BUSINESS services firm Concentrix expects to create up to 1,000 jobs in Scotland as it expands its European client base following a deal with IBM.
The group, owned by listed US company Synnex, set up a base in Gourock last year with a £2.1 million Regional Selective Assistance grant, saying at the time it expected to hit a headcount of 500.
But following the acquisition of IBM’s global customer care and industry process services business, Concentrix’s senior vice president of marketing, Jyllene Miller, said the Scottish site is likely to reach double that size.
It currently houses about 200 workers.
On a visit to Gourock, she told Scotland on Sunday that the base was ideal for servicing Europe-wide clients because it was easy to recruit multilingual staff.
She said: “We are very excited about the multilingual abilities we have here. We see this site as an opportunity to grow and expand in Europe.”
The availability of staff speaking a wide variety of languages is primarily because of people coming to Scotland from all over Europe to seek work and practise their English, Miller said.
“We find the talent pool here fantastic,” she added.
Miller said the firm was in discussions with clients that could add about 200 jobs at Gourock in the next couple of months. And with the company’s sales force now aware of the site’s possibilities, she expects more contracts to follow.
Concentrix has been growing its accounts with ongoing customers on the Continent as well as attracting new business. US clients expanding their businesses in Europe are also fuelling its growth.
“Clients in the US need to support their customers in Europe, and are looking for partners. We should see substantial growth from that,” Miller said. “Europe is a growth area for us, and Gourock will certainly support that strategy.
“We believe we can expand by several hundred people and get to 1,000.”
Concentrix provides business support services to government departments and large organisations such as Microsoft and Amazon. It has more than 50,000 staff globally, in roles such as customer services advisers and software experts.
The firm has also been expanding rapidly in Belfast, where it has laid out plans to create a further 1,000 jobs.
The $505m (£330m) acquisition of the IBM unit pushed Concentrix into the global top ten of providers in the sphere of customer relationship management (CRM) and business process outsourcing (BPO), and brought it a wider geographical spread. The market for CRM/BPO is estimated to be worth more than $55 billion (£36bn).
In the year to 30 November, Concentrix reported revenues of $1.1bn, up from $189.5m a year earlier, before the major IBM business was integrated.
Synnex chief executive Kevin Murai said: “With the successful IBM CRM integration nearly complete, we foresee our efforts in high-value industry verticals bearing fruit in the coming quarters.”
Miller said the company’s strategy was not to concentrate on increasing customer numbers, although client wins are expected. Instead, it will continue to concentrate on high-value deals with very large clients.
“We want to focus on driving value and growing the partnerships we do have,” he said.
Scottish Development International, which helped bring Concentrix to Gourock and is providing the grant to back its investment, has been keen to build on the international reputation of Scotland’s business services sector. The industry employs more than 90,000 people north of the Border.