WEBHELP GROUP BOOSTS INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION

WEBHELP GROUP BOOSTS INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION WITH THE LAUNCH OF FIRST SITE IN SOUTH AFRICA

The rapid expansion of UK-based customer experience company Webhelp UK has continued with the opening of its first two centres in South Africa.

The company will open a 7,500 square metre state of the art facility in Cape Town, and a 4,500 square metre site in Johannesburg. The South African operation will be known as Webhelp South Africa and has plans to recruit 1000 people in the country over the next 12 months.

The Webhelp Group, one of Europe's largest customer experience providers took over the former HEROtsc business earlier this year. The re-branded Webhelp UK has already won new contracts and boosted people numbers at many of its UK sites.

Webhelp UK, which employs 6,000 people across 10 sites and works for brands such as Sky and Vodafone, recently reported revenue growth of 36 per cent in the 12 months to 31 March 2013 to £111m.

While still confident of continuing UK growth, this South African venture will give the company the ability to service international contracts, operating a blended onshore, offshore and near shore model.

Craig Gibson will join Webhelp SA as CEO. Craig joins Webhelp SA with significant experience in the customer management sector. In his 20 year career, he has been responsible for establishing Vodacom's retail presence in South Africa, growing Ernst &Young's JD Edwards enterprise resource planning (ERP) practice and winning new clients for Dimension Data's Customer Interactive Solutions, among a range of blue chip financial institutions.

The Webhelp Group has revenues in excess of 400m Euros, with 35 centres serving more than 130 clients across the world. Webhelp UK runs 10 UK centres – and has created jobs in the UK over the past 12 months following contract wins with PhotoBox, Now TV and Mobile by Sainsbury's.

David Turner, CEO, at Webhelp UK, said: "This represents a significant milestone in the continued development of our business, by giving us the ability to support our customers across multiple geographies and is complementary to our existing English language, eastern European, nearshore locations.

"We have seen a trend over the last 12-18 months of organisations repatriating work from other offshore locations such as India and the Philippines as a result of poor customer experience.

"All of our research tells us that SA can deliver an equivalent customer experience to the UK for certain processes. We firmly believe that our UK, Romanian and South Africa capability gives us the best possible blend of off, near and onshore capabilities."

Peter Ryan, Industry Analyst, at Ovum, said: "The similarity of the professional qualifications and the compatibility of the data protection laws make South Africa an excellent partner location for Webhelp UK. The country is particularly attractive because, alongside a stable regulatory environment, there is a talented workforce with high standards of customer experience knowledge. "

Craig Gibson, CEO of Webhelp SA, comments: "South Africa successfully delivers BPO services to the domestic markets of Australia and the UK. The language and culture is closely matched, enabling us to offer a far higher standard of customer service than some traditional BPO markets such as India and the Philippines.

"The arrival of the Webhelp Group in South Africa is another great development for the BPO industry in the country. In recent years we have seen some big brands choose South Africa and the country is establishing itself as a BPO destination of choice.

"I am delighted to lead Webhelp SA and be part of such a progressive global organisation"


Rothesay Webhelp UK volunteers give local primary school a playground makeover

St AndrewÂ’s Primary School on Gowanfield Terrace in Rothesay has been given a colourful playground makeover thanks to the creative talents of volunteers from Webhelp UK.

The Webhelp UK team, who are based on Barone Road in the town, rolled up their sleeves and brought along their paint pots for the day to create a giant mural in the schoolÂ’s playground.

St AndrewÂ’s Primary pupils designed the seaside and mountaineering scene, which the Webhelp UK volunteers cleverly brought to life to give the playground a fresh and colourful transformation.

Five customer experience professionals from Webhelp UK team gave up their own time to take part in the St AndrewÂ’s Primary School playground project, including Michelle Borland, Nic Whitelaw, Graham Young, Ryan Aird and Paul McIntyre.

Local fundraising and charitable donations are an important part of the work undertaken at Webhelp UKÂ’s sites around the UK. The creative approach to promoting teamwork and problem solving is helping to build excellent working relationships and the opportunity to contribute to worthwhile local projects and causes.

Webhelp UK team leader, Michelle Borland, who organised the St Andrew’s Primary School playground project said: “Seeing the children’s reactions to the finished mural made a really enjoyable day even better. They were so excited and couldn’t wait for the paint to dry so they could enjoy the new mural.

“The playground is just one of the projects weÂ’re hoping to take on in Rothesay.  ItÂ’s such a great way to come together as a team outside of work and take on new challenges.  We would like to say a big thank you to the parents of the pupils; local businesses - George HansonÂ’s, D.C. MurrayÂ’s and the local recycling centre for their generosity and support.”

Staff at St AndrewÂ’s Primary really appreciated the hard work the Webhelp UK volunteers put into the playground mural and left them a thank you message on one of the classroom whiteboards.


Greenock’s Webhelp UK team tee off to help raise over £9,000 for Quarriers

A team of four customer experience professionals from Webhelp UK in Greenock has helped raise £9,970 for Scottish social care charity, Quarriers, as part of an annual charity golf day at Mar Hall Golf and Spa Resort in Bishopton.

Quarriers supports children, families and young adults across the UK and is the official charity to the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Robert Steele, Christopher Hempsey, Christopher Hennan and Mark McFadyen from Webhelp UK in Greenock were invited to take part in the annual golf day following a £300 donation to the charity by Webhelp UK earlier in the year. Quarriers was one of three charities chosen by Webhelp’s Greenock team to receive a business donation, and it is a cause that is close to their hearts.
The Webhelp UK team faced some tough competition on the five star course, but what they lacked in experience, they made up for in enthusiasm and dedication.
The climax to the fundraising day was a prize-giving ceremony in the resort clubhouse.  The team were awarded ‘The Lucky Yellow Ball’ trophy, after managing to make it through the full 18 holes without losing it.

Mark McFadyen, from Webhelp UK in Greenock was one of the lucky four picked to participate in the charity event. He commented that being able to take part in the day with the support of Webhelp UK and his colleagues in Greenock gave him a real sense of achievement, and has even motivated him to take up playing golf regularly again.

Mark said: “Representing Webhelp UK at the Quarrier’s Annual Golf Day was an amazing experience, especially given the opportunity to compete on the Earl of Mar course and play our part in raising such an impressive amount of money for such a worthy cause.

“Being back out on the green has inspired me to start playing regularly again and everyone at the Greenock site is looking forward to planning our next fundraising event.”

Robert Steel, who is a Webhelp UK Ambassador in Greenock and co-ordinated the team’s entry, said: “There was a lot of interest from Webhelp UK’s Greenock team in taking part in the day, so we thought the fairest way to select a team would be by drawing names out of a hat. The four of us had a fantastic day on the green and felt really proud to represent Webhelp UK and help raise money for Quarriers.

“Quarriers has a long history in Scotland and their work is life-changing for so many people. We’ve been really inspired by what they achieve and are looking forward to working with them again soon.”