Philippines Business Process Outsourcing Industry Riding On Inherent Advantages
With the advent of globalization, our world today has become borderless. It is ‘borderless’, in a sense, because freer flow of goods and services is now evident practically in all parts of the world. This global configuration that we have as of the moment was mainly brought about by the advancements in information technology in recent years. With this, several new business ventures that are related to information and communications technology have emerged through the years. One of these is outsourcing, wherein large-scale entrepreneurs contract workforce talent across the globe. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Industry rapidly rose to great importance in the world as a result.
Moreover, with the emergence of BPO Industry, call centers have proliferated around the globe, creating some form of a competition among countries on who’s going to get the lion’s share of the industry’s burgeoning profit. Recently, the Philippines has taken a favorable spot among the world’s top BPO destinations. Now, what makes the Philippines the best choice for call center companies? Indeed there are a handful of reasons why.
According to beepo.com, 2015, the first thing that makes the Philippines a favorable BPO destination is the Filipinos’ flexibility in time. Filipino employees are so much willing to work in shifts, even if it requires them to go to work on holidays and on challenging schedules just to be able to cater the needs of their clients abroad.
The country also boasts of its relatively high English language proficiency. This is indeed a given fact for a nation that has adopted the English language as one of its official languages, the other one being the Filipino language. English in the Philippines is widely spoken and used, especially in the government, business, and commerce and has become a yardstick in determining the level of competence of students in most of the country’s topnotch educational institutions. Also, “The Business English Index (BEI), a whitepaper released by Global English in 2013 ranks the Philippines as the top BEI for two consecutive years with a score of 7.95, followed by Norway with 7.06, and Netherlands with 7.03”(beepo.com, 2015). In this ranking, getting a score of 10.00 would mean equivalency with native English speakers. Given these figures, it is truly undeniable that the Philippines has the cutting edge over the other competing nations in the BPO industry.
Moreover, a good number of Filipinos belonging to the country’s ever-growing workforce possess excellent work ethics and are highly-skilled and talented in this industry. According to beepo.com, “contrary to the belief that the primary reason business owners outsource is only to reduce costs, they also choose to outsource to target the best talent for the job.” This simply means that because investors in the BPO industry have come to recognize the high level of competence of Filipinos, many of them are very much eager to outsource here in the Philippines not just for call centers but for other jobs as well like medical transcription, legal transcription, and software development. Along with this, the Filipinos also possess excellent work ethics, in that they have “integrity, loyalty, service-oriented mindset, and the friendly working atmosphere they seem to foster in any organization’s culture.”(beepo.com, 2015). Filipinos also show utmost courtesy to others and they have a high regard for professionalism.
Furthermore, the country’s labor force characterized by a combination of quality and cost-effectiveness. According to beepo.com, 2015, the reported number of employees of the BPO industry in the Philippines has hit the 1 million mark in 2014 and this number is on the upsurge as of today. Indeed, the Filipino labor cost is relatively low compared to other nations but the quality is definitely not compromised. Surely, “business owners pay less for more”(beepo.com, 2015) in the Philippines.
Consequently, with the growing BPO industry in the country, which is now considered as one of the top job and revenue generators in the Philippines, the national government now has taken various steps to strongly support the growth of the industry. Some of these are “partnerships with universities in the Philippines to create BPO-specific curricula to prepare the future BPO workforce, a voucher system from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as funding support for call center training, tax and non-tax incentives to support foreign investments, creation of national Information and Communications Technology councils.”(beepo.com, 2015).
In addition to these, Russ Sandlin of the ssonetwork.com, has likewise identified several reasons on why it is best to put up call centers in the Philippines. These include the country’s possession of mature and organized associations such as the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, and the Call Center Association of the Philippines, “cultural alignment with North America”, in which the way of life of Filipinos are practically in line with the way of life of Americans, and the country’s large English-speaking population, in which almost all segments of its population, including guards, manual laborers, domestic helpers, and taxi drivers, can speak conversational English which makes the Philippines stand out among others in the BPO arena.
Lastly, since most of the businesses in the country are categorized as Small, and Medium Enterprises (SME’s), the Philippine market is indeed an excellent arena for BPO entrepreneurs to invest since the nation’s SME’s are now focusing their attention on tapping the said industry to further improve their businesses. SME’s are now tapping the outsourcing firms “that have the technical knowhow and available infrastructure, which can result in 15 to 20 percent savings for these small businesses.”(Call Center Association of the Philippines, ccap.com, 2016). It is said that these outsourcing firms produce “process improvements” such as “work efficiency and reduction of number of full-time employees needed for a single project or task.”(Call Center Association of the Philippines, ccap.com, 2016).
Indeed, there are so many reasons on why it is best for the BPO industry players to establish their call centers in the Philippines. With rosier and brighter economic prospects ahead for the country, I’m pretty sure that the Philippines is the perfect haven for call center companies. So what are you waiting for? Invest in the Philippines now.