India most cost-competitive call center hub: Survey

By agencies   |   Friday, 19 August 2005, 07:00 Hrs   |    7 Comments
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NEW DELHI: India is the most cost-competitive offshore locations for contact centres in the Asia Pacific region (APAC), research firm Datamonitor has said.

However, call center agent benefits are creeping upward, as local players work to reduce attrition levels, Datamonitor said in its report on ''The Global Offshore Cost Assessment''.

In APAC, Hong Kong and Singapore are slightly more expensive locations due to high living costs. Malaysia is an immature and cost competitive market, it said.

The study provides cost comparisons in major offshore and nearshore markets, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Egypt, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Singapore and South Africa.

Latin America provides the lowest offshore agent price while Canada and South Africa are the most costly locations.

According to Datamonitor, Argentina, Brazil and Chile provide the lowest fully loaded call center agent price point among all offshore locations examined in the study.

Due to a large, scalable labor force, growing multilingual capabilities and proactive domestic players, offshore investors will find good customer care prospects in each of these countries.

Mexico, despite being slightly more expensive, is also cost-effective.

Conversely, Canada and South Africa are significantly more expensive on a per agent basis. South Africa remains the highest cost location, due to agent sophistication and the appreciation of the local currency.

But, Datamonitor Call Center and CRM Analyst Peter Ryan said this is not all bad news for these locations. ''Considering the legacy of contact center offshoring in both Canada and South Africa, investors will pay a higher price per agent, however they will generally be guaranteed an excellent quality of labor as well as technology that is second to none,'' he said.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Egypt remains the most price competitive market due to its scalability and relative immaturity.

The report assessed contact center expenses, breaking them out into salary, benefits, property costs, IT and Telecommunications and taxation and foreign exchange.

''Cost management is a huge problem for many offshore contact center investors and in most cases this is unnecessary. By being able to predict where costs will rise as a percent of total expense based on current trends, prudent financial management and healthy bottom lines should not be difficult outcomes,'' Ryan added.

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