 05:39 AM