Fastest-growing sector in local economy is celebrated at upcoming conference and awards ceremony

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“The global BPO industry is valued at $163 billion and is expected to grow to $183 billion by 2023.” – McKinsey report ‘Driving economic recovery in South Africa’s BPO industry’

South Africa is facing a massive crisis in the form of rising youth unemployment and scarce job opportunities. In a country where 1 in 3 people nationally is unemployed, the numbers are more alarming for the youth where 63.9% of those aged 15 to 24 are without an income stream. But there is one sector that is not only solving this unemployment crisis but bringing digital innovation to the country as well – global business services (GBS).

From 8 to 10 November, local stakeholders and global investors will descend on Umhlanga, KZN to attend the annual South Africa GBS Investor Conference and BPESA Alchemy Awards that celebrate this burgeoning sector. In fact, the GBS report notes that between 2018 and March 2022, the international GBS sector in South Africa added an impressive 65 385 jobs to the economy with $1 068 billion generated in export revenue.

According to the McKinsey report Driving economic recovery in South Africa’s BPO industry, South Africa has been voted the second most favourable location for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) for three years in a row from 2018 to 2020 – BPO falling under the GBS sector. The reason is that the country has developed a reputation as a ‘reliable, cost-effective, and high-quality destination for outsourced business services’. Even during Covid-19 and lockdown, South Africa migrated to remote working models to remain operational with minimal disruption to clients.

“We’re looking for solutions to our youth unemployment and economic challenges, and this conference provides just that,” commented Reshni Singh, CEO of BPESA. “From January to June this year alone, the youth accounted for 89% of the new jobs in the GBS sector – that’s 9 072 people employed and upskilled in a digitally focused economy. South Africa was recognised as the world’s preferred location for customer experience services in 2021 and 2022, and through the South Africa Annual Investor Conference and BPESA Alchemy Awards, we want to continue this positive trajectory and grow the sector even further.”

GBS doesn’t only solve the problem of job creation in a digital landscape, it focuses on empowering those from previously disadvantaged communities. Priority hire is given to those from poor households or communities with low levels of employment with 2 000 inclusive hires made from January to June 2022. Ethnic diversity is a central tenet of the South African GBS sector with 54% of workers hired from 2020 to March 2022 black, 32% coloured or mixed race, 10% Indian and 4% white. Women contact centre agents make up two-thirds of the South African GBS sector – at 67%. 

As a leader in the international GBS sector – considered to be the country’s fastest-growing sector at an annual average compound growth rate of over 22% the past few years – it’s no surprise the country is again hosting the annual South Africa GBSl Investor Conference and BPESA Alchemy Awards 2022.

The event is organised in partnership with national government, The Department of Trade Industry and Competition (DTIC), InvestSA and social partner Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Regional host partners include the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (KZN EDTEA), Trade and Investment KZN (TIKZN), Invest Durban and eThekwini Municipality. 

Domestic industry support has been shown with some of the leading brands sponsoring the flagship event, including large global US Captive TransUnion, domestically-based International BPO Operator iContact and homegrown, proudly South African, internationally adopted speech analytics firm, Callbi.

During the three-day engagement, this national conference will offer several opportunities for domestic stakeholders and international investors to convene, learn, co-create, and discover the many benefits South Africa offers as an attractive offshore location. Attended by a broad array of industry stakeholders, they will be connected with sector specialists, thought-provoking panel discussions, knowledge-sharing workshops, masterclasses, BPO site visits and networking sessions. The event culminates in a celebration of the country’s world-class talent at the BPESA Alchemy Awards Banquet running under the Theme of ‘SA’s Got GBS Talent’.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become part of this historic event that further positions the country as the leading business process outsourcing (BPO) destination that unlocks investment and job opportunities.

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