Fiji Offers Strong Proposition for Contact Center Destination
January 20, 2009
With U.S. companies struggling to turn a profit in the midst of a recession, many are turning to alternatives to traditional operations. For some, this means outsourcing or offshoring certain parts of the business as some regions of the world can offer significantly lower cost of operation.
When organizations are seeking to move elements of their operations offshore, they often favor destinations with more supportive or cost-effective infrastructures. These third-world countries often have high unemployment rates and literacy levels, available or potential for development of infrastructure as well as a stable economic environment.
Contact centers have been an area of business that has been more prone to offshoring as parts of the world such as India and the Philippines have offered highly skilled and educated individuals who easily speak English and can deliver acceptable levels of customer service. Now, Fiji is emerging as a potential competitor in the global fight for call center dominance.
Fiji gained its independence in 1970 and since that time has maintained a high literacy rate of more than 93 percent. In addition, its historical links to Britain have resulted in an English-speaking nation. The country also offers an excellent telecommunication infrastructure, making it a new contact center hotspot.
Mindpearl Group is one organization that has already spent much time investigating the potential in Fiji. "Mindpearl has already undertaken extensive research and visits to Fiji, analyzed real estate availability, the labor market and met with local government departments and telecommunication providers," said Alan Graham, chief commercial officer for Mindpearl Group.
"Local government is keen to attract investment and job creation particularly in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Fiji’s position in the world is a great benefit for a contact center business supporting English speaking and western-based consumers," added Graham.
Fiji also offers a highly educated workforce. In addition to its high literacy rate and English as the primary language, 80 percent of its population has gone through both primary and secondary education. Its high unemployment rate means there is a readily available and educated workforce at a competitive cost base.
The telecommunications structure in Fiji is a competitive factor as well. The country offers a well-developed infrastructure through the Southern Cross network, an underwater cable that runs through the Pacific linking New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. west coast.
As the economy continues on this rough path, U.S. companies will be more likely to investigate alternative methods for doing business that improve the bottom line. Fiji is shaping up to be a viable alternative to the domestic contact center, offering lower cost and improved operations.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Michelle Robart