COMMUNICATION: BPeSA W Cape To Embrace Global Upturn
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The stepping down of Sipho Zungu as CEO of BPeSA Western Cape will not affect the organisation’s ability to drive growth for the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, says Fagri Semaar, its acting CEO.
BPeSA Western Cape is a Section 21 company that promotes Cape Town and its surrounding areas as destinations for national and international investment in contact centres and business process outsourcing. Formed in 2001, BPeSA Western Cape is funded by member contributions as well as by local and provincial governments.
Semaar will take over from Zungu as interim CEO, with Roland Govender filling the role of interim Chairman of BPeSA Western Cape.
“The BPO sector has experienced impressive growth over the course of Zungu’s tenure with the province now creating in excess of 30 000 jobs,” says Semaar
“We are committed to build on this platform and are currently in the process of discussing possible BPO investment opportunities, with three large foreign delegations,” adds Semaar.
Semaar says, the potential investors are impressed by the facilities in the region and is confident it will result in healthy foreign investments.
“We are also involved in getting a number of private companies to attend international trade fairs or stage forays abroad to promote South Africa as a BPO location.”
According to Semaar, despite the growth over the past five years in particular, the recession has definitely had a negative impact on certain industries like financial services.
That means companies must take more responsibility for their own growth, says Govender. “There is a need to work closely with BPeSA and other government agencies such as the DTI and the Services Seta to achieve growth targets,” Govender says. However private companies must be “bold enough to jump on a plane” to attend international trade fairs on their own initiative, he says.
“Some companies have a certain inertia and have been following a specific path. That path now needs to be developed into new niches like serving the health, transport and government sectors so we can achieve our potential on the world stage,” Govender says.
Its members must also pitch their services to more mid-sized local companies too, as well as chasing foreign deals, he says.
“We operate in a highly competitive global environment where every year new countries start offering BPO services. We need to make South Africa more visible and one area that really needs intense work is marketing ourselves as a location. The business is there, but we need to be more aggressive in chasing it.”
“We will continue to drive the industry but we need more proactive participation by our members,” he says.
In 2010, BPeSA Western Cape will step up its support for small, medium and micro enterprises by improving its assistance to emerging operators.
The body receives the majority of its funding from the provincial government and the City of Cape Town. BPeSA Western Cape continues to invest heavily in skills development and the creation of job opportunities for the BPO sector.
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