A number of the world’s largest customer service organisations and analysts recently descended on Cape Town for the annual South Africa Offshoring Summit 2013.
The Summit served to inform potential investors and analysts about the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO,) contact centre opportunities available in South Africa.
“This has been another very successful event which has ensured South Africa, and the Western Cape Province, is firmly positioned as an international BPO destination of choice. As provincial government we are committed to supporting this industry due to the vast potential it holds in creating jobs for our residents, particularly in the 18 to 34 year old age group,” said Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister for Finance Economic Development and Tourism.
Over the past three years five global operators Capita, Infosys,Serco, Webhelp Group and WNS have set up operations in South Africa, joining other operators currently operating out of the location such as Aegis, CCI, Genpact, Merchants, Mindpearl and Teleperformance. This has coincided with investment from a number of international brands including British Gas, Everything Everywhere and Shop Direct. During this time South Africa has also won two international awards for Offshoring Destination of the Year from the National Outsourcing Association (UK) 2012 and European Outsourcing Association 2013.
“This is an exciting time for the industry and we are expecting significant investment to occur on the back of this event,” said Gareth Pritchard, CEO BPeSA.
“This year’s event has proved hugely successful for the industry and has helped to highlight South Africa’s amazing achievements over the past few years in establishing a thriving BPO industry, said Johann Kunz, MD of WNS South Africa.
“What was most encouraging was the sense of collaboration between all the stakeholders and the numerous opportunities that were highlighted that will assist in further developing the South African BPO value proposition.”
According to international outsourcer, Mindpearl, since the company opened its doors in Cape Town in 2001 it has seen a number of positive developments in the industry:
“Infrastructure, technology, cost base, talent management and skills development have all helped in attracting a number of international organisations who now use South Africa as a cornerstone for their global outsourcing strategy. This, coupled with the focus and determination of government and specifically BPeSA, we can now realistically say that South Africa has joined the Premier League of global outsourcing destinations. The variety of big name potential investors seen at the Summit in Cape Town this week is testimony to this progress,” said William Pattison, CEO of Mindpearl.
According to David Turner CEO of Webhelp UK, the latest entrant into the South African BPO market, when deciding where to offshore, the company wanted a location that could offer its clients the economic benefits of a blended on-and offshore operation with absolutely no compromise on the quality of customer experience.
“We believe that South Africa, above any other offshore location, is able to deliver the levels of advisor empathy, intelligence and cognitive ability that twenty first century customer management demands. Due to the quality of our South African advisors, we can envisage a time when we will incorporate a full range of channels into our South African operations.”
“Offshoring South Africa 2013 has firmly established South Africa as the premier location for high value front office outsourcing delivery into English speaking markets. Not only was Cape Town well presented to delegates but the enthusiasm from other regions such as Durban and Johannesburg was equally compelling. The next step for South African BPO will be to move into higher value functions such as KPO and LPO and the will of the industry appears to be there in order to facilitate such a strategy,” said Peter Ryan, Senior Analyst at Ovum.