Mauritius has been ranked 2nd in Sub-Saharan Africa and 36th world-wide in the 2014 AT Kearney Global Services Locations Index (GSLI), showing the edge of the island economy as an offshore location of choice for global businesses, especially French majors.

Entitled ‘A world of Choices: From Anywhere on Earth to No locations at All’, the report, which is now in its sixth edition, seeks to bring rigor to company decisions about where to locate offshore operations.

Mauritius has retained the same rank since the last edition released in 2011, at 36th place, helping it compare favourably with South Africa which has declined 2 places since 2011 to be set at the 47th position.

Meanwhile, Ghana takes first place in Sub-Saharan Africa and 29th globally, as it scores 5.30 points as an offshoring destination of choice, thanks to cost advantages offered by a low-wage regime, even as it has slipped 2 places since the last edition in 2011.

Overall, Mauritius notched a total of 5.14 points with 2.56 points for its financial attractiveness, people skills and availability 0.97, and business environment 1.61.

According to the report, Mauritius is an example of how small countries can compete for offshoring investment by conducting targeted efforts and creating a good business environment. This makes Mauritius one of the main sources of French-language talent in the BPO sector.

The report highlights specific examples, citing the instances of US human resources management company Ceridian and Maureva, a French outsourcing company specialized in high-end BPO solutions for airlines, as testimonial to the offshoring edge of the island’s new and upcoming commercial hub, the Ebene Cybercity.

Across Africa, comprising not only the Sub-Saharan region but also North Africa, Egypt is far and away the industry leader, ranked at the 10th position with 5.62 points, thanks to solid fundamentals including favorable costs, good universities, and proximity to Europe.

However, it just manages to cling to the top 10, having lost 6 places since 2011 due to the prolonged political turmoil that has introduced uncertainty in the minds of investors and customers alike.

Based on the report, Egypt is expected to return as one of the leading locations for both IT and BPO once the country`s political situation stabilizes and investors consider it to be safe enough.

Following at a distance from Egypt, come Tunisia (28) and Morocco (34) as the main sources of French-language talent in the sector, joined by Mauritius (36).

Globally, Asian majors India, China and Malaysia head the ranking at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

AT Kearney image facts and figures

India continues to blaze the trail with excellence in IT, BPO and voice services, where the Asian emerging economy continues to provide all-around strengths across the offshoring spectrum, scoring the highest tally of 7.04 points.

In China, on the other hand, despite rising wages, the IT sector continues to show promise for both the growing domestic market as also for other Asian countries seeking nearshore options.

The GSLI tracks the contours of the offshoring landscape in 51 countries across three major categories, namely: financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, and business environment.

Based on an assessment of 25 metrics, the GSLI identifies the countries with the strongest underlying fundamentals to potentially deliver information technology (IT), business process outsourcing (BPO), and voice services.

The report makes it clear that, although “offshoring has been transformational for businesses and countries alike, and big as the offshore business services industry already is, there is still ample room for continued growth.”

The study also highlights interesting trends in outsourcing, noting that one of the most interesting recent trends in location assessment has been the rise of the “no location,” as technological advances have allowed robots to take over the jobs of individual analysts.

The report concludes that this move has potentially revolutionary consequences for industry rationalization and labor markets, rendering virtually meaningless the location where a task is actually performed.

Image (Cybercity): The report holds up Mauritius as an example of how small countries can compete for offshoring investment by conducting targeted efforts and creating a good business environment, citing the upcoming commercial hub, the Ebene Cybercity, as a major destination for businesses seeking to offshore operations.

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