Mauritian BPO Market on Course to Cross Billion-dollar Mark by 2017

The Mauritian business process outsourcing (BPO) market has shown substantial growth and has attracted a number of global BPO service providers according to Frost and Sullivan.

July 29, 2011

Mauritian BPO Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $199 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $966,313 million in 2015. The following sectors are covered in the research: contact centre or customer relationship management (CRM) outsourcing, financial and accounting outsourcing (FTO), information technology outsourcing (ITO), human resources outsourcing (HRO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO).

A strong financial services sector, a good track record with tourism and hospitality and a drive to improve ICT capabilities have provided the backbone for high-value BPO services. The BPO market is projected to generate $1.12 billion in 2017.

Mauritius supports relative ease of doing business. The country offers a friendly business environment, government support and tax incentives.

“Starting a business takes approximately six days and the acquisition of an occupation permit takes three working days,” elaborates Frost & Sullivan’s ICT Business Unit Leader Africa Birgitta Cederstrom. “Furthermore, the board of investment, with the guidance of the Minister of Finance, provides advice for investors and facilitates the process of setting up a business in Mauritius. Investors receive help on permits and licenses, site and location assistance and investment advice.”

At present, voice and back office services are mature and well established, but the recent trend has been towards lucrative, high-end knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) services requiring judgment and analytical ability as well as domain expertise.

Mauritius has strong competencies in financial, legal, IT and customer services because of the high proportion of these skills in the market.

Moreover, the establishment of data centres and the construction of a green data centre allowing substantial cost and energy savings, position Mauritius as a competitive data centre hub.

The limited labour pool, however, inhibits the growth of BPO service providers, resulting in low-scale BPO centres. In addition, the rapid influx of providers operating in Mauritius has put a strain on available resources.

“Mauritius has inherent skills difficulties because of its small population,” explains Cederstrom. “Outputs from schools and tertiary institutes remain too small to allow a large influx of new BPO service providers, even as existing providers compete over the limited available talent. This has put a strain on resources which will affect the growth of the BPO market in Mauritius.”

Efforts should be made to identify alternative sources that will supply the core competencies and skills sets needed for BPOs in Mauritius. Furthermore, there needs to be better absorption of existing graduates and school leavers.

“The promotion of a 24/7 work culture through marketing and campaigns is a means to ensure greater absorption of school leavers and graduates into the BPO sector,” advises Cederstrom. “The streamlining of curriculums and training programmes focused on the core competencies with regard to BPO services in Mauritius will help aid the absorption of school leavers and graduates into the BPO sector as this process can be more easily and effective managed with a smaller scope.”

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