Sri Lanka should be a ‘24x7-capable’ BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) destination, if the country is to serve America in a broader way which continues to be the biggest BPO market with over 50% of market share, an industry expert said.

Addressing the SLASSCOM Executive Briefing on ‘Future Outlook for Business Process Management’, WNS Europe and South Africa Managing Director, J.J. (Eric) Selvadurai said BPO service providers should look at developing the industry eco-system at a macro-level.

“As Sri Lankan service providers, we should be all dressed up and ready to offer our best to USA. By that I mean Sri Lanka should be a ‘24x7-capable’ BPO destination to serve them. I am not talking about keeping offices open for 24x7 because you can control that scenario.

However, the whole infrastructure and the eco-system of the country have to be worked up. Countries providing best BPO services in the world have good public transportation where employees can finish their work at around 3 a.m. in the morning and go home. At a macro level, we have to focus on those areas,” said Selvadurai.

He asked the service providers attending the briefing to push for those immediate changes required for the industry, keeping in mind that Sri Lanka as a destination has done well in servicing USA than India.

Global BPO Market size for 2012 is US$ 159 billion and is expected to touch US$ 209 billion by 2017. Selvadurai mentioned that America having the largest market share in the world is poised to grow to US$ 116.7 billion at a CAGR of 5.2% in 2017, capturing 55.7% of the global market.

However, Selvadurai added that Asia Pacific will be the new growth region with CAGR of nine per cent in the next five years.

“The Asia/Pacific region is expected to generate US$ 47.4 billion in spending in 2017 and lead growth among regions at a CAGR of nine per cent. This represents approximately 22.6% of the total worldwide BPO spending in 2017. F&A (Financial and Accounting) and HR (Human Resources) grow from low bases as Asia Pacific firms focus on process improvement to help enhance scalability and customer service.”

“Sometime ago, when we looked at the APAC market; it did not make a lot of economic sense that time even though we had the urge to go into the market. However, it does make a lot of sense economically. When we tried to penetrate the Australian market 6-7 years ago; it was not easy because there was not much benefit. Now it has become a market that many BPO practitioners eye very eagerly,” Selvadurai said at the briefing.

He said that India is heavily investing on their tier-2 and tier-3 cities to expand their BPO services and stressed that it is high time for Sri Lanka to do the same thing.

“BPO practitioners in the country should already be thinking about what the ‘next Colombo’ is and where it is going to be. SLASSCOM as the IT/BPO chamber of the country should advise the government on that aspect and evaluate the next big city of the country to roundup best talent and bring out state-of-the-art infrastructure to redefine the industry,” said Selvadurai.


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