Amal Hassan is the founder and CEO of Outsource Global, a Nigerian contact centre business process outsourcing company. It specialises in delivering BPO solutions, telemarketing, IT services, software development, and customer support services to the international market.
Hassan is a technopreneur with diverse interests across different technology verticals. In 2013, she founded Outsource Global which has established its presence with offices in Abuja, Lagos, and Kaduna.
Read also: Women in Business: Amal Hassan
During a panel session on More Jobs through Investing in Human Capital at the World Bank-IMF 2023 Annual Meetings in Marakesh Morocco, Hassan said she started her career with an IT training center in the Northern part of Nigeria, Kano and after training a lot of IT professionals, she realised that she wasn’t changing their lives.
“They come into the centres, they get trained in major IT courses and then go back into the market without a job,” she said
In her quest to create employment opportunities for Nigerian youths, she did her research and discovered that BPO servicing provides millions of jobs to the Indians. She found out that Americans have been outsourcing their customer services to Indians since 1980, and she thought ‘Why not Nigeria’.
“It took me eight years to start the company, I started it four times and failed but we went live in June 2016 and today we have 1,500 employees and 50 percent are women,” Hassan said.
In order to compete with India in the skills required to serve the international market not just America, the company created its training team.
“Nigeria graduates about a million graduates every year, with different skill sets but they have to be upskilled to be employed. We put in structured training from communication skills, attention to detail, time management, and critical thinking, for them to be enrolled in client-specific training,” she said.
After one year of operations, Hassan realised the reluctance of Nigerian graduates to pursue roles in customer service and sales, after obtaining specialised education.
To address this, she transitioned the company’s business model to a partnership approach. This involved collaborating with experts in various fields such as law, accounting, and software development to design tailored training programs that bridged the gap between academic knowledge and practical skills required by the international market.
This started by taking in lawyers in Nigeria, she said. “We looked at different kinds of training and started with paralegals, and today those lawyers are doing much more than paralegals work.”
“Also, we looked at accounting as a service, and we partnered with someone that designed a project on a program basically to upskill our accountants in Nigeria to be able to serve the international market.”
“We looked at the US as a market and applied the same procedure with software as a development service and got a partner in Silicon Valley that created a program that trains our team based on the needs of companies in Silicon Valley,” she said.
Hassan added, “The same thing we did with the software we did with accounting, we got a partner in Houston and thought how to upskill our people based on your needs, how do we expand your team with us, what is the kind of training that is required for us to do and we structured a training based on the gap that they have.”
On how the training works, she said “We set up on curriculum based on how they are going to be employable, and then we structure the training, test them before finally outsourcing them.”
Her efforts resulted in the establishment of the Outsource Global Academy, which focused on providing comprehensive training in software, AI, and data management. With an emphasis on upskilling and practical applicability, the academy aimed to equip graduates with the necessary expertise to thrive in the global marketplace.
“Right now we’ve over 300 people training and there are only 24 people that haven’t been outsourced yet after passing from our academy,” she said during the panel discussion.
However, after COVID-19, the company realised the big gap regarding administration in hospitals in the US. She said “We created a training, we got a partner who has already a curriculum regarding training people on professional medical services (PMS) and we have now trained 19 people and gradually we are outsourcing them.
Under Hassan’s leadership, Outsource Global expanded its operations across multiple cities in Nigeria and has plans to establish a presence in French and Spanish-speaking countries in Africa.
Hassan’s commitment to empowering women and youth has earned her recognition as a role model and mentor in Nigeria, particularly in the northern regions.