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New From Old: How Intelenet is Emerging from the Shadow of Serco

At the end of 2015, private equity group Blackstone closed the purchase of Serco’s private sector BPO business for £250m (~$375m), and the company has now rebranded to its original name, Intelenet Global Services. Today, Intelenet employs ~55k staff across 66 delivery centers in eight countries, providing Customer Management Services (CMS), F&A, Knowledge Management, and ITO services. It is headquartered in Mumbai and has ~$400m annual revenue. The deal marks a full circle for Blackstone, which previously owned the same business between 2007 and 2011, before selling it to Serco for ~$630m.

We recently met with Intelenet’s senior leadership to discuss the split from Serco and what’s in store for the company.

An important aspect of a business transition period such as this is securing continuity of operations and assuring clients regarding the stability of services. Intelenet maintained its executive leadership team, who became partial owners, including the company’s Executive Chairman Susir Kumar, and CEO Bhupender Singh, who spent two months in 2015 meeting with the top 20 company clients. Intelenet managed to retain all clients during the transition process, while running the operations’ SLA compliance rate at 98%.

Another vital element in such a split is preserving certain parts of the organization’s culture while developing a new identity and brand. In 2013 Serco suffered the e-tagging scandal which, although in a different part of the group, impacted the ability of its private sector BPS business to win new deals. The separation gives Intelenet the opportunity to distance itself from Serco’s reputation. In terms of operational models, even during its Serco tenure, Intelenet was managed out of Mumbai, retaining process and domain knowledge locally, and protecting its operational independence.

The separation also allows Intelenet to leave behind Serco’s slower investment in private sector BPS and focus on new horizon activities which are shaping today’s market – analytics, RPA, and mobility.

In automation, Intelenet has close to 300 tools already tested and deployed, which the company claims are implemented on every single client account. In the area of analytics it is developing capabilities in text and speech analytics based on a current implementation with a public sector account in United Arab Emirates. Three years ago, Intelenet was tasked to set up a consolidated shared services contact center for five public departments in the country. Around six months ago, Intelenet began running speech and text analytics from the Arabic to English translations of citizens’ calls and emails, identifying contact drivers and pain points. By addressing the root causes for the contacts and providing insights back to the governmental agencies, the vendor was able to decrease call volume by ~30%. Now, it provides services to over 50 public departments and agencies in Abu Dhabi.

For mobility, Intelenet developed several phone apps in the CMS space, for example in healthcare to schedule visits for nurses to at-home patients. The app is currently used by close to 500 nurses in the U.S.

The next steps for Intelenet are to increase its pipeline by targeting new markets, complete the rebranding exercise (including rebadging, office rebranding, and a new website), and focus its marketing efforts on building name recognition, differentiating it from Serco.

In 2016, the company is planning to benefit from cross-sell opportunities to Blackstone’s portfolio of assets ranging from consumer electronics, manufacturing, chemistry, fashion, energy, and IT. The senior leadership believes in their employees’ commitment to the brand, and in the ability of their reinvigorated organization to grow to $1bn in revenues by 2022.

A detailed profile of Intelenet’s CMS business, including background, revenues, offerings, target markets, strategy, and strengths & challenges, will soon be available to clients of NelsonHall’s CMS program.

Comments to this post:

  • Intelnet wins and excellent customer services in the UAE is a cleat testament to the capabilities, innovation, and professionalism of it's management and team. Wishing them all continued successes.

    Apr 01, 2016, by Faisal Al Wahaibi

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