Over the years, the Philippines has pulled off exceptional feat in client satisfaction and overall performance leading to great success for venturing foreign investors. Two decades after the first call center started its operation, the call center industry has flourished and developed into one of the top targets of foreign companies investing in business process outsourcing (BPO). Despite the somehow ‘plateauing’ growth of the industry and the challenge of automation, the Philippine call center industry continues to thrive. Investors all across the world — US, UK, Australia, and the like — find the Philippines as a perfect place to develop their business operation.
In 2016 alone, the BPO industry raked in $23 billion in revenues and generated direct employment to about 1.15 million Filipinos, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) disclosed in a statement.
Foreign investors regard the Philippine call center industry as their top call center target. Voice-based services remain as the flagship service in the Philippine BPO industry. Because of the wide opportunities in the industry, the service also developed into other areas such as IT, animation, and software and game development.
But what do foreign investors see in the the country that drove them to seek partnership with Philippine call centers?
Basically, Filipinos are knowledgeable English speakers. Words come out fluently and naturally as they speak. In addition to this, Filipinos are inherent friendly people. They are also very committed to work.
The reasons do not end there. Here’s an in-depth study as to why the Philippine call center industry draw investors without fail.
Strategic location is a key element that lures investors to develop businesses. Investors see the Philippines as an ideal location because of its accessibility, given that it is located in the heart of Asia. The country is a significant point of entry to more than 600 million people in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market. It has also access to international shipping and airplanes appropriate for American and European businesses because of its location at the intersection of eastern and western businesses.
Inexpensive Operating Costs
The budget when starting a business matters a lot to investors. They won’t risk splashing a huge amount of funds to without the assurance that they can get positive ROI. Choosing the Philippines in developing their business and functions makes a lot of sense for them because of its low-priced operation expenses. Compared to other Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines has a cheaper cost of living.
The compensation in the Philippine call center industry (with only $10 per day set as the daily minimum wage) is just a fraction of the salary in western countries. Companies can also employ fresh graduates from highly-regarded schools with a monthly salary at around $300. Lower costs also applies to other operating expenses such as office space leasing, supplies, third party services, and utilities.
Backed by the Government
For more than a decade, the Philippines has maintained stability and carries on to expand to greater heights. Although the country is facing other issues, the industry proves to be amplifying as time goes by. These have served to further expand the value of the Philippine business process outsourcing industry with the government supplementing the materialization of BPO operations time after time.
Highly Skilled, College-Educated Workforce
Filipinos value education as an invaluable wealth. The figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority revealed that the country has a very high literacy rate of 95.6 percent — thanks to the basic education made obtainable to almost the entire population.
Aside from being literate, Filipinos are easily trainable. They are fast learners who are eager to take on new challenges outside of their comfort zone. Filipinos are naturally expressive and creative bunch that’s why most of them opt for courses like mass communication, arts, web design, multimedia arts, animation, and a lot more. There are several schools and colleges that offer exceptional education and training in these creative fields aside from the universities mentioned.
Several years before BPO operations landed on the country, the Philippines constantly had a difficulty providing work to hundreds of thousands of fresh graduates and other unemployed citizens seeking for decent careers because of its weak local economy that led to a significant fraction to find greener pasture abroad. But thanks to the rapid growth of BPO industry in the Philippines, it generated major opportunities to Filipinos and eventually reduced the number of Filipinos leaving the country for an opportunity overseas.
Character and skills-wise, the Filipinos are the strongest candidates suitable for BPO’s nature of work.
Key features of the Philippine workforce:
Western Influence and Cultural Compatibility
Filipinos are heavily influenced by the Western culture given that were once an American colony. Their rich culture — a mixture of Spanish, American, and other Asian countries — makes them flexible and versatile when dealing with any given situation.
Even though the official language is Filipino, English is the main language for business and education in the Philippines. With the great influence of the US, the Philippines had developed a government that is rather similar to the system the United States are following. As a result, this makes foreign business owners; specifically the companies in the Western side feel more comfortable developing their business in the Philippines.
Expanding and Stable Economy
The Philippines is well-positioned to develop into one of the most excellent offshore outsourcing destinations worldwide. In addition, Metro Manila gets the highest concentration of business process outsourcing activities with a whopping 80 percent. Other major cities and provinces are also joining the BPO scene, emerging as an ideal option to become perfect IT-BPO hubs where additional companies can develop and run their business operations. Areas like Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, and Pampanga have shown great potential with their team of English-speaking and skillful talents and beneficial business environment. These regions are dubbed as the Next Wave Cities of the Philippine contact center industry. A large part of the country’s success in the BPO industry is owed to the efforts of the Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP). The association plays a significant role in endorsing the Philippines as the best location of choice. IBPAP also provides constant support to the BPO players. IBPAP is working together with government agencies to improve the education system even further since the industry is mainly driven by skills and talent. They are as well applying industry-specific training courses to sharpen the raw talent and skills of Filipino workers and make them apt for business process outsourcing nature of work.
The proof of accomplishments of the Philippine BPO industry can be seen everywhere in the Metro Manila and in some other progressing provinces and small cities. BPO companies are everywhere in Metro Manila such as Magellan Solutions and several well-known companies who chose to settle in the Philippines.
As the country strengthens its economic power, it has achieved a new reputation as the chosen BPO destination — a perfect source of extremely trained labor workforce, and the home of the friendliest and most accommodating people in Southeast Asia… or let’s say, the world. Now that is why everyone is attracted to the Philippines.