3,000 jobs lined up for Saudi women at outsourcing center

Updated 16 September 2014
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3,000 jobs lined up for Saudi women at outsourcing center

The first all-female business process outsourcing (BPO) service center in the Kingdom, which was inaugurated in Riyadh on Sunday, will aim to provide 3,000 local jobs to Saudi women in the next three years in line with nationalization efforts.
The BPO center was jointly opened by Saudi Aramco, General Electric (GE) and Indian IT services company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
Aramco and GE were the first clients of the center, which spans 3,200 square meters.
Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Prince Saud bin Khalid, deputy governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Aramco president and CEO, John Rice, GE’s vice chairman, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO and managing director of TCS, and various dignitaries from government entities and business executives attended the official opening ceremony here.
Supported by the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), the center has begun operating with around 300 employees that have been trained in communication and presentation skills, corporate etiquette, global culture and basic computer programs, such as Microsoft Office and Excel.
About 100 of these new employees are fresh graduates, while the rest have two to three years of experience.
Fresh graduates were selected from educational institutions in the Saudi capital, including Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University, the largest university for women in the world, King Saud University (KSU) and Imam University out of 1,200 candidates interviewed for the jobs.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Al-Falih said: “Being the first all-female BPO service center in Saudi Arabia, this joint effort will bring significant value in diversifying the economy and society and will help address the challenge of creating jobs for talented and skilled female graduates by establishing a more diverse work force and boosting competitiveness.”
Echoing the sentiment, Rice observed: “The newly opened BPO center is proof of our commitment to support the Kingdom’s priorities around human capital development and the creation of employment opportunities for talented Saudi women.”
He described it as a new model for business customers to achieve higher operating efficiency in the Saudi market.
Expressing his delight, Chandrasekaran underlined, “skills, talent and technology converge here at the Kingdom’s first all-female BPO center, marking a new era for the information technology and BPO industry in the Kingdom.”
The center, which will undoubtedly reduce female unemployment rates (pegged at 34 percent in 2013), has already achieved a more than 70 percent nationalization rate.
The opening of the center was announced in September last year, with specialized services in finance, accounting, human resources, material supply and library services, in order to enhance operational efficiency for customers.


‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

Updated 23 March 2019
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‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

  • “First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah” Akon said 
  • He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits at the Asharqiah Music Festival

DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.

“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."

At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.

He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."

Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.

“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”