India's Aegis acquires Malaysian BPO firm

Business process outsourcing subsidiary of India's Essar Group has bought Malaysia-based Symphony House, in a deal worth about 413 million rupees (US$6.75 million).

The business process outsourcing (BPO) subsidiary of India's Essar Group has unveiled plans to buy out Malaysian BPO vendor Symphony House, in a deal worth about 413 million rupees (US$6.75 million). 

Aegis, over the past two years, had been seeking out acquisitions across Asia and South American to boost its product portfolio and skillsets, and this week's Symphony deal would bring its buying spree to 19. The Malaysia-based BPO player offers HR, contact management, and financial tools to more than 3,000 clients in the region. 

Mumbai-based Aegis has more than 55,000 employees across 56 markets worldwide, of whom 20,000 are located in India. The company clocks over US$1 billion in revenue, 80 percent of which is from its BPO business, with the remaining from its IT business.

Sudhir Agarwal, Aegis' president of global mergers and acquisitions and strategic initiatives, said in media reports that markets such as the Philippines and Malaysia now offered better cost-benefit ratios than India. He cited increasing attrition rates, the termination of tax benefits, and appreciation of the rupee as other reasons for the need to look overseas for growth in the BPO space.

According to research firm Gartner, Indian BPO players should look at acquisitions to gain industry-specific services and better compete with global players. It noted that the top five Indian BPO vendors expanded by 13 percent last year, generating revenues totaling US$34 billion.

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