by CIO Staff

Africa Catching India for Call Center Locales

Jun 02, 20062 mins
IT Leadership

The next time you make a call to a customer care center, you might reach an agent in Morocco instead of Mumbai. That’s because African countries will lead call center growth through 2010, according to research released by Datamonitor on Friday.

African countries typically offer a low-cost location, workers who often have excellent language skills, and governments and private companies that are working to attract outsourcing contracts, according to Datamonitor, a U.K.-based research company.

For example, Morocco and Tunisia are ideal spots for outsourcing customer-care operations that serve French speakers, although Morocco is also developing English- and Spanish-speaking talent as well. Companies often struggle to find low-cost options for outsourcing call centers that can support French speakers, Datamonitor said.

Egypt is already a popular customer-care center location and promises to continue to be. Sub-Saharan Africa traditionally hasn’t been a top choice for call centers but is beginning to attract some companies, Datamonitor said. Botswana, Ghana and Kenya in particular have been seeking out outsourcing contracts.

South Africa, with a workforce that typically speaks English, is already a dominant and maturing market for outsourced service centers.

While competition for call-center outsourcing contracts around the world has grown over the past few years, African countries are managing to differentiate themselves and win contracts, Datamonitor said.

The call center outsourcing market in India is still growing strong, however. Revenue from call centers grew 37 percent to US$6.2 billion in India in the year ending in March, according to research from the National Association of Software Companies in Delhi, India.

-Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service

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