The rm is aiming to grow its business organically after an aggressive M&A campaign undertaken since its inception in 2016
by MARK RAO / pic by TMR FILE
ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) company Everise Holdings Inc has identified Malaysia as its fastest-growing market and intends to increase its capacity in the country in order to reach US$500 million (RM2.06 billion) in revenue by year-end 2020.
Its CEO Sudhir Agarwal (picture) said the Singapore-based customer service company is aiming to grow its business organically after an aggressive merger and acquisition (M&A) campaign undertaken since the company’s inception in 2016.
This comprises two assets in the US — namely tech firms Trusource Labs and C3 — as well as the acquisition of a Malaysian-based AI company, Hyperlab, and Globee which was its greenfield project in Malaysia.
Sudhir said the company sees Malaysia as its largest growth market despite being present in more than 15 countries, with the US being its biggest base.
“As of today, Malaysia is small because it’s a brand new venture, but I think Malaysia is growing at the fastest pace,” he told The Malaysian Reserve recently.
Sudhir added that Malaysian companies and industries have to adapt to changes in customer services, which are taking on global and not just local or regional perspectives, and this is where the growth is.
“Over time, they will lose market share (if they fail to adapt). It is not something that will change tomorrow but two to three years from now, they will realise that they have gone way behind,” he said.
According to Sudhir, travel, hospitality, telecommunications, banking and food and beverage are among the fastest growing industries in Malaysia.
Among the five, he said the banking industry is quick in adopting AI-based solutions to customer services but is slow to leverage on multilingual capability due to the governance and compliance risks.
Everise leverages on AI technology to provide multi-or omni-channel customer service solutions and disrupt how the contact centre and business processing outsourcing industries work today.
To date, the company has over 12,000 AI-powered employees providing over 500,000 customer service interactions daily in 15 different countries and 17 different languages.
Sudhir said achieving this growth since the company’s inception required working with partners on back-end technology, which is key in facilitating these services.
As such, he said Everise intends to match the US$10 million (RM41.3 million) invested on technology in Malaysia thus far over the next 12 to 18 months, as the company is looking to add more capacity in the country.
As a group, Everise has grown 22% annually. It is expected to bring in US$250 million revenue this year, with Malaysia touted to be its fastest-growing market.
While disruptive firms such as Everise are perceived as a threat to traditional industries and ways of doing business, Sudhir said disruption is an opportunity for workers to move up the value chain.
“I think Malaysia’s potential is in doing what we are doing for Globee and Hyperlab (our Malaysian assets) which is high-value and high-skill based jobs. Our entire leadership and management in both these companies are all Malaysians,” he said.
Sudhir added that this would allow people to do what they are best at, namely problem-solving, and not just relaying information which can be automated.
As for multilingual customer experience centre Globee, Everise is expected to employ 500 people by June this year and 750 by year-end before growing to 2,000 in the next two years.
Hyperlab, which has 12 to 13 employees today, should employ about 50 people a year from now on, said Sudhir.
On the M&A front, he said there may be one or two small deals but Everise is expected to achieve a US$500 million revenue base by the end of 2020 organically.
“The reason the company entered into acquisitions in the past was to acquire the capability and expand its geographical presence. Future M&As will only be considered if they meet these criteria,” he added.
Everise is an almost debt-free company as past acquisitions were financed through equity as opposed to bank borrowings.