BPO Industry in Great Health in the Philippines
The BPO industry is booming in the Philippines and has been the main contributor to
the tremendous growth of the country’s services sector. The growth has particularly
been experienced in voice operations. The big break came in 2011 when the
Philippines surpassed India as the world’s largest call-center operator. In 2012 the
country employed around 400,000 people in call centers while its South Asian
counterpart employed only 350,000.
What Fueled Philippine’s Growth in Voice BPO
If we really need to pinpoint one major factor for this growth in the voice BPO sector,
it is the accent. Most clients of these oriental BPO providers are American firms that
have outsourced their customer care responsibilities. American customers or callers
like to hear American or at least neutral accent as well as American language usage,
idioms, etc. This is where Filipino BPO employees excel.
India’s call center executives are also known to be efficient, but many are somehow
just not able to shake off the Indian accents, in spite of the voice neutralization
training they are being given. Customer complaints regarding the accent of the
Indian call center executives has caused many Indian outsourcing firms to move call
center operations to the Philippines, further contributing to its growth.
Voice Services Boosting Philippine BPO Sector
So great is the contribution of voice-related services to the country’s BPO sector,
that it is expected to help the BPO industry add around 700,000 more jobs as 2016
comes by, which would then increase revenues to the tune of $25 billion. This would
make up around a tenth of the Philippines’ GDP.
However, the Philippines still has a long way to go if it has to be on par with India in
overall BPO services. Outsourcing does not involve voice services alone but also
comprehensive IT and legal services belonging to the knowledge process outsourcing
and legal process outsourcing fields. It is in these sophisticated fields of outsourcing
that India is comfortably ahead. In terms of population too India is ahead
substantially, meaning there is a vast repository of human resources available to be
trained for the BPO services.
Inflating Philippine Currency a Disadvantage
The inflating local currency of the Philippines is also a cause for concern. There is
around 30% difference in exchange rates between the peso and the rupee with the
American dollar. Some believe this could be a significant question mark on whether
the country can maintain its current rate of growth. With business process
outsourcing, cost savings are everything and often the deciding factor.
For now though, things are on a high for the Philippine BPO industry. According to a
2013 study by Tholons, Manila slots in No. 3 pushing New Delhi to No. 4 in the top
100 international outsourcing destinations rankings. Bangalore and Mumbai are still
among the top three global outsourcing destinations though. The South-East Asia
Japan Cable System (SJC) is a major infrastructural factor that has made the
Philippines even more attractive as an outsourcing destination.
The competition is certainly heating up between the two nations, and India is looking
to regain foothold which is sure to happen. But the Philippines can still be proud to
have taken the fight to, and gone one up on, one of the world’s major economies.