COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – French multinational CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping line, opened a shared service centre in Sri Lanka in a joint venture with the Hayleys group Wednesday.
Company officials said the centre will support the group’s back-end operations for the Asia-Pacific and European regions, focusing particularly on accounting and financial services.
"We have recruited 125 people to start with. By the fourth quarter of 2016 we will have close to 6-700 people," said C S Ananda, Regional Managing Director CMA-CGM.
"Our plan is to make Sri Lanka a centre of excellence for finance and accounts."
The centre will recruit people with full or part qualifications in accounting.
The company aims to set up centres in the towns of Kandy and Galle later on as business grows, Ananda said.
CMA-CGM is investing 2.4 million US dollars to set up the shared service centre in which it has a 90 percent stake with Hayleys holding the rest.
The facility will provide operational services like customer services, sales support, operational support, and accounting and financial services.
It could later expand to serve clients globally.
Christian Krarup, Vice President, CMA-CGM Group France, said the move will yield cost savings as well as help centralise expertise and knowhow especially in financial and accounting activities, making use of Sri Lanka’s acknowledged skills.
Some of the work done by CMA CGM’s shard service centre in Malaysia, which is being scaled down, will be shifted to Colombo.
"We’re also looking at different processes and different business segments – to bring new activities into the shared service centre," Krarup told EconomyNext.com.
"We don’t want to see it as a mono-functional component of the organisation but rather we want to invest and build multi-functional skills sets so we can also propose to our employees a career model that goes with the operational model," he said.
"For instance in India we’re hosting over 34 different business processes; finance and accounting is just one."