Vietnam wants our call centres

Apparently Vietnam wants to take on India and China in the battle for our outsourcing dollars...

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Vietnam, the country that’s still best known to most people in the West as the backdrop for countless US war films, is on a big push to establish itself as a credible alternative for offshore and outsourced services – a market currently dominated by India and China.

The Prime Minister of Vietnam jetted over to a gathering in London last night to a gathering hosted by headhunter (and outsourcing specialist) Harvey Nash, where he banged the drum about his country’s rapid economic growth (second only to China in Asia) and political stability. He reckons Vietnam is already the third biggest offshoring destination in the region.

Well he would say that, we hear you say. But Harvey Nash outsourcing MD Paul Smith is also a big fan – he thinks Vietnam could be the most desirable destination in the world for outsourcing by 2012, thanks to its low-cost, highly-skilled workforce. ‘With deregulation, accession to the WTO and UN Security Council as well as significant overseas IT investment, Vietnam is becoming the outsourcing destination of choice for international business, not simply the poor relation… The decision to choose it as an offshore destination has become a no-brainer,’ he claimed.

Some British companies are already taking full advantage, notably energy giant BP and insurer Prudential (not to mention Harvey Nash itself, of course). But for most, the well-established charms of India and China – and to a lesser extent South Africa – are still much more popular for companies looking to offshore.

One potential issue to overcome is that those Vietnam war films live long in the memory – for a generation of business leaders brought up on Apocalypse Now, could it prove too much of a distraction? Our worry is that potential outsourcers will be too busy playing Ride of the Valkyries as their plane hits the runway, or holing up somewhere in the Mekong Delta to sacrifice a water buffalo, and forget about their call centres altogether...

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

A leadership thought: Treat your colleagues like customers

One minute briefing: Create a platform where others can see their success, says AVEVA CEO...

The ignominious death of Gordon Gekko

Profit at all costs is a defunct philosophy, and purpose a corporate superpower, argues this...

Gender bias is kept alive by those who think it is dead

Research: Greater representation of women does not automatically lead to equal treatment.

What I learned leading a Syrian bank through a civil war

Louai Al Roumani was CFO of Syria's largest private retail bank when the conflict broke...

Martin Sorrell: “There’s something about the unfairness of it that drives me”

EXCLUSIVE: The agency juggernaut on bouncing back, what he would do with WPP and why...

The 10 values that will matter most after COVID-19

According to a survey of Management Today readers.