RAYA CX CEO, Ahmed Refky was interviewed in the July issue of ICT Business Magazine. This special issue is dedicated to the IT and telecom sector in Egypt and highlights the key players shaping the industry.
Refky discussed RAYA CX’s turnaround strategy and the growth the company has seen in the last quarter. He also pointed out the importance of Egypt becoming a haven for the European market wanting to outsource their business requirements.
Refky also highlighted RAYA CX’s expansion plans in the GCC and the US and how the acquirement of Gulf CX affected business and market growth. He also hinted at a new telecom strategic partnership that will be announced shortly.
Read the whole interview transcript below
Ahmed Refky: RAYA CX recorded profit growth of more than 200%, and Egypt is a haven that can meet the needs of the European market (interview with ICT Business magazine)
Raya CX has witnessed big milestones and many successes since Ahmed Refky, CEO of RAYA CX, took over its management. His technical background in managing major companies served as a pass for the company to expand its business in Egypt and abroad, especially in the promising markets of the Gulf and America, thanks to the trained human cadres and the accumulated experiences of employees in RCX. The company has begun to achieve unprecedented successes, which were relayed by Ahmed Refky, CEO of the company, in his interview with ICTBusiness.
Firstly, can you tell us in detail about the company’s business and growth rates during 2021 and the first half of 2022?
We’re pleased to see clear growth in all numbers compared to the first quarter of last year. The company recorded a 37.9% growth in revenue, an EBITDA of 43.3% year-on-year, and a more than 200% increase in net profit year-on-year.
Our strong results are the best proof of our strategy’s success and our digital transformation journey. By improving our operations, expanding our digital service offering, our recent acquisition of Gulf CX, and expanding into new markets, RAYA CX is establishing itself as a global leader in customer experience.
Our transformation strategy has laid a strong foundation for the next chapter in the RAYA CX story, and I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to my dedicated team and loyal RAYA CX customers.
“I would like to express my gratitude to my dedicated team and loyal RAYA CX customers.”
From your point of view, what are the negative and positive effects of the Russian war on Ukraine and how can we exploit them to achieve the desired goals?
When the Russian-Ukrainian war began, everyone had fears, especially in the business sector, about global security and the possibility of a third world war. Also, neighboring countries began to see economic and security effects from the war, with food prices rising and the supply of wheat and corn affected – Ukraine and Russia are major exporters of agricultural products for many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. According to Human Rights Watch, global food prices have risen by more than 30% compared to last year, as the Ukrainian crisis has pushed prices up to their highest levels since 1974.
If we look beyond the humanitarian crisis caused by this war, the entire global economy will be affected by slower growth and faster inflation. European governments may also face pressures to provide energy to their citizens, hence the trend toward the Middle East and Egypt to secure new sources of energy, which will open the door for long-term investment cooperation with the European market.
And if we’re talking about the outsourcing industry specifically, we find that companies are always looking for a more stable environment to operate their business and this is exactly what we are witnessing, and I mean here the huge influx of commercial demand for our industry in Egypt as a stable market.
What about Raya CX’s expansions this year, and its future expansion plans?
At the beginning of this year, Raya CX announced its expansion in the KSA by opening a new branch for the company in Riyadh, in addition to its existing branch in Al-Khobar. The company is currently finalizing the final stages of studying a strategic partnership opportunity with one of the major telecommunications companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Through this partnership, Raya CX provides outsourcing services and enhances the company’s customers’ experience in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This step reflects Raya CX’s contributions to the outsourcing industry and the support of major companies around the world, and its prominent presence in the Gulf region and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Raya CX is also studying expansion into new geographic areas including the Americas through acquisition. In continuation of our strategic expansion plans, we’re working to strengthen our position in the markets in which we already operate by spreading our services in new cities – mainly in Egypt and the Gulf countries. In addition to spreading the concept of working from home across all geographical regions in Egypt.
About two years ago, Raya CX acquired Gulf CX – Can you tell us about the changes in the company’s business after the acquisition?
The acquisition entailed further expansion, particularly in conjunction with the rest of the pillars of our expansion strategy. Our acquisition of Bahraini Gulf Customer Experience Company (GULF CX) paved the way for Raya CX to have a presence in the Bahraini and Saudi markets. This comes in conjunction with the establishment of a new company in the American market and plans in the company’s strategic agenda to acquire another American company.
“Our acquisition of GULF CX paved the way for us in the Gulf market and we’re looking to acquire an American company”
How does Raya CX keep pace with technological advances in terms of providing services based on artificial intelligence, especially after the state of recovery from the Coronavirus?
Raya CX is focusing on data analysis and predictive analytics – advanced analytics that works to predict future results – in addition to relying on artificial intelligence in providing services, to allow the customers of our business partners to enjoy a high-quality service. In addition, these huge technological advances help us understand the needs of the client. This prompted Raya CX to raise its investments by a large percentage, which allowed the expansion of the provision of these services.
One of our most important new services is the analysis of customer data, and Raya CX already has its own data centers and databases that allow providing this type of service. Indeed, we provide digital services based on artificial intelligence; we already started providing services such as chatbots, and customer support via social media platforms.
Can you tell us about RAYA CX’s key differentiators versus the competition?
What sets us apart and cements the Raya CX name in the industry is the deep domain expertise that we offer to each of our clients. As well as qualified and trained human talent at the highest level, we do our best to carefully select customer experience agents, provide them with the necessary training and resources, and invest in developing their language, technical, and various professional work skills.
One of the most important elements that distinguish us is also the use of advanced artificial intelligence and data analysis, which allows us to understand the customer’s behavior with the brand and then work to proactively meet his needs to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction for the brand.
No doubt developing digital infrastructure to keep pace with digital transformation processes has become costly. How does Raya CX face this issue, and what is the company’s strategy for development during the current period?
Since last year, the company has worked on developing the digital infrastructure to serve our digital transformation by allocating a large budget to enhance capabilities to meet global standards. As we aim to expand the provision of digital services in addition to regular voice services – the company has witnessed a major transformation in this regard, which has already been reflected in the company’s statistics, as operations during 2021 relied on technical services by 42% compared to 58% for voice services, versus 2020 where the company relied on 90% for voice services, and 10% for technology. The company has also worked to expand the provision of its services through social media platforms.
What represents the availability of a quality workforce in Egypt? And when will the gap between the labor market needs and the large number of graduates be closed?
The availability of human talent of qualified graduates makes Egypt a distinct destination for the outsourcing market. Regarding the gap between the needs of the labor market and the capabilities of graduates, Raya CX seeks through its work to bridge this gap and enhance the capabilities of young graduates to keep pace with the needs of the labor market. Educating and training young people in the basic skills required in the labor market.
“The availability of human talent of qualified graduates makes Egypt a distinguished destination for the outsourcing market”
How do you see the role of CX employees and the importance of training them considering your quest to provide the highest level of services to clients?
Human cadres are the backbone of outsourcing services, and we provide our cadres with all the needed resources, training, development programs, and daily follow-ups to achieve outstanding performance and ensure the highest degree of customer satisfaction in their work with Raya CX’s partner brands.
While we’re talking about human cadres and expansions inside the country, what about your programs to work in the governorates?
We have a branch in Hurghada, which in turn provides job opportunities for the people of Upper Egypt, especially Qena and Luxor. The age of the employees in the RCX Hurghada site ranges between 24 and 30 years, 64% of them are males and 36% are females, and the percentage of employees from Hurghada is 60%, while 25% of them are from the governorates of Upper Egypt, especially Qena and Luxor, and 15% of the employees there are originally from Cairo and Alexandria.
We’re also studying expansions in different cities in Egypt, in addition to expanding our work from home program to workers across the country, which creates more job opportunities in all governorates.