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Benefits of outsourcing in Egypt
by Engineer Yasser ElKady, CEO, ITIDA (Information Technology Industry Development Agency)
Tuesday, October 09, 2012

How will a multi-national company benefit from outsourcing parts of its operation to Egypt post the Egyptian revolution?  I hear this question being asked by investors looking to outsource their business operations.  At ITIDA, we’re confident that Egypt’s location, solid infrastructure, cost benefits and talent set it apart and continue to make it an ideal outsourcing destination for multinational companies.

Following on from my last post, Building on stability for growth, I want to take a quick look at each of these attributes in turn and explain how they make up Egypt’s value proposition.  Beginning with its geographic location UK Trade and Investment recently described Egypt’s location as “hard to beat.”  At the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia, and with flights to European cities being on average only four hours, Egypt is ideally connected to international markets.

An additional geographic benefit is that the world’s major subsea telecommunications cables run along the north coast of Egypt, making phone and internet access quick, easy and highly competitive in terms of operational cost.  Our infrastructure and connectivity is scalable and the country is presently investing in network upgrades to offer fourth generation broadband.

We provide a great infrastructure with world-class business hub facilities.  Smart Village, just outside Cairo, currently accommodates the needs of over 100 companies and 22,000 professionals in high-tech facilities and expects to host over 600 companies and 100,000 professionals by 2014. Investors include Microsoft, Vodafone, Ericsson, IBM and Alcatel-Lucent – successful multinationals, with high expectations who remained throughout the Egyptian revolution.  Adding to the success of the Smart Village, a new 35,000 seat development for Contact Centers is now open at Maadi Park in Cairo, hosting major centers such as Sykes and IST, in addition to large local vendors Xceed and Raya.

The cost of doing business in Egypt remains highly favorable, and despite some investor skepticism, economic outlook is positive. This year Egypt saw continued growth in the ICT market with the industry reaching $1.4 billion in export revenue and gaining recognition from international organizations such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This continued growth and recognition from key industry experts reaffirms Egypt’s confidence of achieving IT export revenues of $10 billion by 2020.

What I am most proud about, and what lies at the heart of Egypt’s outsourcing offer, is its talent.  We benefit from a strong, sustainable pool of home-grown talent that is technologically skilled, multi-lingual and entrepreneurial.  Egypt produces more than 425,000 graduates each year with around 60,000 business and commerce graduates, and 31,000 fluent in western languages.
ITIDA works closely with local universities and multinational companies to provide students with world-class training.  This year Future University Egypt joined SAP’s acclaimed University Alliance Program.  We also launched a Technology Innovation Center in Cairo and a Graduate Program to drive communication and technology innovation in Egypt.  In addition to these developments, as part of the EduEgypt initiative, the country has created around 28,000 BPO and ITO training graduates, and 200 certified BPO trainers – skills ready and waiting to be utilized by business.

I am very pleased that the National Outsourcing Association has acknowledged ITIDA’s efforts to educate the next generation, by shortlisting us in the Skills Development Programme of the Year category at this year’s NOA Awards.

The appointment of a democratically elected president has brought an increased confidence to Egypt and I hope this short snapshot helps to demonstrate that Egypt is experiencing a period of renewed stability and growth and continues to be an attractive global outsourcing destination.  I’m keen to hear your thoughts.

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