Oct 8, 2021 13:27

Driving economic recovery in South Africa’s BPO industry

How business process outsourcing can position itself to create jobs and grow beyond the crisis

South Africa has been voted the second most attractive Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) location in the world for three years in a row, based on its reputation as a reliable, cost-effective, and high-quality destination for outsourced business services.


The annual 2020 Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey conducted by Ryan Strategic Advisory, ryanadvisory.com. And the nation’s standing as a key BPO player has been reinforced over the last six months. While lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus compromised business continuity across the world, South African contact centres were quick to migrate to remote working models and were able to remain operational with minimal disruption for clients.

Strong operational and service capabilities in the sector are among the reasons that service exports have been identified as an inclusive growth sector in McKinsey’s “South Africa Big Five” report. The BPO sector currently employs over 270,000 people

in six cities, 65,000 of whom serve international clients. This total staff base could grow to over 775,000 jobs by 2030, with up to two-thirds of these in the service of overseas markets. That trend is already underway: Amazon announced in June that it would be hiring 3,000 people in South Africa this year to support customers in North America and Europe. Amazon to hire 3,000 people in South Africa for customer service roles,” Reuters, June 18, 2020, reuters.com.

If stakeholders act decisively and strategically, the sector can build on its reputation and the resilience it has demonstrated in recent months and position itself for further growth.

The global BPO industry is valued at $163 billion and is expected to grow to $183 billion by 2023.

- McKinsey & Company

The South African BPO market still has room to grow

The global BPO industry is valued at $163 billion and is expected to grow to $183 billion by 2023, driven largely by a 7 percent per annum growth rate in the digitisation and automation-fuelled Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) sub-sector.3 Traditional BPO services, although growing only half as fast, still make up over 70 percent of industry value and are likely to remain the dominant revenue pool over the next three to five years…

CCI South Africa   www.cci-sa.co.za