INTERVIEW: CEO of Raya CX Speaking of the Prospects of the Outsourcing Industry

Advertorial, Wednesday 14 Dec 2022

Ahmed Refky: RCX Won Global and Regional Awards in 2022 for its Remarkable Achievements - “We Took Further steps to Expand in the Gulf Region and Saudi Arabia and Expect a Revenue Boost in Q1 2023”


How can the CX outsourcing industry keep up with rapid changes globally and locally?” It is a pressing question to ask, especially with tremendous changes taking place and impacting nearly all business sectors.

 We interviewed Mr. Ahmed Refky, CEO at RAYA CX to tackle various questions on the opportunities and challenges arising for the CX outsourcing industry in Egypt and across the world. He also shared RCX’s recent progress, expansion, and plans as a leading Egyptian-global company and how RCX views the global and local situation and its implications for the CX outsourcing industry.

As 2022 is ending, how was RCX’s performance so far?

We have successfully taken profound steps towards developing our operations, adopting new technologies aimed at accelerating digital transformation, expanding into new markets, and reinforcing our presence in the currently served ones.

Our achievements have been crowned with several regional and international awards. For the second year in a row, RCX was listed in the IAOP Global Outsourcing 100® companies list - one of the most prominent acknowledgments that recognize the world’s best outsourcing service providers and advisors. For the acknowledgment, RCX was judged based on four main categories; customer references, awards and certifications, programs for innovation, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

In addition, RAYA CX gained a higher position in the Aspirant category in Everest Group’s 2022 Customer Experience Management (CXM) PEAK Matrix® Assessment in EMEA for the second year in a row to be the first Egyptian-international company named in this global assessment. RCX gained this position in the leading assessment due to the impact it creates in the markets served and its clients’ business as well as the value of the services offered in addition to its global expansion

RAYA CX was also selected by Gulf News as one of the 50 MENA Leaders across all industries. It also won the gold award in the Digital Transformation Strategy category at the Gulf Customer Experience Awards 2022. The RCX team also received the award for Best CX and Operational Excellence at the CX Live Awards 2022, alongside other recognitions, awards, and acknowledgments.

From the perspective of the CX outsourcing industry at large and particularly RCX as a leading Egyptian-international company, how do you view the current global situation like the Russian-Ukraine War affecting the industry?

The Russo-Ukrainian War has overshadowed most businesses not only in the Middle East but also across the world, let alone the humanitarian crisis associated. Yet, out of such global adversity comes the opportunity, especially for the CX outsourcing industry, to grow in Egypt. Egypt is an enabling stable environment for this kind of investment with human resources and technologies required all available. Egypt has also long competed as one of the top investment destinations for the CX outsourcing industry regionally and internationally. Thus, it has a tremendous opportunity to attract more investments in the CX outsourcing industry - in turn, earning foreign currency.

RCX could demonstrate a remarkable performance despite the global situation, thanks to our comprehensive strategy aimed at keeping pace with the rapid economic and geopolitical changes. We efficiently serve our clients - including companies among the top Fortune 100 - in four continents in over 15 languages, while operating from six countries Egypt, Poland, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the USA

Addressing the local economic situation, how can the recently enforced economic measures influence the CX outsourcing industry?

The currency float has profoundly affected businesses. As an outsourcing corporate, RCX falls under the umbrella of exporting companies that are earning foreign currency. Meanwhile, importing companies are having a hard time maintaining their supply chains because of the difficulty in obtaining foreign currency and the exchange rate is fully determined by supply and demand moment-to-moment

Besides, increased inflation has obvious consequences on businesses, as it directly affects the cost of services in many forms, including the raised cost of gaining the technologies required and hiring qualified human talents.

As a listed leading corporate, how do you support the national economy?

Through our remarkable performance, extended presence across various regions in the world, and growth strategy, we are positioned as one of the top key players in the outsourcing business. Thus, we deposit foreign currency into local banks through our work as success partners for leading companies across the world

Our success story with our 15-year partner, General Motors, is clear evidence of our capacity to attract investments to the high-efficiency and competitive Egyptian market.

What do you think makes Egypt an enabling environment for the CX outsourcing industry?

The availability of human cadres of graduates qualified to serve businesses in over 15 languages, alongside the business-friendly environment and the governmental support for the industry; all position Egypt as a competitive destination for outsourcing business ahead of India and the Philippines.

The outsourcing industry in Egypt has witnessed noteworthy progress in terms of operations management and operational support - enabling it to provide top-notch services successfully and attract more prominent partnerships worldwide.

As for Raya CX, we strive to reinforce our operations by adopting the latest technologies -to ensure providing our partners with superior customized services and solutions, staff development, keeping pace with our partners’ businesses, and promoting their plans to grow. RCX also pays great attention to quality assurance operationally and strategically. Thus, we have a dedicated administrative unit that works to ensure constant development across all management levels, a significant step to ensure achieving our strategy and strengthening our partnerships.

What are your current projects aimed at promoting the labor market across Egypt?

We believe investing in human resources is a key method to support the economy in the long term, and therefore, RAYA CX is committed to developing youth capabilities and bridging the gap between graduates and the labor market requirements.

We have launched our initiative, Empower Your Future, to offer in-person training courses to enhance the employment skills of university students as a way of giving back to our community, and bridging the gap between graduates and the labor market. We expanded the initiative to cover various governorates in Upper Egypt. We already completed our second round of the courses - in cooperation with Misr El Kheir Foundation and we are currently preparing for the third round that will cover other governorates in the Delta region.

Tell us about the company's revenues and growth rates in 2022.

Raya Customer Experience (RCX) recorded a revenue growth rate of 44% y-o-y, driven by an expansion in operations, growing business, increased utilization rates across all facilities, and thanks to our strategies for accelerating digital transformation and up-warding performance despite the currency float for the first time in March 2022.

RCX’s revenues declined in the third quarter of the year due to the elimination of government subsidies related to our operations in Bahrain, which had been priced in on all contracts previously signed. We are currently renegotiating the terms of these contracts. Another reason for the decline was the per-operational and training expenses to proceed with Zain Saudi Arabia's recently signed US$20 million contract - currently implemented by our new facility in Riyadh. We expect the recent updates and expansions to have a positive impact on revenues in Q1 of 2023.

As significant investment destinations for RCX, tell us more about RCX's strategy for growth in the Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia.

We target further expansion in Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries through acquisitions, growing our services portfolio, and fruitful partnerships that attest to the confidence placed on RCX by key players. Recently, we signed a strategic partnership contract with the leading company Zain Saudi Arabia, under which RAYA CX provides outsourcing services to Zain Saudi Arabia and undertakes the mission of enhancing the experience of its customers in the Kingdom. Other leading foreseen partnerships are under consideration and will be announced when signed.

As for our current presence in the Gulf region, we have operational headquarters in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE, with the acquisition of Gulf CX in 2021

Recently, RCX has promoted its operations in Saudi Arabia, opening a new location in Riyadh. We also expanded in the UAE with a new headquarters alongside our current operational location in the free zone - a step to strengthen our work capacities to serve a wider client base in the UAE in both private and public sectors

The USA is one of the markets RCX has recently entered. How do you see your business prospects there?

We have expanded in the USA, establishing our subsidiary Raya Customer Experience, LLC, in the state of Delaware, USA. Under the umbrella of the new business, several partnerships are being studied and others have materialized in the signing phase. Establishing a leading position in the USA will be among our priorities in 2023.

 We already serve several leading businesses in the USA for over a decade; as our client portfolio includes companies listed in the top Fortune 100 companies in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and North America

 Tell us more about your human sources and your client portfolio.

Currently, Raya CX has over six thousand employees. Our staff conducts over 16 million customer service operations per month through calls, chat apps, email, and social media. Though operating from six countries, we efficiently serve clients - including companies among the top Fortune 100 in four continents.

What are RCX's plans in 2023 to promote its presence and revenue across all served markets

We are efficiently going ahead with our three-year plan from 2020 to 2023, focusing on:

●          Growing our client portfolio to include more key players while nurturing our cooperation with our existing clients through enhanced services and customer satisfaction

●          Ensuring a greater presence in the local market and utilizing all available resources in Egypt

●          Deploying more digital services in the CX outsourcing operations, such as artificial intelligence chatbots that enable providing end customers with instant support efficiently across all available channels, which in turn reflects on customer satisfaction and their overall experiences. Such tools are also beneficial to better utilize data analytics, helping to understand clients' behavior and take all proactive actions to meet their needs.

●          Staff development through providing our talent with advanced career development training programs.

●          Striving to improve employee satisfaction, as it is directly proportional to the quality of performance while providing customers with quality services  that maintain their loyalty and satisfaction

●          Gaining more acquisitions, strengthening our global presence, and promoting our services in new and existing markets.

●          Local operational expansions to more cities across Egypt and offering more remote work positions.


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