By Narayan Ammachchi
Severe economic setbacks in Spain are setting in motion several positive developments for Peru’s BPO sector. Peru’s call center industry grew 17 percent in 2012 and its export sector registered more than 14 percent growth, according to APECCO (Associacion Peruana de Centros de Contacto).
The country is becoming a first-choice refuge for Spanish call center operators, who want to claim new centers to operate from. In addition, several voice-based BPO providers, based in Chile are shifting to Peru. “We made US$ 400 million in export revenue in 2012,” stated Guy Fort, President of APECCO. “What attracts foreign BPOs to set up shop here is Peru’s decision not to impose tax on exportation of call center services.” (more below)
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The latest foreign BPO provider to set up office in Peru is Indian outsourcer Aegis. Peru is increasingly looking like the Philippines of the West and more than 90 percent of its BPO business is voice-based.
Nevertheless, the rising value of Sol – Peru’s currency – against the US dollar and a lack of English-speaking workforce has remained the hurdle on APPECCO’s path to tap into the lucrative US market.
The Sol has risen more than 12 percent against the US dollar over the past three yeas, says Fort. In October last year, the sol appreciated 0.2 percent to 2.5820 per U.S. dollar, the currency’s strongest close since 1996.
Peru has, however, remained a hotspot for the Spanish call centers in South America. Call Center Peru, a subsidiary of Chilean wireless carrier Entel, serves its Chilean customers from its facility in Peru.
There is no latest data to know about this migration. According to Latin Business Chronicle, Chile lost as many as 1,500 call center jobs to Peru in a span of just 24 months in 2009 – 2010.
Analysts say wages in Peru’s call center industry are 25 percent cheaper than its neighboring countries, including Colombia and Chile.