Merchants Receive Minister Davies’ Commendation for iSelect Launch

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South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies has congratulated Merchants on the launch of a new Australian Offshore Business Process Services (BPS) campaign iSelect, which will be serviced from Cape Town.

iSelect is Australia’s market leader for online insurance, utilities and personal finance comparison.

Minster Davies expressed pleasure at seeing the continued growth of the company, since his meeting with its Managing Director: George Todd in October 2014, during the launch of the revised BPS incentive scheme in London.

Merchants, which has multiple locations in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria have been one of the pioneers in developing and supporting South Africa’s Business Process Offshoring value proposition over the last fourteen years.

In partnership with the dti, Merchants has demonstrated South Africa’s value proposition, which is underpinned by high-quality standards, relevant skills, and the potential to deliver complex and noncomplex processes, as well as cost savings. Together we have helped global brands grow their customer loyalty and improve their operating costs.

Minister Davies said this has further been demonstrated by Merchants General Manager of Operational Support Mithum Singh winning the Best Workforce Planning Award at the 2016 11th Annual ContactCentreWorld Top Ranking Performers Awards in Las Vegas.

“The investment and commitment of iSelect and Merchants is further example of the working partnership with government whereby the strategic objectives of the sector are met in terms of foreign direct investment, youth job creation, export revenue generation and the implementation of career pathing in the sector,” he said.

Minister Davies said that the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), remains committed to growing the sector, which was recently recognised as the Global Outsourcing Associations offshore destination of the year for 2016.

This success follows previous international awards including the NOA Offshoring Destination of the Year award in 2012, the Europe Outsourcing Association (EOA) Offshoring Destination of the Year award in 2013 and the NOA Skills Development Programme of the Year award in 2014.

Minister Davies added that Government’s primary objective is to support economic growth, job creation and empowerment and have recognised the potential of this sector in realising these objectives.

Through the dti incentive scheme, BPS Policy Framework, Monyetla Work Readiness Programme and the creation of a dedicated division in the dti, InvestSA focusing on investment promotion, facilitation and aftercare, the dti has reaffirmed its intentions to act as an enabler for foreign investment, by creating a favourable environment for potential investors to do business with South Africa.

Since 2012, the local offshore Business Process Services (BPS) market has experienced compounded average growth of 25 per cent year-on-year and now boasts around 30 000 offshore jobs, with the UK being the leading buyer of South African BPS services, followed by Australia and the US, which is rapidly growing, This work has been spread across South Africa’s offshore delivery centres of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

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