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Siva Subramanian

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The Transcom Group is a large global organisation. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the company had 53 contact centres in 22 countries in 2015. It provides a mix of onshore, offshore and nearshore customer experience services to many industries including finance and insurance, telecoms and entertainment, IT, retail, and government. General Manager of English-speaking markets and APAC, Siva Subramanian, explains the company’s evolution: “We are a Europe-centric organisation—very strong in Europe. Our company was originally set up in 1995 to provide customer service for Tele2’s mobile telephony customers in Sweden. When Tele2 expanded to several European markets, Transcom followed. Since then it has evolved and we have set up onshore lines as well. Almost 75 to 80 per cent of our revenue comes from Europe; however, from 30,000 employees, close to 12,000 are based in the Philippines, making us one-third of the organisation in terms of employees. Despite this, Transcom remains very much a Europe-centric organisation in terms of revenues.”

Transcom has always paid close attention to the needs of its clients. In recent times, it has noticed an increased desire for nearshore contact centres, which has led to expansion into Eastern Europe to support clients in the UK and other large European countries.

Transcom sites in Canada are also an effective option, both on quality and cost, to provide services to North America. For Siva, managing services to the English-speaking market involves a 24/7 operation in the Philippines, as customers need to make contact regardless of time zone and geographic location. “Fifty-five to 60 per cent of our clientele are from North America, 20–25 per cent are from the UK, and the balance are from Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.”

With an operation this big, good staff morale is crucial, as is staff retention. “You cannot stop them being poached,” Siva explains, “but we take care of our employees, and if we lose them to competition, then shame on us! We focus a lot on our employees and, in fact, 90 per cent of my time is spent making sure my employees are happy. The thought process is that if they are happy, they are going to make the customers, the clients, and the shareholders happy. With this in mind, we have introduced programs that find out what their priorities are in life and then we try our best to address them.”

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