Every country is a source of talent



By Martin Conboy

locationThough India and the Philippines dominate the IT-outsourcing, BPO and shared services markets, the search for affordable and skilled talent now stretches to practically every location in the world. Except for countries in the grip of war or some major disaster, every nation has the opportunity to compete in the global market for skills.

Global demand for high quality, lower-cost BPO services, combined with operational and cost improvements in international telecommunications is allowing more and more countries to compete and participate for outsourcing projects.

The nations of Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia are doing their best to attract business to their countries. According to UNCTAD (United Nations Conference for Trade and Development, five countries accounted for 95 percent of the total market for offshoring in 2004 – India, China, Canada, Ireland, and the Philippines .

Since then numerous countries have made inroads into the market, including Malaysia , Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore in Asia; Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, and Romania in Europe; and Argentina, Brazil and Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Mexico in Latin America.

The nations of Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia are doing their best to attract business to their countries

The global market is experiencing geographical diversification as new locations compete and become viable for offshoring. This diversification is a result of multisource strategies being adopted by service providers and by competition among destination countries.

The same search for talent is encouraging the movement of shared services centres and captive outsourcing operations from developed markets such as North America and Western Europe to new and emerging markets. Due to its time zone, South America has seen significant growth from North American corporations while Eastern Europe’s growth is fuelled from Western European Corporations.

Cushman & Wakefield’s report – Where in the World? Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) & Shared Service Location Index – highlights how rising inflation, labour and property costs in established BPO destinations such as China and India are adding to the commerical attractiveness of emerging locations.

Language proficiency remains high on the agenda for BPO providers with locations offering a turnkey labour pool, trained and equipped in multiple language skills particularly attractive. South Africa, with its strong English language skills and similar time zone is a popular destination for BPO providers servicing UK enterprises.

To add value to their portfolio of services, BPO providers are now combining vertical solutions (such as claims processing, health pay business processing and loan portfolio management) with horizontal solutions (such as payroll, procurement, HR and supply chain management) to deliver effective BPO strategies.

Many emerging locations are offering specialised skill sets tailored to particular service offerings and industries. As such there’s Malaysia which has a focus on KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) or Sri Lanka which is focused on Back Office accounting and LPO (Legal Process Outsourcing).

As the industry continues to grow and diversify, so too will the number of locations for outsourcing and shared services continue to grow.
July 15, 2015
  1. Luis de Leon said on July 16, 2015 12:45 pm:

    Very informative article. Thanks Martin.

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