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Recovery and growth: GBS heads into the 'New Normal'

The journey we have travelled

Today marks the end of the 9th week of lock down since the state of disaster was declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa, and it heralds a new stage in this journey as the country moves to Risk Level 3 in our risk adjusted approach to opening up the economy. Level 3 allows all call centre activity to take place, which is great news to those companies that focus primarily on non-essential services and to the debt collections subsegment.

BPESA and its members (and many non-members who have become new friends) have used these 9 weeks well to develop suitable protocols for workplace health and safety and for the return to work. The Minister of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition gave the call centre industry a shout out in his address to the nation this afternoon highlighting that the sector had been used partially as a test case to develop suitable work place safety protocols which had informed the Department of health in the design of their regulations, and he commented on the sectors continued delivery of essential services to both the domestic and international markets in this time of global crisis.

 

 


 

Transition to Level 3

As many of you transition from Level 4 to Level 3 I strongly suggest you to revisit your procedures and protocols to ensure that you always implement them stringently; for those about to open up I urge you to engage with the BPESA team in your region and nationally to ensure that you have all the right documentation and guidance to ensure a safe return to work for you and your staff.

Level 3 Demystified

Join us on Monday June 1st for one of two identical webinar sessions as we delve into the depth and detail of what Level 3 means for the GBS sector and how you can open up and scale your centres whilst maintaining relevant health & safety standards.

- Session 1: 10h00 - 11h00 SAST

- RSVP for Session 1 here

- Session 2: 12h00 - 13h00 SAST

- RSVP for Session 2 here

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BPESA is a proud partner to the Return2Work Initiative which offers businesses clear and simple step by step guidance on re-opening and staying open, incorporating the key legal requirements and tools to minimise infection and maximise compliance.

This is a key initiative in South Africa that we are proud to be a part of and urge each of you support too - www.return2work.co.za

 

 


 

Checking in with our members

Given the important timing of this transition from Risk Level 4 to 3 we called for a Special General Meeting which we held on the 21st of May via webinar. It was really well attended and provide the BPESA Board, EXCO and OpsCO to check in with members with regards to how we are performing in during the COVID lockdown, how we are thinking about the future and a return to growth, and how we are planning to refine the way we organise and mobilise for more inclusive growth and at a greater scale than we have had before.

The summary of the SGM is being shared together with the slides used in the sessions and the results of the survey that many of you completed.

We take great confidence from the resounding support you have given us to continue performing our role during COVID lockdown as well as to proceed with the strategy for a ‘Return-to-Growth’ as presented, and to make the changes in our engagement model to improve our interactions with you ensuring more broad based input to the key focus areas and our approach to these.

Very importantly, we are encouraged that more than 88% of you who completed the survey voted emphatically against the decision taken by the team currently running BPESA Western Cape to rebrand the legal entity "Cape Town Call Centre Development Association", which was trading as BPESA Western Cape, to trade with a purely regional focus under the brand "Cape BPO". As your representatives in the GBS Sector, we have always pursued a South Africa first, all-inclusive, national approach to growth and development. This is to ensure that this sector can rightfully make a significant contribution to the economic and social transformation of our society and use its growth potential to unlock opportunity for all role players to participate in regardless of which region or regions you are located in. We have learned the benefits of presenting a united front to the global market audience, including being recognized three years in a row as the 2nd most preferred BPO offshore destination in the world, and we don’t intend to change that. We also learned, through the hard experience of the global COVID-19 pandemic and local lockdown, how important it is to collaborate with a common purpose, with each other, with our partners, and to put others (our people’s ) interests first.

The BPESA leadership team will use this feedback to guide our steps in the short and medium term before checking in with you again at our AGM in November (dates and locations still to be communicated).

 

 


 

In Closing

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On behalf of the BPESA team, I would like to thank you for the incredible spirit with which you have collaborated and to wish you all the best as we move to Level 3.

I urge you to stay closely connected via your WhatsApp groups and directly with your regional representatives as we continue to learn, course correct, and find the right path towards our new future.

Andy Searle

BPESA CEO

#StrongerTogether

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