Industry specialists converge at Global Business Solutions Forum 2015

The Global Business Services (GBS) industry organised the Global Business Services 2015, the first industry forum of its kind recently.

The event, organised by media services company and publisher of Outsourcing magazine, Wordlabs Global Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDeC) aimed to bring together business and thought leaders to discuss best practices and the industry forthcomings.

Present at the event was MDeC GBS vice-president Michael Warren, British High Commission Kuala Lumpur director of trade and investment Tony Collingridge OBE, as well as Wordlabs CEO Sritharan Vellasamy.

Previously known as shared services and outsourcing (SSO), the GBS industry saw a change of name to better reflect the changing nature of the global outsourcing market.

“For more than two decades, international organisations have been using shared services and outsourcing to improve their service delivery and reduce costs for their businesses,” said Sritharan.

Sritharan Sritharan

“Now leading organisations are taking the next step. Instead of operating numbers of shared service centres and managing outsourcing vendors independently, they are implementing Global Business Services (GBS), providing integration of governance, locations and business practices to all shared services and outsourcing activities across the enterprise.”

As one of the key result areas of the nation’s economic transformation programme, the GBS industry is already seeing a positive outlook, having attracted RM3bil of new investments into the country since January this year. In fact, global consulting firm AT Kearney has ranked Malaysia the third most preferred location for global business services centre after China and India consecutively since 2004.

Unlike China and India, Malaysia, with MDeC as its main driving force, is positioning itself as a knowledge process outsourcing centre – a niche in the outsourcing industry that focuses on areas of high value, and low volume, which requires advanced analytical and technical skills as well as a high degree of specialist expertise.

Today, there are over 200 multinational companies and 80 local companies in MSC Malaysia offering GBS solutions. By the year 2020, an estimated 70,000 new jobs will be available in the industry.

For GBS to grow, not only does the industry look to attract more organisations to set up in Malaysia, but our local talent pool needs to match up to meet the industry needs. For this reason, MDeC and Wordlabs are stepping up as advocates of the industry, pushing a myriad of initiatives such as industry talks, career talks and even setting up a dedicated job microsite for GBS positions nationwide.

For now, said Sritharan, the mindset of GBS needs to be enlightened to go above and beyond the common call centre centric impression moulded by “Hollywood movies”.

“GBS has a plethora of other areas,” said Sritharan. “You can be a lawyer, you can be an architect, you can be a system analyst and stuff like that, but GBS provides you the next leap, because we are not just servicing a local client.”

The first GBS Forum 2015 focused on the topic "disruptive technology in the sourcing world", which saw a line-up of expert speakers, panel sessions and discussions to impart best practice strategies as well as meeting potential business opportunities. For more information on the GBS Forum 2015, visit