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BPESA Newsletter December 2019

Dear BPESA Members, Partners and Stakeholders

The past calendar year has been a good one for BPESA and the Global Business Services Sector in South Africa. This newsletter presents me with a great opportunity to reflect on some of the highlights of the year and allows me to thank you, on behalf of our Board, our EXCO and our OPSCO for your unfailing support and tremendous success.




Marketing to stimulate demand

The GBS Operators added 12,243 new jobs in the first three quarters of the year bringing the total number of new jobs created since January 2018 to 23,410 against the Jobs Summit target of 50,000 by 2023. With 89% of the new jobs being for youth, 64% for women, and 10,4% being specifically for excluded youth, the sector is making a very positive contribution to addressing some of our key socio-economic challenges.

Click here to read the latest Jobs Report "GBS Sector Jobs Report Q3 2019"

Numerous successful marketing trips were undertaken to the UK, Australia, the USA and India to promote South Africa and position our value proposition, and we ended off the year with a world class investor conference and awards event hosted by BPESA, the dti and Team KZN in Durban. The event was attended by over 60 international guests and saw in excess of 300 South African based delegates.

The feedback from the international guests has been extremely positive about South Africa and what the country and GBS Sector has to offer with many of the participants sharing encouraging sentiments about future engagements and investment intentions into South Africa.

Keeping abreast of changes in the global markets, we refreshed our National Value Proposition and shared the key elements of this at the GBS Conference which were well received. We also developed regional value propositions for Gauteng and KZN, and sub-segment value propositions for Alternative Legal Services, Finance and Accounting, HRO and ICT.




Building a sustainable supply of skills

Many of you worked hard to contribute to the formulation of the Sector Skills Strategy, which was launched earlier in the year. Equally, many of you have been participating in a range of skills-development projects as the strategy is now being implemented across the country to ensure that we can sustain the rates of growth we are experiencing and expecting.

BPESA and the GBS Sector have played a leading role in engaging with various government stakeholders to enhance and update the country’s critical skills lists with a nuance towards Industry 4.0. In addition, processes are being updated and we are, with your support, also lobbying for improvements to the allocation and disbursement of government funding for demand led skilling interventions. We expect to see this work start to bear fruit before the end of this year through the implementation of interim processes for critical skills VISAs. Correspondingly this will be expanded during 2020 with the piloting of innovative accelerated youth employment programmes across all subsegments of the sector.

Our revamped skills portal has been launched and will assist us (and you) in more-effectively matching providers and consumers of skills development programmes in the sector moving forward.

Most importantly, our drive to grow the practice of Impact Sourcing as an intentional inclusive hiring process has progressed well and we can all be proud of the leadership role that South Africa plays in the advocacy of this practice globally. We launched the first Impact Sourcing Supplement at our 2019 GBS Investor conference, showcasing many great case studies that demonstrate the economic and social returns on investment of this strategic sourcing practice, particularly in South Africa and on the African continent.




Mobilising the GBS industry

Our membership numbers grew this year by 28% on the 2018 numbers (they have grown 413% since 2017) showing the fruits of an increasingly mobilised and active sector. Most encouraging is the spread of membership across regions and across the GBS supply chain - including 5 start-ups. With the Global Business Services sector showing so much growth potential in the economy, it’s essential that we extend our network to be as inclusive as possible thereby offering access to many more South African companies and to expanded growth opportunities. On this note we were delighted to have the Eastern Cape region participate actively in 2019 and join our EXCO and OPSCO to help shape our growth strategy – it is due to this participation that BPESA are proud to be partnering with the Eastern Cape and hosting a Domestic GBS Investor Summit in Q1 2020.

We look forward to industry participation where the EC will showcase their GBS offering to the industry.

BPESA members were active in 2019 attending the quarterly skill forums, numerous CEO forums and dinners, many marketing forums, sought-after product & services solutions sessions, the ISO standards workshops, celebrations of excellence, the National Awards, and many other activities, events and networking and learning opportunities throughout the year.

We held our first Annual General Meeting, as the new BPESA, in November during which those present voiced their satisfaction with what has been achieved to-date and gave their support for the scaled -up growth path that we are on. Earlier in the year we were invited by Genesis Analytics to participate in the South Africa in the Digital Age Initiative (SADA), aimed at determining our readiness for the digital economy and charting the roadmap to digital competitiveness. During this process we reimagined what growth is really possible if we continue to build momentum in BPO and Shared Services plus when we add the immense growth potential of digital and ICT services under the umbrella of what is referred to as “Globally Traded Services”; and we came up with our Vision 2030 growth path in which the sector can create 100,000 jobs by 2023 and up to 500,000 new jobs by 2030.

Our team and structures are key to ensuring that we can deliver successfully and repeatedly on these growth commitments. We spent much time in 2019 mobilising a diverse and transformed Opsco, Exco and Board that is fully represented by our partners, government, regions, operators, supplier partners and BPESA staff. These operating structures are well governed to ensure we drive a South Africa first proposition and to deliver value to our members and partners.




Partnerships and collaboration

Our strategic partners in Harambee and the dti have been tremendous! They helped us gain access to many key role players and initiatives in our ecosystem that have enhanced our profile and our ability to fulfil our growth plans and achieve our targets. Their funding support for our growth programme has been critical to the success of the sector. Our participation in the Public Private Growth Initiative and the Jobs Summit initiative are ensuring that we, with our partners in government, are steadily unblocking the obstacles to accelerated growth at scale.

Our membership with the GISC, BUSA, the IAOP, the UK Chamber of Commerce (SA) have all helped extend our domestic and international presence and influence and we will be looking to leverage these relationships in full in 2020.

Our partnerships with provincial and city governments are evolving well with numerous joint projects underway to stimulate demand, develop skills and drive transformation through this sector.




Looking ahead to 2020

We have collectively laid a strong foundation in 2018 and 2019 upon which to build. The future looks very bright for the GBS Sector and 2020 will be a pivotal year for us to shift to the higher growth trajectory that will lead to our medium-term goal of creating 100,000 jobs by 2023 and our longer-term goal of creating 500,000 new jobs by 2030.

The more companies there are participating in and contributing to this growth agenda the more able we will be to realise our collective country and sector goals; so, renewing your membership in 2020 and advocating BPESA and the GBS programme to your network will be essential.

With the strength of our digital and ICT companies in the country, and the interdependence between them and our BPO and Shared Services operators, we will be going all out to include the expanded scope of membership as well as the range of BPESA activities aimed at creating an environment conducive to high growth for all.

Our marketing and export service focus will continue to be placed primarily on the UK, North America and Australia to grow our share of these source markets, while new efforts are made to unlock growth and value in the rest of Africa, parts of Asia and Europe. We have several outbound trips scheduled to these regions for the year and will also be bringing qualified investors into the country throughout the year with another big drive to get them here for our 2020 GBS Investor Conference and Awards in November.

2020 will be the year of implementation of many of the strategic skills initiatives highlighted in our strategy, with a constant focus on building our capacity to hire inclusively.

Transformation is a high priority for us, and the new-year will see movement on our already active initiative - a sector specific charter, at the centre of this work. This will complement the generic codes of good practice for BBBEE, thereby ensuring that both local and internationally owned companies investing in the country’s economic growth and job creation are recognised and supported to do so in alignment with our country’s transformation agenda.

We also intend, in 2020, to fully endorse and commit to our Jobs Summit & PPGI commitments and partnerships, including taking accountability for driving other aspects of economic development such as including local SMMEs business and advocating to our members to procure locally so that we promote South African businesses in our value chains.




In closing

I leave you with the following thought “Amidst the great social and economic challenges we live with in our country, we, as a sector, are faced with an extraordinary opportunity to be different, and to make a real and positive impact on unemployment, inequality and exclusion – it’s incumbent on us to do so!”

‘Re-Imagining 2030, together’

Wishing you a happy, safe and restful holiday! See you in 2020!

Andy Searle

On behalf of the BPESA Team


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