News : South African Call Centres Gain Ground on India
Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov 2, 2015 -- South African call centre players are buoyant the local market is gaining ground on the traditionally strong markets of India and the Philippines.
Until recently, India could boast a thundering call centre industry, which estimates put at more than 350 000 call centre agents. However, this boom has diminished markedly, with more companies turning to SA for their call centre requirements.
A recent study on India's business process outsourcing (BPO) industry by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India and KPMG shows India is losing about 70% of new business in its BPO industry to competing jurisdictions.
While India remains one of the world's largest BPO sourcing jurisdictions, with a 37% share of the global BPO sourcing market, conditions within the industry appear to be changing rapidly, the report says.
"Until very recently, when you picked up your phone and heard a telesales marketer on the other side, it is quite likely you were able to detect a slight Indian accent. This is because the call centre agent was an Indian – and because India used to rule when it came to call centre outsourcing," says Andrew van Niekerk, MD of Teleforge Communications, a call centre solutions provider.
However, India has been losing traction in the call centre outsourcing industry, with countries like SA taking up the slack, Van Niekerk says.
According to industry body, Business Process Enabling SA, the local call centre industry has grown by about 8% a year since 2003, employs about 54 000 people today, and contributes 0.92% to SA's gross domestic product.
Van Niekerk points out SA is known to have a similar culture to that of the UK, Australia and the US – which are also popular call centre destinations.
"South Africa's tertiary education system produces three times as many actuaries than India and the Philippines combined. Because of factors like this, we are rapidly becoming known as the renowned legal process outsourcing destination.
"The call centre outsourcing industry in South Africa is thus becoming increasingly important as an employment creator and, unless things implode, this looks set to carry on. We should just take care –and ensure that we maximise on the advantages and leverage we offer offshore companies. We could be looking at a veritable call centre bonanza – right here in South Africa," Van Niekerk notes.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) is one of the apex trade associations of India. The organisation represents the interests of trade and commerce in India, and acts as an interface between industry, government and other relevant stakeholders on policy issues and initiatives. The goal of this organization is to promote both domestic and international trade, and reduce trade barriers while fostering conducive environment for the growth of trade and industry of India.
KPMG is one of the largest professional services firms in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, along with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Deloitte) and Ernst & Young (EY). Its global headquarters are located in Amstelveen, Netherlands.
Published: Tuesday, November 3, 2015