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TCS, GE launch female BPO centre in Saudi Arabia

India's Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in partnership with GE and Saudi Aramco Tuesday launched first all-female business process outsourcing (BPO) centre in Saudi Arabia that will create nearly 3,000 jobs in the Gulf kingdom.

The centre, in Dhahran, headquarters of Saudi Aramco, will be staffed by Saudi women with TCS and GE owning 76 percent and 24 percent equity respectively in the new venture, which will initially serve Saudi Aramco and GE as anchor clients.

The collaboration of the three companies underscores their strong commitment to support Saudi Arabia’s localisation strategies to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and enable the growth of a viable employment sector, TCS said in a statement.

The centre brings a unique business model to Saudi Arabia, and is set to become a rich training ground for building new capabilities, skills and careers for Saudi females. It employ skilled graduates in the areas of finance, accounting, human resources management and supply chain management services.

"We are delighted to work with Saudi Aramco and GE to help provide careers for women in the Kingdom and enable them to contribute to its economic progress," said Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry.

"Saudi Arabia is a focus market for the Tata Group where we have built strong partnerships and this ambitious initiative is an example of our commitment to this market," he said.

Besides, Mistry, TCS managing director N Chandrasekaran, Saudi Aramco president Khalid A. al Falih, and GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt were also present at the event. Governor of Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority Abdullatif A. Al-Othman was the chief guest at the launch ceremony.

The new business process services center will serve as a building block to localise the BPO industry in the Kingdom.

"The three partners will work together with the intention of scaling up the new venture to create up to 3,000 jobs for Saudi professional females. GE will create up to 1,000 employment opportunities for this initiative," the TCS statement said.

Initially providing services to anchor clients Saudi Aramco and GE, the center will eventually expand its customer base to other companies and institutions across the kingdom. In due course, GE and TCS plan to work with leading Saudi universities and educational institutions to launch specialised training programmes to achieve further job creation goals.

"In addition to the array of manufacturing and industrial jobs, services are an even bigger creator of wide ranging employment through an extensive range of office functions. In recent decades, the world, including Saudi Arabian enterprises, has been outsourcing these functions offshore. It’s time to bring those jobs home," said Saudi Aramco president Al Falih.