Philippine call centers cause erosion to Indian counterparts

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Call centers in the Philippines have been consistently taking the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry to great heights by earning the sector acclaims and positive reputations from foreign markets. While the industry’s immense contribution play a big role in driving the Philippine economy towards the road to stability it currently takes, counterparts from neighboring nations consequently suffer downturns. And among the BPO hubs that slowed down to make way for the Philippines, its biggest rival, India suffers the biggest blow.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) reported last year that the former call center outsourcing leader has been losing its reign because of new emerging BPO capitals. Seventy percent of India’s voice service segment transferred operations to the Philippines, and Assocham admitted that this is mainly due to the better work quality businesses can get from the Filipino workforce.

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Just recently, the association released a statement claiming that India could lose about $30 billion more from its earnings after suffering a $25-billion loss in 2013. Like before, the Philippine BPO industry is seen as a major contributor to this. Neutral accents, however, are not the sole factor that’s pulling clients now; businesses seek for multi-channeled customer support, which Philippine-based BPO firms offer better than India’s purely voice sector.

“It is estimated that in the ongoing decade, India might lose $30 billion in terms of foreign exchange earnings to the Philippines, which has become the top destination for Indian investors,” said DS Rawat, Assocham’s secretary general.

An Oxford Business Group report further supported Assocham’s forecast, saying that “the majority of lost business relocated to the Philippines, where an estimated 30 percent of graduates are employable, compared to just 10 percent in India.”

The consecutive recognitions that the Philippines earned from international experts and observers in the recent years also added attractiveness to the country’s BPO scene. Among those accolades, the advancement of several Philippine cities in Tholons’ BPO rankings played the most part in elevating the nation’s status in the global outsourcing realm. In the 2014 Tholons International Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations Report, Manila outplaced Mumbai from the second spot, while six other Philippine cities either climbed or entered the list.

To maintain the Philippines’ lead, Oxford suggested patching up its employment issues. The country’s BPO sector has been already addressing this by teaming up with education and trade ministries in injecting BPO to tertiary education and labor trainings.

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