Telecom Review conducted an exclusive interview with Rajiv Dhand, the regional vice president for Asia Pacific & Africa at TELUS International, to delve into the factors that played a significant role in the expansion of TELUS International's global operations into Africa. During the interview, Dhand discussed the specific opportunities and market potential that TELUS International perceives in Africa. Furthermore, he shed light on the steps that TELUS International is taking to ensure a seamless and prosperous expansion into the African market.

What factors contributed to TELUS International's decision to expand its global operations to Africa, and how does this align with the company's overall growth strategy?

Two major factors that contributed to our expansion into Africa, and more specifically Morocco and South Africa, were the countries’ successful track records as key business services hubs that could provide multilingual support at scale, including English, Spanish, French and Arabic, and their vast and growing pools of young, educated and highly-skilled individuals to help us meet our clients’ needs on a sustained basis.

At a more macro level, TELUS International’s expansion into Africa is yet another milestone in our company’s growth strategy since our inception in 2005. We continue to further augment our robust global delivery model in order to continually provide our clients with high-quality services and support related to digital customer experience (CX), trust and safety, and artificial intelligence (AI) services, including GenAI, across multiple time zones and regions. Our longer-term goal is to thoughtfully ramp up our presence more meaningfully in the region in the years ahead.

Please elaborate on the specific opportunities and market potential that TELUS International sees in Africa, particularly in terms of the region's talent pool and emerging markets.

Africa is a diverse continent with many different cultures and languages. Additionally, there is a growing pool of digital and tech-savvy individuals in the region, which will be key as we work to grow our presence in both countries. South Africa and Morocco also present significant opportunities for us in the content moderation, trust and safety, and AI spaces. Our existing capabilities, coupled with this expansion, will position us to leverage this growth and enable us to meet the increasing demands of stakeholders who are looking to grow their capabilities in these areas.

What steps is TELUS International taking to ensure a smooth and successful expansion into Africa, including considerations for cultural differences, talent acquisition and local market integration?

Our best practice, and one of the top reasons why our company continues to have a successful M&A track record, is that we leverage the expertise of the leaders and employees in the regions where we expand. Evaluating the abilities of the leadership team is a critical part of our due diligence activities, and we consider their local knowledge and experience to be a significant and non-replicable asset that we use to maximize the speed, efficiency and success of our global expansions and integrations. In this regard, we’ve found great partners in our partnerships with Humania BPO and Intersect-HP, both now rebranded as TELUS International Companies. This not only allows us to answer near-term client demand but also provides a solid foundation for longer-term growth.

Additionally, TELUS International’s unwavering commitment to our global team of more than 75,000 individuals and the regions where they work and raise their families will carry forward with our operations in Africa. We are excited to offer local team members a multitude of learning, development and career growth opportunities. Moreover, we will work to establish relationships with community leaders in order to best support the efforts of grassroots not-for-profits and charitable organizations through volunteer activities and community employment programs.

How did you come to choose Morocco and South Africa, knowing that they're in such separate parts of the continent?

We’ve been exploring the possibility of establishing a presence on the continent for quite some time and have looked at various different regions as part of our research and assessment. The specific partnerships we established in Morocco and South Africa were driving factors in determining why we ultimately selected to establish operations in countries separated by more than 11,000 kilometers, but ultimately, both areas are fast-growing business services hubs suited to expand our language capabilities and possess high-quality talent pools.

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