The Paris headquartered customer experience company, The Webhelp Group, has announced that it is to make significant inward investment in South Africa, opening its first site in the country, creating 1,000 new jobs.
The company will open a 7,500m2 state-of-the-art facility in Cape Town, and a 4,500m2 site in Johannesburg this week, following securing a contract with a telecommunications company. The South African operation will be known as Webhelp South Africa. The company has plans to recruit 1,000 people in the country over the next 12 months and is actively tendering for business.
The South African venture will give the company the ability to service international contracts, operating a blended onshore and offshore model from the site.
Craig Gibson will join Webhelp South Africa as CEO. Craig joins Webhelp South Africa with significant experience in the customer management sector. In his 20 year career, he has been responsible for establishing Vodacom’s retail presence in South Africa, growing Ernst &Young’s JD Edwards enterprise resource planning (ERP) practice and creating demand at Dimension Data’s Customer Interactive Solutions among a range of blue chip financial institutions.
The Webhelp Group has revenues in excess of 370m Euros, with 35 centres serving more than 100 clients across the world.
David Turner, CEO, at Webhelp UK, said: “This represents a significant milestone in the continued development of our business, by giving us the ability to support our customers across multiple geographies and is complementary to our existing English language, eastern European, nearshore locations.
“We have seen a trend over the last 12 to 18 months of organisations repatriating work from other offshore locations such as India and the Philippines as a result of poor customer experience.
“All of our research tells us that SA can deliver an equivalent customer experience to the UK for certain processes. We firmly believe that our UK, Romanian and South Africa capability gives us the best possible blend of off, near and onshore capabilities.”
Peter Ryan, Industry Analyst, at Ovum, said: “The similarity of the professional qualifications and the compatibility of the data protection laws make South Africa an excellent partner location for Webhelp UK. The country is particularly attractive because, alongside a stable regulatory environment, there is a talented workforce with high standards of customer experience knowledge.”
Craig Gibson, CEO of Webhelp South Africa, comments: “South Africa successfully delivers BPO services to the domestic markets of Australia and the UK. The language and culture of these countries is closely matched, enabling us to offer a far higher standard of customer service than some traditional BPO markets such as India and the Philippines.
“The arrival of the Webhelp Group in South Africa is another great development for the BPO industry in the country. In recent years we have seen some big brands choose South Africa and the country is establishing itself as a BPO destination of choice.
“I am delighted to lead Webhelp South Africa and be part of such a progressive global organization.”
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