The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has consistently developed in the Philippines. Less than three decades since the Special Economic Zone Act formation, investors are still looking to outsource their services to the country. According to the Oxford Business Group, BPO companies in the Philippines have expanded so quickly, naming it the “two legs” of the country’s economy, alongside Filipino migrant workers. BPO has the reputation of creating millions of jobs for the Filipinos. Contributing $22.9 billion in revenue in 2016 to $26 billion in 2019 and employing 1.3 million Filipinos in over a thousand firms.
Regardless of its robust foundation, the BPO industry had to reshuffle the way they operate due to the effects of Covid-19. The industry is moving forward despite the difficulties of 2020, even seeing more opportunities in the future. BPO, until today, is still considered to be one of the most secured and fast-growing industries in the Philippines.
What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?
Business process outsourcing is the contracting of a third-party company to perform roles and operations. The contracting can be local or offshore. Businesses outsource tasks from non-core tasks such as back-office to highly-specialized services, technical services, and consulting. The BPO industry, in general, is developing due to the improvements of global telecommunications allowing businesses to hire staff from countries with cheap labor.
One of the concerns among companies in terms of outsourcing is the loss of control and privacy. Executives worry about assigning tasks to people living on the other side of the world. Fortunately, the BPO industry is avoiding the possibilities of mismanagement through innovative strategies.
3 Reasons that contribute to the Expansion of BPO Industry in the Philippines
The Philippines is predominantly an agricultural country. Due to the wider scope of entrepreneurial opportunities, the country is slowly shifting its focus to manufacturing and services. Foreign companies view the Philippines as one of the best offshore outsourcing destinations in the world due to the low cost of living, abundant pool of educated and English-speaking workers, and low labor costs.
Call centers in the Philippines continue to develop in terms of delivery, quality, technology, and excellent customer experience across channels. Foreign investors are now operating in the Philippines, causing more growth in the BPO sector.
There is a reason why the BPO industry is referred to as the “sunshine industry” in the country. In fact, the Philippines has surpassed countries such as India, which has lost approximately 50 percent of business to the Philippines in just a few years, and we will discuss the reasons below.
The Philippine Government Supports the BPO industry
Due to the impact of the BPO industry on the country’s economy, BPO receives consistent support from the government, such as tax holidays and exemptions. Another link that connects the government to the BPO industry is the creation of the Data Privacy Act. Meaning, international data privacy standards are implemented in the Philippines, giving opportunities to acquire clients that have strict protocols regarding information. The cooperation between the BPO industry and the government helps expand the operations to global organizations, welcoming more businesses to outsource in the Philippines.
Proficiency in the English language
The Philippines is the third largest English-speaking country in the world. Its literacy rate is about 94 percent, and over 70% of the populations are fluent in English. Filipinos are highly-educated and are known to have world-class communication skills. The bpo companies in the Philippines deliver high-quality services such as non-voice, voice, etc., encouraging businesses to invest in outsourcing in the country.
BPO is Economical in the Philippines
For decades, business process outsourcing in the Philippines has been one of the most economic industries for companies based in the USA and Europe. Outsourcing in the Philippines delivers the best of services, allowing companies to reallocate their investments for other expenditures.
Globalization is breaking barriers in the industry of technology, breaking more boundaries, and expanding more than ever. Hence, more opportunities for the BPO sector in the coming years.
One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic is the tightening of borders. The impact is influencing more businesses to partner with BPO companies and taking advantage of unemployed workforces, freelancers, and the setup of working from home. Business analysts predict that the home working setup due to businesses’ need to cut costs will open more opportunities. The business process outsourcing industry will have long-term gains due to the in-demand nature of work and highly-skilled Filipino workers.
While there can be uncertainties on where the industry goes after the pandemic, business analysts report that there is a bright future for the BPO companies in the Philippines. Investments in training and technology will create as many as 600,000 job opportunities in 2022, proving that the country’s BPO sector is growing rapidly.