International BPO investors converge on Cape Town

30 high profile international BPO/contact centre companies recently visited Cape Town for the inaugural BPeSA Western Cape Outsourcing and Offshoring Summit 2012.

The three day summit brought together a number of the world’s largest BPO operators including Wipro, Convergys, Firstsource, Capgemini, Infosys as well as leading international brands Nestle, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Thomson Reuters and Harte Hanks.

One of the speakers at the summit, Steve Holdsworth Head of Outsourcing for British Gas said there were a number of factors that made the company choose South Africa as an outsourcing location. These included good infrastructure, supportive government and industry bodies, close cultural affinity to the UK and a large talent pool.

“The performance levels we have experienced in South Africa are excellent. The productivity in our Cape Town site is as good as anywhere in the UK,” said Holdsworth.

“Based on what I have seen, there is no reason why this site could not be the best in the entire British Gas organisation,” added Holdsworth.

“The investor summit is a great initiative by BPeSA Western Cape and will help build on the hard work of the organisation and its partners in attracting further foreign investment. In 2012 we have already seen WNS, Capita, Serco (Shop Direct) and T-Mobile come to Cape Town and I am looking forward to even more interest in 2013,”said Alan Winde, Minister for Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape.

InterContinental Hotels Group Global Sourcing Manager Garret Bradham expressed interest in investing in South Africa after attending the Summit. “My experience of Cape Town over the last few days has dramatically changed my perception of South Africa as a business location. The people are incredibly warm and left you feeling that you had developed a genuine friendship after only speaking to them for a few moments.

“The quality of people that I have interacted with over the last few days has convinced me that investing in South Africa would be an excellent idea. The return goes beyond mere financial gain, as the energy in this country will help make good companies great. I look forward to seeing more of this destination and what it has to offer.”

According to Gareth Pritchard CEO of BPeSA Western Cape the feedback from the investors has been amazing. “There is definite interest in the South African offering and I’m looking forward to significant foreign investment into the region over the next few years.”

India and Philippines have typically led the way as the BPO/contact centre locations of choice, but in recent years South Africa has also made its mark on the global market. In October 2012 it was named the National Outsourcing Association (UK) Offshoring Destination of the Year. The award capped a wonderful year for the country during which three of the world’s most prominent outsourcers set up centres in Cape Town.

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International BPO investors converge on Cape Town