Zim hosts inaugural BPO conference

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By Business Reporter

The Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) in partnership with the Econet Wireless’ Omni Contact will next month host Zimbabwe’s first BPO & Contact Centre Conference.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a method of subcontracting various business-related operations to third-party vendors to allow enterprises to focus on their core activities and reduce their operational costs.

And the outsourced services can include product sales, contact centre support, loyalty and retention programmes, social media analytics, subscription renewals and a host of numerous other services.

CCAZ Public Relations Officer Gamuchirai Makedenge said the event will play a huge role as the country vies to become a leading outsourcing centre within the region.

“The Zimbabwe BPO & Contact Centre Conference forms part of the first large scale developmental initiative aimed at positioning Zimbabwe as a global BPO and Contact Centre destination,” she said.

“The conference will draw together global players, investors and local players with in-house and outsourcing contact centres, policy makers, government leaders, technology vendor suppliers, and developmental agencies among others.”

The contact centre sector in Zimbabwe has grown significantly over the last five years.

Experts says advancement in information technology, a highly educated workforce, and relatively affordable costs of communications and data transmission have made it easier for Zimbabwe to provide customer services and sales support from cost-effective, geographically distant, technology-mediated centres.

BPO expert Rinos Mautsa has projected that capacitation of the sector in this country can have extensive economic impacts for the local economy.

“In 2018 alone the Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe received investment and country readiness enquiries from over 40 international BPO operators and potential clients.

“A proper structure is now needed with a conference being the building block of this low hanging fruit.

“The long-term plan is to establish Zimbabwe as a global outsourcing destination creating over 50 000 jobs and over $100 million dollars in foreign currency earnings by 2030,” said Mr Mautsa.

“Presently, CCAZ has 13 organisations setting up in-house and outsourcing contact centres which will translate in more jobs and foreign currency earnings.

“The call centre cluster, and the broader business process outsourcing industry of which it is a central part, is now growing in Zimbabwe.”

Telecoms giant Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has taken a huge step in respect of the local BPO industry through launching its own BPO subsidiary – OmniContact.

Earlier in March, management said the new OmniContact had already garnered a global client and customer portfolio that spans the USA, Dubai, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Angola, Kenya and South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.