- CEO Nicholas Nesbitt started Kenya’s first call center in 2005
- KenCall is now a multi-million dollar company with international clients
- Nesbitt cites Kenyans’ work ethic as one reason for the company’s success
CNN’s Marketplace Africa offers viewers a unique window into African business on and off the continent. This week the show takes an inside look at Kenya’s first call center, a growing business that is challenging Asia’s long-held dominance of the international outsourcing industry.
Watch the show on Wednesdays 1845, Fridays 0045, Saturdays 0715, Sundays 0615 (all times GMT).
(CNN) — A trailblazing Kenyan call center is taking on India and the Philippines, trying to persuade international businesses to outsource their customer service to Nairobi.
When Nicholas Nesbitt started his outsourcing business in 2005, people found it hard to take the idea of an African call center seriously.
“When I first pitched Kenya, some people literally laughed in my face,” Nesbitt, CEO of the Nairobi-based KenCall outsourcing call center, told CNN.
“When they thought of Kenya they thought of beaches, giraffes, bones,” he said. “They didn’t think of serious business.”
Five years later and nobody’s laughing. KenCall is Kenya’s biggest outsourcing company, and Africa is taking a larger slice out of the multi-billion dollar international outsourcing pie than ever before.
After working as a senior executive at a telecommunications company and living in the United States for 20 years, Kenyan-born Nesbitt says it was the growth of the outsourcing industry in India that got him thinking about starting a similar business in Africa.
“It kind of got the competitive juices going,” he said.
More here: CNN