Philippines: Calling on a $25b BPO industry

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BPO2In Metro Manila’s Eastwood City, a pair of statues fitted with headsets pays homage to call center agents, the lifeblood of the Philippines’ BPO industry, while a buzzing circle of restaurants and bars set below such global names as Accenture entertain their growing ranks. Eastwood is just one of several core nodes in a growing nexus that has made the Philippines the world’s largest call center hub. With technical training programmes supported by the government, the industry looks posed to take on an even larger role in Asia’s top performing economy.

The Philippine government is planning on conducting a large-scale training programme for the BPO industry following a successful round early in 2013 with the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the umbrella group that overlooks the BPO industry.

The training programmes, which aim to improve the confidence of young Filipino workers in the English language and imbue soft skills, would strengthen the supply of local talent enough to propel the industry to reach a value of $25 billion and 1.3 million employees by 2016. This is much fastest than the $20 billion and 900,000 employees that the IBPAP expects by the same year.

“IBPAP completed a training project in March 2013 with a $12-million fund led by the Philippine government. We trained 65,000 BPO workers, and 46,000 got hired. We are hoping that the government considers it a success so that we can sustain the programme,” IBPAP Senior Executive Director Gigi Virata told Inside Investor in June.

The Philippines is outpacing its ASEAN neighbours in terms of growth, driven by a burgeoning consumer class that is being invigorated by the BPO industry. Private consumption comprises over 70 per cent of GDP in the country, which grew by 6.1 per cent in 2012, according to the World Bank.

As the top BPO player globally, Indian companies have actually been aiding the Philippine grow machine, cutting off the feet of their own domestic industry to open up call centers in the archipelago’s top cities, such as Manila, Cebu and Iloilo.

The industry’s rise has also created positive spin-off effects, placing more money in the pockets of property developers looking to fill the rising demand for office space, as well as young professionals looking to secure a home. Private construction has been performing well in the country, growing nearing 10 per cent in 2012.

India may be the current leader overall in outsourcing services, but the Philippines has more to gain from greater investment. This fact along could keep Aquino’s administration on top of initiatives to move in more headsets for young workers.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

In Metro Manila’s Eastwood City, a pair of statues fitted with headsets pays homage to call center agents, the lifeblood of the Philippines’ BPO industry, while a buzzing circle of restaurants and bars set below such global names as Accenture entertain their growing ranks. Eastwood is just one of several core nodes in a growing nexus that has made the Philippines the world’s largest call center hub. With technical training programmes supported by the government, the industry looks posed to take on an even larger role in Asia’s top performing economy.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

BPO2In Metro Manila’s Eastwood City, a pair of statues fitted with headsets pays homage to call center agents, the lifeblood of the Philippines’ BPO industry, while a buzzing circle of restaurants and bars set below such global names as Accenture entertain their growing ranks. Eastwood is just one of several core nodes in a growing nexus that has made the Philippines the world’s largest call center hub. With technical training programmes supported by the government, the industry looks posed to take on an even larger role in Asia’s top performing economy.

The Philippine government is planning on conducting a large-scale training programme for the BPO industry following a successful round early in 2013 with the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the umbrella group that overlooks the BPO industry.

The training programmes, which aim to improve the confidence of young Filipino workers in the English language and imbue soft skills, would strengthen the supply of local talent enough to propel the industry to reach a value of $25 billion and 1.3 million employees by 2016. This is much fastest than the $20 billion and 900,000 employees that the IBPAP expects by the same year.

“IBPAP completed a training project in March 2013 with a $12-million fund led by the Philippine government. We trained 65,000 BPO workers, and 46,000 got hired. We are hoping that the government considers it a success so that we can sustain the programme,” IBPAP Senior Executive Director Gigi Virata told Inside Investor in June.

The Philippines is outpacing its ASEAN neighbours in terms of growth, driven by a burgeoning consumer class that is being invigorated by the BPO industry. Private consumption comprises over 70 per cent of GDP in the country, which grew by 6.1 per cent in 2012, according to the World Bank.

As the top BPO player globally, Indian companies have actually been aiding the Philippine grow machine, cutting off the feet of their own domestic industry to open up call centers in the archipelago’s top cities, such as Manila, Cebu and Iloilo.

The industry’s rise has also created positive spin-off effects, placing more money in the pockets of property developers looking to fill the rising demand for office space, as well as young professionals looking to secure a home. Private construction has been performing well in the country, growing nearing 10 per cent in 2012.

India may be the current leader overall in outsourcing services, but the Philippines has more to gain from greater investment. This fact along could keep Aquino’s administration on top of initiatives to move in more headsets for young workers.

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