South Africa – A competitor to India?

The Economic Times has a news article on South Africa’s efforts to steal the call centre jobs from India.

South Africa is emerging as a serious challenger to India to take away some of its call centre jobs , a report said here on Saturday.

South Africa reckons it has a lot to offer British companies, which until now have been shipping jobs to India , according to a report published in The Times.

It argues that as well as having a huge supply of labour – unemployment is at 40 per cent – it is in the same time zone as the UK, and English is widely spoken. And, with its established domestic call-centre business, South Africa has a ready supply of middle managers who can be employed at the local rate, reducing the need for companies to send out costly British staff.

Now this reminds of the latest series of campaigns South Africa is doing here in UK. The most interesting among them is the advertisements I saw in London Taxis, promoting the uniqueness of South Africa’s call centre services.

SA's promotions

It is true that most of the South Africans has a better accent than Indians, which in turn reduces the costs involved in training the Call centre staff. South Africa economy is doing reasonably well in recent years and as a result their currency has grown stronger in the recent years.

I have my own doubts on whether a country with a strong currency will be able to offer services at competetive prices. And that gives India the edge. Add to this the fact that there is already a well established framework for call centres in India.

Check the IMC(International Marketing Council of South Africa)’s website for more details on the efforts South Africa are making in this regard.