Will South Africa Become the New Call Center Capital of the 21st Century?
South Africa’s call center industry has exponentially grown over the last 10 years. As a result of this growth, the industry rapidly expanded from a few thousand agents to hundreds of thousands of agents. Currently, 210,000 South African laborers are employed in the call center industry, with 9 percent of those working for offshore companies (Cohen, Mike).
South Africa has been very successful at attracting major call center operations from European and other international markets. The government hopes to continue to attract companies to its shores and take its rightful place as the preferred location for 21st-century international call center and CRM support services.
Strategic Advantages of Having a Call Center in South Africa
As the South African call center industry continues to grow, it is becoming more attractive to international companies, such as Amazon, Aegis, and WNS. Here are just a few of the competitive advantages of having a call center in South Africa.
Cost Competitiveness and Government Incentives
The low cost of labor in South Africa is highly favorable to international businesses.
In addition to South Africa’s low labor costs, international companies are encouraged to establish a business in the local market by government incentives, including grants for investment and training, as well as tax breaks for job creation.
Advanced Technological Infrastructure and Skilled Labor Pool
In comparison to other low-cost destinations, South Africa is relatively advanced with respect to technology and infrastructure. In addition, the labor pool consists of technologically competent individuals that are well-trained. This labor pool is the very life-blood of the South African call center industry.
Time Zone Compatibility with Europe
In regards to Europe, South Africa has a time zone advantage which gives the country preference over some other destinations.
Cultural Affinity with the UK
The South African labor force consists of a large pool of English-language speakers. Having a diction and accents of the UK market makes the technologically competent and well-trained South African labor pool even more desirable.
The South African call center industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the last decade. The country’s success at creating a competitive edge has lead to the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Government incentives, tumbling communications costs and a competent labor pool whose diction and accents suit the UK market continue to attract international investors while existing investors expand. It is very likely that South Africa will become the call center capital of the 21st century.
Cohen, Mike. “Amazon, WNS Fuel Call-Center Boom in South Africa.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-12-01/amazon-to-wns-tap-south-african-accent-for-call-center-expansion. Accessed 26, Feb. 2017.
Eastwood, Victoria. “Move over India – South Africa bids to become call center capital.”
http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/06/business/call-centers-south-africa/. Accessed 26, Feb. 2017.
“The South African Call Centre Industry in the 21st Century.”
http://www.callcentres.com.au/south_africa_21Century.htm. Accessed 26, Feb. 2017.
Kilian, Anine. “South Africa Continues to See Big Jobs Potential in Call-Centre Sector.”
http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/south-africa-continues-to-see-big-jobs-potential-in-call-centre-sector-2015-04-17/rep_id:4136. Accessed 26, Feb. 2017.
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