KARACHI: Pakistan has been emerging is the 10th more attractive market in Asia for outsourcing business by various multinational companies and entities from developed countries.
According to the A.T. Kearney Global Services location index of 2017, Pakistan is the 10th most attractive destination among Asian countries, and 30th in the world, for offshore services.
Pakistan’s score was most encouraging in financial attractiveness to secure 3rd largest position among Asians after Sri Lanka and Egypt amongst the 55-country index. This is representative of the relatively favourable wage rates in Pakistan compared those in more established destinations such as India and China.
However, when it comes to cross-country comparison of other off-shoring fundamentals (quality of human resource and overall business environment), Pakistan is lagging behind its regional competitors. Indeed, despite the fact that the country was able to increase its ICT revenues, it has fallen two points in the rankings compared to last year. In particular, the low ranking in the ‘people skills and availability’ category is a big concern. It is pertinent to note that Pakistan has an abundant supply of young and English-speaking population who can potentially assume the nature of the jobs that BPO has to offer. However, since the industry is relatively new to the country, it is still not being pursued as a long-term career; the more qualified employees tend to upgrade their careers and move into software development quitting the BPO industry after a very short span of time. As for the new entrants, the lack of technical and professional capacities works as a major growth barrier, making it hard for the BPO industry to compete in the international market.
Pakistan is figuring prominently in other BPO segments as well. BPO is a cost-saving measure to outsource processes that are not the core business of an entity but are nonetheless essential for a company to operate. Fundamentally, this involves delegating specific business tasks such as customer relationship management, data entry, bookkeeping, human resource management, payroll processing, and marketing, etc. to a third-party service provider (TPSP), usually situated outside the firm’s country of operation.
Globally, the BPO industry has witnessed a period of robust growth post-2002 and, according to industry experts, has expanded into a US$ 180 billion industry. It is expected that this market will grow further to US$ 250 billion by 2020.