Service management, ITIL 4 and English language skills – a growing market in MENA and SE Asia

Author*: Sunil Mohal, Ducis Group

Sunil Mohal, founder of Ducis Group – based in Delhi, India – has been involved in IT service management and customer support since the late 1980s. He is an ITIL Expert, Managing Professional and Strategic Leader and accredited trainer for all levels of ITIL 4.

Here, he describes the expanding market in the Middle East, Africa and South-East Asia for training and certification in both ITIL 4 best practice and LanguageCert English exams.

The journey towards organisational maturity, operational quality and a competitive jobs market is fuelling demand for ITIL 4 and English language certifications in the MENA region and South-East Asia.

Since setting up Ducis Group in 2017 to deliver best practice training, we have grown to 14 accredited trainers based in India, Kenya, Uganda, UAE, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Working exclusively with PeopleCert and Axelos, we have developed course content in collaboration with our trainers who are familiar with individual country cultures and languages. As a result, we have seen a steady growth, delivering a couple of thousand exams in 2021. The calendar year 2022 started off strong, with the first quarter showing a phenomenal 50% growth, quarter on quarter.

The large-scale adoption of IT in daily life – for things such as online payments and other digital services – has a technology back-end. And this means there needs to be a better approach to the processes for managing and improving digital technologies, maintaining services and keeping customers happy.

Therefore, ITIL 4 has become a standard reference point for companies and professionals across our regions, recognising that if people are certified in ITIL they can do a better job. As a result, the demand for ITIL-certified people is also feeding into requests for proposal (RFP) from large organisations to service providers.

At the same time, it has become a much more competitive world for job applicants and having a certification like ITIL 4 helps people to stand out.

But achieving a business or IT certification is not enough today.

My career has benefited from being able to communicate effectively in a global language – English. At Ducis Group we believe if you are an ambitious professional working in technology, you need the ability to work with people globally – and that means being able to communicate in a common language. 

This affects people in jobs such as software development: communication is the first step to ensure you understand your customer, get their development requirements right and solve their issues. Software developers involved in writing computer code understand that they are using a “language” that follows its own structure and syntax; in the same way, they should be able to see the value in mastering a spoken language like English.

In business and technology, if you can’t understand what the other person is saying to you, there is a problem! And this counts also for the millions of people in India working in international customer service roles.

In a vast market of people seeking the best job roles, the younger generation is facing a challenging time. So, they need a combination of skills and competencies which cover technical, business and language: understanding organisational processes and practices while developing their ability to communicate and collaborate effectively.

The interpersonal abilities needed to flourish in the contemporary workplace necessitate a more diverse skills mix involving a mix of hard and soft skills. This integrated approach will enable any professional to stand out in a constantly disruptive world with fierce competition, where technical qualifications alone are simply not enough. 
When companies are assessing possible candidates for important roles, a person having a best practice certification such as ITIL 4 for service management or PRINCE2 for project management is a great advantage. Coupled with that, proven competence in English through a globally accepted certification such as LanguageCert International ESOL exams makes all the difference.

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