Q/A Capgemini’s Steve Rudderham: The Nearshore Splashes into a New Era

I met Steve Rudderham in Guatemala City a few months ago at the IAOP chapter meeting and was immediately struck by his vision for driving higher performing outsourcing relationships and how Nearshore providers have a huge opportunity to capture a bigger share of the global exported services marketplace. We recently checked in with Steve who just recently joined Capgemini as vice president of  client engagement for the Americas. In the interview we talk about critical issues facing the sector including Life Beyond Call Centers, Governments’ Role in Driving BPO activities, the Key Advantages of the Nearshore Customer Relationship, Safety and Risk issues, Building an Active Community of Nearshore Professionals and Capgemini’s Leadership Role in the Region.

Question: Steve, at the recent IAOP Central America meeting in Guatemala you called on Central America outsourcing service providers to think more about higher value services and that “there is more to life than call centers.” What risk do these providers face and where should they be headed?

Steve Rudderham recently left his position at Genpact and is now a vice president at Capgemini's Latin American operations.

Steve Rudderham recently left his position at Genpact and is now a vice president at Capgemini's Americas operations.

I wanted to encourage local providers to look beyond the capabilities of Call Centers – that is what India, Europe and now China have done well. It becomes an iterative process where people see career growth in a company beyond answering the telephone, and stay with that provider, and in turn that allows the providers to demonstrate a stable workforce which then allows them to market more services, and hence more career growth for individuals and the community. Without these value added services, the outsourcing economy for a particular will quickly flatten out in terms of growth and development.

Capgemini Latin America vitals:

Total employees in Latin America  – Approximately 1,000

Locations: Guatemala, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo (San Salvador and Xela)

Services: F&A – O2C, R2R, P2P, Customer Care & Intelligence

Languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese

Question: In looking beyond call centers, what higher-value services can Nearshore services providers move toward and what human capital capabilities will they require?
There has been an increase in demand within the F&A Services sector for Nearshore alternatives – particularly in Accounts Payable and Accounts receivable processes. Once the clients are comfortable with these processes staying Nearshore, it opens up the opportunity for more complex work like General Accounting, General Ledger and FP&A work, so long as the country can support this demand with the resources. Supply Chain and procurement is another growing vertical that Latin America countries should look to take advantage.

Question: Tell us about your new role at Capgemini.

I have recently moved from Business Leader of Genpact’s Latin America operations to Capgemini as a Vice President for Client Engagement in the Americas. In this role, I will be leading the engagement for several key clients in the Americas and ensuring that service delivery is exceeding customer expectations.  I am looking forward to the challenge and excited about working within Capgemini as they expand their Americas footprint.

Question: What has the economic crisis done to impact the way Capgemini supports US clients seeking support in Nearshore markets?
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Blogging Live from the Central America IAOP Meeting – Next Week!

Caribbean CRM Central will travel west next week – stopping in to shake hands and blog live from the Central America chapter meeting of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, in Guatemala City.

     Guatamala City will host the IAOP's chapter meeting on April 23-24

Guatamala City will host the IAOP's chapter meeting on April 23-24

Central America near shore BPO  is thriving and we’ll show you why. Speaking at the event will be the vice president of Guatemala, Rafael Espada, IAOP chairman Michael Corbett, as well as Chris Disher, president Chris Disher & Associates, Don Althoff, former CIO of British Petroleum, Estuardo Robles, principal advisor of Roaring Jaguar, Roger Conrado, president and CEO of GVC Partners, Lori Blackman, president of DNL Global, Steve Rudderham, president of Genpact Latin America,  Mario Lopez, director with Transactel,  Nina Kawalek, CEO of RCCSP Education Alliance and David S. Anderson, CEO of The Utopia Group.

IAOP members can register directly with Amanda Corbett at: amanda.corbett [at] outsourcingprofessionals.org

A few important  sourcing facts about Guatemala (courtesy of AMR Research’s Phil  Fersht in this recent post:

  • 4.1m of its total population is “economically active”
  • 80% of its population is under 30
  • 80% are taught English from the age of 5
  • 86% literacy rate in  Guatemala City
  • University-level population of over 200,000 students
  • Robust telecom infrastructure
  • 20 years of democracy
  • 5200 feet above sea-level and 60-85 degrees all-year-round
  • Strong base of investment from multi-national corporations – for example P&G, Walmart, Scotiabank, Capgemini and ACS
  • Investing in windfarm projects with the Mexican government
  • Manufacturing represents its major industry, but increasing exports of coffee, bananas and green tomatoes are driving economic growth