The Call Centre Operations report examines recent events, trends and the strengths of the South African BPO industry. Factors that influence the success of the sector are also discussed and include support from Government and the weakening Rand, a weakness that the local BPO industry is able to use to offer international companies more competitive rates and cost-saving solutions. Industry leaders WNS Global Services SA (Pty) Ltd, and CCI Call Centres (Pty) Ltd are two of the 23 companies profiled in the report. Also profiled is Merchants SA (Pty) Ltd which recently finalised a five-year R320m agreement with iSelect, an Australian-based provider of online insurance, utilities and personal finance comparison.
Call Centre Operations
The call centre sector, which contributes about R53bn annually to GDP and employs approximately 220,000 people is supported by Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPeSA), an association founded in 2002 to promote and develop the local IT-enabled services industry. Incorporated in the sector is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) which involves relocating business processes that a company usually performs in-house such as customer-related business and administrative functions, to a third-party service provider such as a call centre. Outsourcing becomes off-shoring when the third-party service provider is located overseas.
South Africa continues to attract international brands and since 2012 the local off-shore Business Process Services (BPS) market has experienced compound average growth of 25% year-on-year. Currently 30,000 South Africans work for foreign companies who have based their call centre operations in South Africa, mainly in Cape Town. Johannesburg remains the city of choice for financial operations while Durban is increasingly being considered as a centre for technical support issues. The Eastern Cape holds about 20% of the retail segment, with 60% of Eastern Cape call centres focused on the public sector and Government.