The rise of Vietnamese as a contact centre powerhouse

Vietnam has become one of south-east Asia’s fastest-growing economies, riding a wave of increased foreign direct investment (FDI), gross domestic product (GDP) growth and incredible trade results.

For context, Vietnams FDI reached an all-time high USD $19.1 billion in 2018, while GDP growth was recorded at 6.81% and trade also reached USD $400 billion last year. These results are some of the strongest in the region since Vietnam became a full member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1995, and later becoming the 150th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007.

While these achievements are incredible for the country and huge progress towards reaching the 2020 target of becoming a “developed country”, there are further benefits for a developing call centre industry in the country. With additional exposure to English speakers, culture and opportunities, more Vietnamese are choosing to study abroad in English speaking markets like the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Further, expatriate and migrant Vietnamese are also viewing their home country with the same vision of opportunity as foreign investors. These contributing factors have created an opportunity for the Vietnamese call centres and business process outsourcing (BPO) providers, giving them higher levels of access to quality English speaking talent who are returning home after years of living, studying and working abroad.

Supporting these trends, the Vietnamese government has doubled down on education, investing a reported amount of 18.5% of total government expenditure on education, cementing their ranking of 7th in the region, higher than other outsourcing and offshoring hubs such as China on the English proficiency index (EPI) at 52.12.

All of the above factors have led to an industry that has a tremendous amount of access to English talent, many of which have lived, studied or worked abroad and can easily relate and empathise with customers over common customer service channels like; phone, email & live chat.

What is even better is that these trends are steady in the growth, meaning that, in summary;

  • English proficiency continues to improve in the region
  • Affordable, desirable talent is available, especially in regions such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

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