South Africa is the second-best location for contact centres

India places first and Philippines third in a survey revealing the world's most-favoured contact centre locations.

According to the annual 2020 Front Office Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Omnibus Survey, South Africa is the second most-favoured location for contact centres in the world. This is the third year in a row that South Africa places second in the survey, which is run by global consultancy Ryan Strategic Advisory, and reveals the views of 540 senior decision-makers responding on behalf of 240 businesses representing 42 countries spread across multiple sectors.

Meanwhile, India is perceived as the number one location for contact centres, while the Philipines, Malaysia, and Poland make up the rest of the top five respectively. 

“In South Africa, the sector employs an astonishing 260,000 young people, of which 65,000 service international clients and provide services into Europe, the United Kingdom, USA, Asia, Africa and Australia,” says Andy Searle, CEO of Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPESA)

“Last year, we recorded 34 percent employment growth, generating 15,086 new jobs, 13,102 of which went to youth aged 18 to 35 and 1,353 of which were inclusively hired through the impact sourcing approach. Notwithstanding current market conditions, we can add as many as 500,000 digitally traded service jobs over the next 10 years depending on market conditions.”

Factors that contributed South Africa’s high favourability, according to BPESA, are cost, which is an attractive price point including cost of labour, real estate, taxes and sector-specific government incentives, health and safety, business climate, linguistic skills, and the availability and linguistic skills of labour. 

Other stand-out efforts that impacted SA’s ranking include the ongoing push to promote the country as a customer experience delivery destination of choice to the international market by the industry body BPESA in collaboration with social partners and national government.