David Wong leads Outsourcing Malaysia for 4th consecutive term
By Karamjit Singh February 27, 2014
- Offered to step down but services apparently valued by Pikom leadership
- Outsourcing Malaysia to get big lift with inclusion of shared services sector
HAVING already served in the post for six years, David Wong has just been re-elected as Outsourcing Malaysia chairman for a fourth consecutive term.
When asked at a press conference if his continued presence as the leader of the country’s outsourcing marketing arm indicated his desire to keep the post or reflected the lack of interest in his peers to step up, it was National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) chairman Cheah Kok Hoong who stepped up and made a passionate case for why Wong’s leadership was still needed.
Firstly on the matter of succession, Cheah said he was actually being “groomed” to succeed Wong as Outsourcing Malaysia chairman but before that could happen, he was elected Pikom chairman last November.
Describing Wong’s commitment and passion to the outsourcing sector as “enormous” with no one in Pikom coming close to his drive, Cheah revealed that he and Wong started working together to promote the outsourcing sector 10 years ago via Pikom’s outsourcing and shared services chapter.
“We treasure his contributions and feel he is the man for the next two years,” Cheah (pic) said in a resounding vote of confidence in Wong.
He also argued that Wong has been making positive changes over the past six years of his tenure, and hinted at a new institutional partner coming in to support Outsourcing Malaysia, crediting Wong for this.
Wong had actually spoken of his intentions to step down but was persuaded to stay on, outsourcing industry sources have told Digital News Asia (DNA).
While there are the obvious murmurs about Wong having been the chairman for too long, Cheah’s support is important since Outsourcing Malaysia is a Pikom initiative.
The industry can expect Wong to tap on his experience and global network to help promote Malaysia as an outsourcing destination amidst rising competition from other countries, specifically the Philippines.
This is especially so in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) which makes up 40% of the US$2 billion (RM6.56 billion) industry revenue generated in Malaysia in 2012.
Wong himself said he was excited with the presence of new blood in the Outsourcing Malaysia committee, and with the inclusion of the shared services sector into the association, thanks to a change in its Constitution.
“In addition, with over a million ringgit in our coffers, we have enough resources and a strong secretariat to run programmes and make a difference,” he said. “I think you can expect a strong chapter two of Outsourcing Malaysia [in the next two years].”
Wong told DNA that the association has gathered funds since 2006 through various projects such as seminars and research, as well as from its annual conference and membership fees.
Besides Wong, the other newly elected office bearers for the 2014-15 term are:
- Anthony Raja Devadoss from Kelly OCG as deputy chair, Outsourcing
- Jason Crimson from Kimberly Clark Regional Services Sdn Bhd as deputy chair, Shared Services; and
- Lim Han Boon from Envotech Global Resources Sdn Bhd as Treasurer
Shared services in
In its attempt to be more inclusive and to speak about industry issues in a louder voice, Outsourcing Malaysia will be able to, with the aforementioned change in its Constitution, accept shared services companies into its fold.
Besides the fact that outsourcing and shared services companies share many of the same challenges such as talent, infrastructure and overall operating costs, the fact that the latter are generally larger companies and employ thousands of people, would help strengthen Outsourcing Malaysia’s voice in lobbying for the industry.
Over the past decade, more than 300 foreign and multinational shared services companies have set up their regional and global centres in Malaysia, mainly in Selangor, injecting billions in FDI (foreign direct investment) while creating tens of thousands of jobs.
They also have a significant impact on the revenues of the outsourcing sector, according to Wong (pic).
“In 2012, about 70% of Malaysia's outsourcing revenue still came from international deals; and out of this, 90% were generated by shared service companies,” he said, in emphasising the significant role of shared services in the outsourcing sector which generated revenue of US$2 billion in 2012.
With a projected 15% compounded annual growth rate, the sector is expected to hit US$3.4 billion in revenue in 2017 while creating 88,000 jobs. It generated 47,000 jobs in 2012.
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