Top Outsourcing location 2020

India is 2020’s most favoured offshore location, according to Ryan Strategic Advisory survey

India is the most favored offshore location for contact center delivery among enterprise customer experience decision-makers in 2020, according to research conducted by Ryan Strategic Advisory.  This constitutes the first time since the inception of the Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey in 2017 that India has gained the coveted first-place standing. It is testament to the efforts of BPO stakeholders in that country in their refinement of India’s relevance to overseas buyers.  This is taking nothing away from many other offshore and nearshore locations, many of which have been focused on winning outsourcing investment.  But this is India’s time.  It cements its place in customer experience delivery excellence, with a renewed value proposition that is clearly winning fans in key demand markets.

Not even a decade ago, many lamented that India’s best days were behind it in terms of delivering customer experience services.  However, as the 2020 Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey results indicate, such predictions were highly inaccurate.  A total of 540 enterprise contact center enterprise buyers from Western Europe, Australia and North America rated India as their most favored delivery point from among almost 50 choices of different jurisdictions from around the world.

This should come as little surprise – in the recent past, providers based in India have focused heavily on driving quality interactions with the right investments in people, processes and technology.  In fact, India has become almost synonymous with the growth of digital, non-voice delivery, an increasingly popular channel choice among consumers.  These elements are clearly reflected in the 2020 results.

South Africa places 2nd in the 2020 most favored offshore location rankings for contact center delivery.  Outsourcers in South Africa, along with the industry representative body (BPESA), have been possibly the most aggressive stakeholders of any country in the offshoring game in regards to investment promotion over the past 12-18 months.  These efforts have included multiple delegations to Australia, the UK and North America (long a coveted demand region for South Africa’s outsourcing community).  These initiatives are bearing fruit, as witnessed in this year’s ranking.

The Philippines moves from the 1st place ranking as the most favored offshore location, which it held in 2018 and 2019, to 3rd place this year.  This by no means reflects an erosion of quality within the Philippines’ outsourcing space – for many it is still the preferred location from which to service consumers in English-speaking markets.  According to the 2020 Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey, the Philippines remains very well-viewed especially in Australia, the USA and Canada.  However, a lower ranking in the UK this year was certainly a factor in its drop.

Malaysia remains in the top 5 most favored offshore contact center locations in 2020, coming in 4th place.  Unquestionably, the country’s offshore customer experience legacy retains a great deal of goodwill among buyers.  However, international promotion efforts among that country’s outsourcing ecosystem need to ramp up in the coming months. Over the past two years, Malaysia has fallen from 2nd place to the bottom end of the top 5, so reasserting its position is essential.

5th place goes to European nearshore location Poland.  This delivery point proved to be very popular among European respondents, especially in the UK and Germany. It also resonated to some degree with participants from Australia and Canada.  Notably, this is the first time that a Central / Eastern European nearshoring destination has been included in the top 5 most favored offshore destinations. It speaks to the value that both outsourcers and buyers of services realize in delivery from Poland, and positions that country strategically for winning business from a variety of demand markets.

“The market for the BPO arena is a moving arena with business requirements determining the needs based on language and geographical coverage,” states Craig Ashmole, Founding partner of CCServe Ltd, IT Consulting house based in London. “I fear that this will change again very quickly as we all come out of this COVID-19 pandemic period. BPO is rapidly assessing its place and how we go to market”, he goes on to say.


Having spent a majority of my career working with and supporting the Corporate CIO Function, I now seek to provide a forum whereby CIOs or IT Directors can learn from the experience of others to address burning Change or Transformation challenges.
Craig Ashmole

Founding Director CCServe