Firm moving call centre from Mumbai to East Lancashire

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First published in Simonstone Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A TELECOMS firm is ditching its call centre in India and setting up in East Lancashire in an attempt to cut costs.

The boss of New Call Telecom said low rent, shorter call-handling times and a loyal workforce would make the office more cost-effective than its existing base in Mumbai.

The move is in stark contrast to the decision of a number of high-profile firms move operations abroad to save money.

Around 100 jobs are expected to be created in the first year at the former Time Computer Systems site in Simonstone, with 20 people being recruited immediately.

Former Time Computers site

Chief executive Nigel Eastwood, who hails from Burnley, said the premises were being rented for around £4 per square-metre - considerably less than units in India.

And he said the Ribble Valley centre would represent better value, despite staff being on higher wages than their Indian counterparts.

He said: “There might be a slight cost advantage in Mumbai in terms of salary, but real estate over there has gone through the roof.

“As well as occupancy costs, we have to send management out to India and put them up in hotels, and the jobs are in the hands of a third party.

"So there is parity between doing it over there and doing it in East Lancashire in some superb premises, where it is very cost-effective.

“We also have a real problem with staff retention in India because they just move to other companies.

“We train them up to a good standard, but for whatever reason we cannot keep hold of them.

“I’m a Burnley guy, born and bred, and I have always been passionate about the North West, particularly East Lancashire. Staff here are loyal.

“This is my opportunity to put something back into East Lancashire through employment and by providing really great customer service from our organisation.”

Time Computer Systems was one of the area’s largest employers before it went into administration in 2005.

Located minutes from Burnley and Padiham, the centre is likely to recruit people from both towns.

Community leaders welcomed the announcement, saying they hoped the firm would take a similar path to fast-growing communications firm Daisy, based at Nelson.

Gordon Birtwistle, MP for Burnley, said: “Obviously, I’m delighted that these jobs are coming to the area.

“They are jobs that we had initially had but were shipped abroad and now they are coming back.

“I always said that would happen because people do not work for next to nothing for very long.”

Charlie Briggs, Burnley Council leader, said: “With Shop Direct closing last year, there will be one or two people who worked there looking for this type of job.

“The jobs will be ideal for those who haven’t already been taken on by Daisy or don’t want to travel to Nelson.”

Mike Damms, chief executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “I’m not surprised at this and I would like to think it will continue to be a trend for some time to come.

“The fact is that the quality of life is good here.

Property is affordable, people travel short distances to work, food is competitively priced, schooling in some areas is good.

“A number of things make the area attractive.”

New Call Telecom was created in October when directors at Primus Telecommunications Ltd, which has a global turnover of $1.5billion, acquired the company’s retail assets in the UK in a management buyout.

It provides line rental, calls and broadband packages to homes and businesses.

Staff at the Simonstone centre will handle calls from Primus Saver customers.

They would be paid the minimum wage, with additional bonuses if they hit sales targets.

Former Barden High School pupil, Mr Eastwood, 44, cited an intention to expand as the company competes with giants like BT, Virgin and Sky.

He said: “We are growing quicker than ever due to the popularity of our broadband and home phone packages.

“It is a David and Goliath scenario because we are going up against all the big firms and giving people what they want at a time of recession.

Applications for a number of customer service and sales roles are available at Jobcentre Plus offices.

Alternatively, go to www.primussaver.co.uk.

Comments (8)

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3:36pm Mon 4 Jul 11

--oOo-- says...

What a terrible indictment of the area.

Not only do we have the most disgusting housing stock in the country, we are now a cheaper place to do business than India.

Many will see this as a positive, jobs coming to the area etc., however, do people not see what a laughing stock we are becoming?

The word Burnley is synonymous with social unrest, poor education, high crime, poor housing, unemployment and deprivation.

This is just another of those stories that make the rest of the country look at us with disdain. Not a good advert for us I'm afraid, no matter what positive spin is put on this latest news.
What a terrible indictment of the area. Not only do we have the most disgusting housing stock in the country, we are now a cheaper place to do business than India. Many will see this as a positive, jobs coming to the area etc., however, do people not see what a laughing stock we are becoming? The word Burnley is synonymous with social unrest, poor education, high crime, poor housing, unemployment and deprivation. This is just another of those stories that make the rest of the country look at us with disdain. Not a good advert for us I'm afraid, no matter what positive spin is put on this latest news. --oOo--
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Mon 4 Jul 11

gudari says...

Where the employees or the company are from is not of the slightest as long as I can easily understand them if I have occasion to call.
Where the employees or the company are from is not of the slightest as long as I can easily understand them if I have occasion to call. gudari
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Mon 4 Jul 11

bikerjohn_uk says...

Oh the irony. It's actually an Indian telecoms company too. Will they be training English operators to speak Urdu/Gujerati/Bengal
i and then answer the phone claming that their name is Ranjit?
Oh the irony. It's actually an Indian telecoms company too. Will they be training English operators to speak Urdu/Gujerati/Bengal i and then answer the phone claming that their name is Ranjit? bikerjohn_uk
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Mon 4 Jul 11

Keep Darwen Green says...

Oooh goody, more £5 an hour jobs for the area, talk about boom time
Oooh goody, more £5 an hour jobs for the area, talk about boom time Keep Darwen Green
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Mon 4 Jul 11

DaveBurnley says...

The real test will be if they remain here. Call centres have minimal equipment requirements. Desks, filing cabinets & chairs, telephones and computers, the incoming lines should already be installed.


They have been lured here by cheap rents and low wages, if the economy starts to improve, how long will they stay here for?
The real test will be if they remain here. Call centres have minimal equipment requirements. Desks, filing cabinets & chairs, telephones and computers, the incoming lines should already be installed. They have been lured here by cheap rents and low wages, if the economy starts to improve, how long will they stay here for? DaveBurnley
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Mon 4 Jul 11

midas says...

It sounds as though the site is going to be the industrial park that used to have Time computers and phillips.
.
Parts of Bombay have some of the most expensive property prices in the world, more expensive than London. Not suprising that you can get cheaper rents around here.
It sounds as though the site is going to be the industrial park that used to have Time computers and phillips. . Parts of Bombay have some of the most expensive property prices in the world, more expensive than London. Not suprising that you can get cheaper rents around here. midas
  • Score: 0

6:54pm Mon 4 Jul 11

Bernard Righton says...

gudari wrote:
Where the employees or the company are from is not of the slightest as long as I can easily understand them if I have occasion to call.
Sadly my friend, i think you will be deeply dissapointed as the gutteral utterances of the indigenous population are incoherent to all but the locals, and yes, i'm talking about Padiham not Mumbai....
[quote][p][bold]gudari[/bold] wrote: Where the employees or the company are from is not of the slightest as long as I can easily understand them if I have occasion to call.[/p][/quote]Sadly my friend, i think you will be deeply dissapointed as the gutteral utterances of the indigenous population are incoherent to all but the locals, and yes, i'm talking about Padiham not Mumbai.... Bernard Righton
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Tue 5 Jul 11

TpadDotCom says...

The company involved (New Call Telecom) is actually moving into the business park where I am currently employed, it is more in the Padiham / Simonstone area (Time Technology Park, BB12 7TW).
My company, Tpad Ltd is providing them their telephone system and predictive auto-dialler (SIP based), infact the main reason I think they are moving back is the ultra cheap calling rates (using SIP trunking technology) that can be used if your bandwidth is sufficient. I dont think the bandwidth in India would be able to cope with 50 concurrent calls but on the Time Technology Business Park they can get a 100MB leased line. There is currently a large banner on our site advertising upto 30 jobs with New Call Telecom, so I recommended a few friends to signup as there is a chance after a few months to move up the ladder.
The company involved (New Call Telecom) is actually moving into the business park where I am currently employed, it is more in the Padiham / Simonstone area (Time Technology Park, BB12 7TW). My company, Tpad Ltd is providing them their telephone system and predictive auto-dialler (SIP based), infact the main reason I think they are moving back is the ultra cheap calling rates (using SIP trunking technology) that can be used if your bandwidth is sufficient. I dont think the bandwidth in India would be able to cope with 50 concurrent calls but on the Time Technology Business Park they can get a 100MB leased line. There is currently a large banner on our site advertising upto 30 jobs with New Call Telecom, so I recommended a few friends to signup as there is a chance after a few months to move up the ladder. TpadDotCom
  • Score: 0

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