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Language skills and local knowledge a must for BPO success in Asia says Quintiles

By Gareth Macdonald , 23-Jan-2012
Last updated on 23-Jan-2012 at 13:37 GMT

Multilingual ‘magic’ and cultural knowledge are the keys to business process outsourcing (BPO) success in North Asia according to Quintiles.

Last week the contract research organisation (CRO) opened a new BPO centre of excellence in Dalian, China citing the city’s ethnically diverse and educated population as the motivation for setting up there.

A local Quintiles spokesman told Outsourcing-pharma.com that: “With strong universities and a growing economy, Dalian has drawn many Japanese and Koreans to move there to study or work. This has led to a well-educated and multilingual workforce.

The new unit is intended to be carbon copy of Quintiles’ BPO centre in Bangalore, India with a focus on supporting biopharma customers’ needs in in-demand clinical trial hubs in China, Japan and Korea.

Cost and culture

Cost and cultural knowledge - as well as location - were also factors in Dalian’s selection according to Quintiles.

The China location of this center is not solely about keeping costs low, though certainly overhead costs are lower in Dalian than they would be in Western markets.

For our clients in Japan, Korea and China, we would not be able to provide the language and cultural capability we have at the Dalian Center of Excellence if it were located elsewhere. Dalian’s multilingual workforce is the magic definer of this opportunity.”

At present Quintiles employs only 15 people at the new facility however – according to its spokesman – it expects that “number to grow very quickly.”

We seek talents with technical expertise in Data Management, Biostatistics, and Pharmacovigilance skills in general. To support customers in Japan and Korea, we are also looking for people who have either English, Japanese or Korean language capability.”

China trials

The Dalian office will work in concert with Quintiles’ established clinical trial and laboratory services centers in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and is the latest of a number of recent investments in the country – most notably the launch of Kun Tuo in December .

And – according to Quintiles’ spokesman – the firm expects the growth of the trials sector in China to continue.

As the pioneer for clinical research in China, Quintiles expects to see continued growth in demand for our services in the next couple of years and we will be offering bespoke solutions in response to the varied and unique business requirements of our business partners.

Kun Tuo, whose staff will be Quintiles trained and whose Quality Assurance will be overseen by Quintiles, is an example of how we continue to develop and build innovation solutions to meet the unique needs of our partners and the market.

He also said that Quintiles is keen to play a part in the development of the Chinese trials sector.

Just last weekend, we held a China Advisory Board meeting, chaired by Dr. Dennis Gillings as part of ongoing and open discussions with regulatory officials to help them set an environment that both supports industry and protects patients. This type of collaboration with government is central to our mission in developing countries, including China.”

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