In March of this year I was invited to represent Central Europe at the World Credit Congress in Johannesburg.
Having spent four of my childhood formative years in South Africa, I was excited and nervous to return after 44 years.
Prior to the conference, my wife and I spent a week in Cape Town and three days in the Kruger National Park before heading to Johannesburg via my old town.
Although short, these excursions gave us a glimpse into the real South Africa, its friendly people, stunning landscapes and its huge potential.
To the outsider, South Africa remains a land of contrast – many are unpleasant contrasts revealing extreme wealth and poverty, at times side by side.
However, what was evident was a pride and a belief in its future and potential.
Businesses looking for alternative environments to outsource as a captive SSC or BPO, South Africa is definitely worth a look and you would be helping the locals in a big way.
There is a very high unemployment rate- millions of young folk ready to work at very short notice.
A good number of US and European companies have been established for some years and more are expected.
This article was partly inspired by Daniel Shapiro from Founding Partner of SSDA and a Director at the South African Business School. Daniel and I met at the conference and spoke about his experiences and the opportunities that await.
An example for outsourcing is US Collections. The time zones don’t present a problem because shift working, especially late shifts is widely accepted in the business sector.
Whatever location is chosen , success of the SSC depends on a long term strategy – please don’t see only a quick saving in labour costs – plan for many years, invest in the career paths of the talent and make maximum use of the technologies.
For more information, contact Mark Harrison

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