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By Audrey B.

The outsourcing of customer relationship management services may not be as high in demand as it was a few years ago, but then, according to a report by the Global Industry Analysts (GIA), global call center revenue is bound to reach $189.3 billion by the year 2015. Which is why it is unsurprising that there are many countries gearing towards further development in the call center outsourcing space.

East African country, Kenya, is one destination that is pushing towards becoming a giant in the call center outsourcing space. In a story by CNN’s Marketplace Africa, the show highlighted the company, KenCall, Kenya’s biggest outsourcing call center. The $6 million dollar, Nairobi-based company is optimistic about the prospects of Kenya as a call center outsourcing services destination even compared to its more prominent competitors, India and the Philippines. With the continued improvement of technology and services in Africa, centers such as KenCall can begin to offer services that would be at par with its competitors at more competitive rates. Even Indian corporations are looking favorably towards Africa as a viable investment option. This includes Indian billionaire Ravi Ruia, who invested in a South African call center for the Essar Group. According to Firdhose Coovadia, director of African operations at Essar Group, “Africa looks remarkably similar to what India was 15 years ago.” Likewise, another Indian company investing in Africa is Bharti Airtel, who on the 25th of October, announced plans of initializing call center operations in Africa, citing that it will be creating call centers in partnership with IBM, Tech Mahindra and SPANCO. Bharti Airtel’s CEO, Manoj Kohli expressed his confidence in the country, stating that, “Africa will revolutionize,” and that “Today is only a germination.”

Meanwhile, in an evaluation by Frost & Sullivan, the company pointed out that an Eurasian country, Russia, is one emerging outsourcing destination for call center support services to keep an eye on. According to a briefing by the company, a major reason for this is that Russia’s infrastructure is improving, allowing them to offer more advanced contact center outsourcing services.

And while these emerging destinations are gearing for top gun, veteran CRM call center services destinations, India and the Philippines are also not resting on their laurels. India is currently improving its technological capabilities in order to remain ahead of its competition, strengthening the current infrastructure and adapting the latest technologies. India’s high staff turnover, however, may pose a challenge.

A big focus however, still largely remains on the Philippines. Numerous companies have announced plans of expanding in the country, even smaller outsourcing companies such as Qualfon, who announced just a few days ago on the 5th of November that they will be hiring 3,600 people in Dumaguete City and Cebu city. According to Gilbey Radin, HR and General Affairs Manager of Qualfon, out of Qualfon’s different centers in Argentina, the US, Guyana, Costa Rica and Mexico, “the Philippine delivery center has the best customers service representatives with agents who can speak English well and communicate effectively with customers.” Other Asian companies from Japan and China have also expressed interest in establishing call centers in the country. Everest Research (NYSE:RE) India Partner, Nikhil Rajpal, even goes so far as to say that, “In standalone voice business, the Philippines will undoubtedly beat India this year to become the call centre capital of the world.”

It will be an interesting race to see who will emerge on top in the call center outsourcing race. Given that more and more countries are looking to share in the humongous pie that is CRM outsourcing, even current leaders such as Philippines and India have to remain on their toes if they want to stay on top.

Disclosure: No positions

Source: Countries Gearing for Top Spot in CRM Support Market