Experts provide insight into opportunities available in industry

The recent Finance SSO Coffee Chat with Experts 2014 event could well change the careers of many.

During the talk held earlier this month, three industry experts in shared services and outsourcing (SSO) were invited to shed more light on the field.

Organised by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), the interactive session was helmed by Shell Business Operations KL general manager Nyon Kam Yew, SWIFT KL Corporate Services Centre head Christophe Michel and BP Business Service Centre Asia record to report director Patricia Foong.

MDeC Shared Service and Outsourcing vice-president Michael Warren said the level of awareness of the industry in Malaysia was still at a low.

“SSO is often misunderstood as call centres, but it actually cuts across many industries. SSO centres are set up to support the global operations of billion dollar corporations and are very much part and parcel of those organisations,” said Warren.

He explained that SSO was moving up in the value chain within companies, and did not only refer to the back-end of businesses where support was provided. These days it also encompasses the frontline aspects of many large companies.

“SSOs are integral to any big enterprise. This is something Malaysians are not really aware of,” he said.

Warren added that the industry required professional skills all the same.

“One can pursue law or finance and they can join law firms, audit companies and such. Or they can opt to join SSO and work with large MNCs and contribute on a global basis.

“People can train or have expertise in different fields and be able to join the SSO sector. They join to see the world,” he said.

He also explained the lucrative nature of careers in SSOs.

“In SSO, people can earn sufficient wages. We are looking at over RM2,000 to more than RM50,000 a month depending on skill levels,” explained Warren.

SSO operations first began appearing in Malaysia in 2003. This led to Malaysia being recognised by MNCs around the world as one of the best places to set up business, along with India and China.

“Malaysia’s location in the middle of Asia makes it a great place for companies to set up businesses here. Our people have the required expertise, language skills and positive approach.

“We have lots of opportunity and lots of employment prospects. And while we can bring in more companies, there are not enough people joining in,” Warren said.

Warren said Malaysia currently had an upwards of 80,000 people supporting the worldwide operations of MNCs and large local enterprises. These include organisations such as HSBC, BP, Shell and Standard Chartered, to name a few.

“Right now, Malaysia is seeing 80,000 jobs in SSO, but our goal is to double this number within the years, by the end of 2017,” he said.

Close to 200 individuals attended the two-hour talk held in Kuala Lumpur, some of whom were from the oil and gas industry, IT as well as shared services.

There was also a question and answer session and recruitment opportunities for interested parties.