As one of the most competitive players in the global outsourcing market, how does the Philippines plan to tackle the biggest, looming industry challenges?
Business leaders’ quest for cost-effective solutions, consumers’ shifting preferences, and the rise of new tech products and processes are simultaneously reshaping the offshoring landscape.
For emerging outsourcing locations, the challenges that come with these transformations are relatively easier to overcome. From the get-go, they can tailor their strategies to fit the existing business climate.
But for those that have already established an influential presence in the business process outsourcing BPO scene—like the Philippines—the challenge is to keep reshaping one’s operational framework. Their goal must be to rebuild a flexible business model that will enable them to absorb new practices and trends.
How exactly does the Philippines plan to do this?
To bolster its expertise and remain a strong force in the global BPO domain, the Philippines aims for these targets within the next six years.
1. More jobs
By 2022, Philippine call centers and other types of outsourcing companies are aiming to create an additional 1.8 million direct jobs. This figure appears in Accelerate Ph: Future-Ready Roadmap 2022 released by the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) earlier this year.
Currently, the Philippines employs 1.2 million full-time workers. However, it plans to generate more jobs by focusing on higher-value BPO segments. This includes animation and game development, health information management, and IT and software development.
It’s estimated that for every one job being opened in the information technology–business process management (IT-BPM) industry, three more jobs are being created elsewhere, such as in retail, food business, transportation, and real estate. This ripple effect is seen to contribute to a more sustainable economy in the country.
2. Higher revenues
IBPAP is optimistic about Philippine BPO industry’s continuous growth in the coming years, as it estimates that the country can generate $40 billion in revenues by 2022.
Currently, the country’s IT-BPM segment contributes to 10% of the nation’s economy. As 2016 ends, it’s projected to earn around $25 billion. If it successfully integrates its fortified strategies (discussed below), the country is on its way to occupying 15% of the global outsourcing market share.
3. Strong government support
Last year, the Philippine government passed a bill that aims to create a separate, independent Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). It’s a move that allowed the country to fully focus on ICT and its functions.
Philippine call centers and other BPO providers can expect stronger government support through the DICT, which is now formally operating. It’s also tasked to build an enabling business environment for outsourcing companies and foreign investments.
4. Focus on diversification
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham) President Julian Payne said that if the Philippines fails to climb up the outsourcing value chain, its growth will be at risk. The country must increase its competitiveness, as countries like India and others in Southeast Asia are all aiming to boost their knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) capabilities.
For the coming years, therefore, the Philippines intends to diversify the offshore services it offers. To do this, it must harness the skills of new graduates and build a reliable tech infrastructure. It can’t place all its hopes in the contact center segment. Instead, it must shift its attention to higher-value segments that require specialized skill sets. This includes IT and other knowledge-based processes.
5. Digital transformation
To carry out its missions, Philippine BPO companies must rely on powerful, sophisticated tools and apps, increased connectivity, and the most innovative tech solutions. The IBPAP has been cultivating partnerships with the private sector, specifically local network providers, to make this possible.
In the coming years, we can expect expansions in outsourcing companies’ data network capacities. This can help them successfully adopt and carry out tech-powered processes that would enhance the quality of their services.