Hello, Philippines! Seizing the global voice BPO industry leadershipSeptember 25, 2015 / By
With compound annual revenue growth of 20% over the last five years, the Philippines has reinforced its stature as the world leader in the voice business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. As the industry targets revenue to further grow to USD 21.3 billion by end-2015, the number of full-time employees is also likely to swell to 1.18 million by end-2105 from 1.03 million in 2014.
The growth of the voice BPO industry is enhanced by the following outstanding traits of the Filipino labour force: (1) highly-trainable; (2) good command of the English language; and (3) distinctive, hospitable nature that is critical for customer care. Together with various business incentives put forward by the government and the private sectors, these traits help attract voice BPO firms and mark the Philippines as the global leader.
However to maintain this top spot, the local voice BPO industry needs to address specific challenges. First is the emergence of other markets including South Africa, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Eastern European countries, which are closely examining best practices to become highly-favoured business outsourcing destinations. Besides this abundance of English-speaking workforces in other markets, the Philippine voice BPO industry is also challenged by blanket legislation in host countries prohibiting the outsourcing of jobs (such as the pending anti-outsourcing bills in several states in the US), as well as the increasing trend towards the automation of customer service. Further, the adverse effects of changing climate conditions that have heightened the threat of natural disasters such as the destructive weather disturbances visiting the Philippines, is another consideration that locators have started to ponder.
Despite these challenges, we think that the local voice BPO industry will continue to maintain its lead due to the strong traits of its local labour force in providing customer service.
The premier position of the local voice BPO industry on the global front is similarly advantageous to the growth of the property market in the Philippines. The growth of the voice BPO and the offshoring & outsourcing (O&O) industry, in general, has motivated developers to build modern mixed-use projects, not just in the core Metro Manila area, but in the countryside as well. In the last 10 years, more than 1,000 hectares of developed land in Metro Manila have been opened up. New townships (incorporating investment-grade office, residential and retail property developments) in urban areas outside Metro Manila such as Cebu, Davao, Clark/Pampanga, and the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Dumaguete Bacolod and Iloilo have emerged to service the growing demand of BPOs and O&O firms for property product and developments.
As the industry moves on to capture other high-value outsourcing services (particularly non-voice BPO industries such as key back-office services, legal transcription services, healthcare information management, global in-house centres, as well as gaming and animation), the leadership position of the local voice BPO industry is likely to be maintained and will further enhance the growth of the property sector in the Philippines.
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