Paris-based call centre operator The Webhelp Group says it plans to hire a thousand people in South Africa in the next 12 months as it makes its first big investment in the country.
The investment will include the opening of a 7 500sq m call centre facility in Cape Town and a similar, 4 500sq m facility in Johannesburg.
The plans come after Webhelp secured a major contract with a telecommunications company. It has not disclosed the name of this client.
“The South African venture will give the company the ability to service international contracts, operating a blended onshore and offshore model from the site,” the company says in a statement.
Craig Gibson, who was responsible for establishing Vodacom’s retail presence and who has also worked at Ernst & Young and Dimension Data, has been named CEO of Webhelp South Africa.
The Webhelp Group has sales of €370m, with 35 call centres worldwide serving about 100 business clients.
Webhelp UK CEO David Turner says the South African investment is “complementary” to its English language call centre operations in Eastern Europe.
“We have seen a trend over the last 12 to 18 months of organisations repatriating work from other offshore locations such as India and the Philippines as a result of poor customer experience,” Turner says. “All of our research tells us that South Africa can deliver an equivalent customer experience to the UK for certain processes.”
Gibson says South Africa is able to offer a “far high standard” of customer support than some traditional business process outsourcing markets such as India and the Philippines. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media