Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has become a significant business trend not only in the UK, but also internationally. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have forced many businesses to either close their doors or revisit their operational effectiveness. This is where outsourcing has played an important role with many UK businesses turning their attention to offshoring as a strategy to reduce costs, whilst maintaining the same or an even higher quality of work.
South Africa as a BPO Hub
Over the past few years, South Africa has established itself as a top global outsourcing destination for high-end BPO services, including financial, legal, accounting, insolvency, and contact centre services. South Africa has been named “Offshoring Destination of The Year” twice in the last 5 years (2016 and 2018). And in 2021, South Africa was voted “Most Favoured Global Offshore Customer Experience Delivery Location” after three consecutive years in 2nd place.
Durban, where Affinity Group is headquartered, is characterised by a large and highly qualified talent pool, with a relatively low cost of living compared to other South African cities, making it a more cost effective BPO hub. Durban offers quality skills in the contact centre space, especially for customer service work, but is also focusing on increasing growth in niche functions. Durban is the most prominent English speaking (as a first language) city in South Africa with almost half of the city’s population speaking English as their first language. This contributes to the fact that Durban’s population is recognised as having the most English-neutral accents globally.
Here are some of the benefits that Durban offers over alternative offshore destinations:
- Cost-saving – Durban offers major cost savings to source destinations such as the UK, US, and Australia of at least 40 to 50% on a steady-state operating basis (including overheads). Durban as a BPO also provides a viable and sustainable solution to the challenges and costs related to recruiting, training and equipment, with savings of nearly 50%.
- Skilled English-speaking workforce – Durban is home to a large talent pool of fluent English-speaking people with neutral accents and high empathy levels. Durban boasts a large availability of trainable talent with a strong understanding of technology.
- Highly qualified and affordable workforce – Impressively, Durban has 55,000 industry-relevant degree holders entering the job market annually and that are available for hire at entry-level every year. This gives our clients access to a highly educated workforce for even low level functions and roles.
- Cultural affinity – South Africa, and Durban in particular, is very similar to the UK and other western countries (the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) in terms of culture.
- Robust technology infrastructure – South Africa has a robust technology and telecommunications infrastructure, with fast and reliable internet that enables efficient remote working and communication.
- Time zone – Durban’s time zone (GMT+2) overlaps effectively with multiple time zones, particularly the UK. Durban’s capacity for round-the-clock high-quality service at significantly lower costs appeals to all parts of the world. The city is also able to offer both large and small offshore clients in the US, Australian and Canadian markets their night time or “downtime” customer support timelines, effectively allowing businesses in these regions to offer 24/7 customer support.
- Deep domain skills – South Africa as a whole prides itself on its ability to offer both entry-level customer service work as well as complex back-office and niche domain services.
- Regulatory compliance – At a Group level, we are certified as being compliant with all General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Protection Act (DPA), California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), and Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) regulations and requirements.
We believe that every business should at least consider outsourcing as a part of their business strategy. Even if you do not choose to outsource yet, why not at least explore the logic and benefits behind outsourcing to Durban, South Africa?
Partner With Affinity Group
At Affinity Group, we are uniquely positioned in Durban, South Africa and provide a wide range of BPO services for countries around the world including the US, UK, Australia and Canada. We offer professional outsourced business support and back office services to companies involved in insolvency, finance, accounting, insurance, law, conveyancing, inbound/outbound telecommunications services, lead generation, sales activation and niche customer service markets.