The Philippines started drawing BPO companies more than two decades ago. With the Philippines’ cheaper workforce, competitive infrastructure, 24/7 support, a huge pool of college-educated English speakers and much more, the Philippines quickly became the preferred destination of global BPO firms.
After that, the BPO industry’s growth has grown over the years. However, lately, industry analysts warned the Philippines’ outsourcing empire that China is quickly becoming a competitor.
With the government’s intention to cut incentives, it is vital to look at how the BPO industry managed such rapid growth. Before the Philippines became a household name in the outsourcing industry, it was India that reigned supreme. However, due to the English proficiency and neutral accent, the Philippines quickly became an outsourcing powerhouse.
Last year the BPO industry generated $23 billion in revenues and provided employment to 1.15 million Filipinos amid US President Donald Trump’s “America First’ policy.
The BPO industry is still the country’s biggest source of private jobs. And the industry’s contribution to the country’s dollar supply is of high importance.
It is very vital that we defend and help the BPO industry thrive. The government should ensure the health of the BPO sector. Instead of building infrastructure and operational roadblocks, the government should provide support for expansion, training and technological upgrade.
In a report, Tholons, an advisory firm, warned that the Philippines’ throne as the top BPO destination is under threat, with China ahead of the Philippines in terms of competitiveness.
Bloomberg recently reported: “In recent years, China has built state-of-the-art technology parks and funded universities to offer courses specifically on outsourcing. China is targeting $100 billion of outsourcing revenue by 2020, focusing on digital, high-technology services, according to a plan by the Ministry of Commerce.” This indeed is a wakeup call for the Philippines. The Philippines has to do something to defend the BPO industry from emerging global competitors.