The call center industry in the Philippines is brimming with energy. Kick-started in 1997, call centers employed 938,000 Filipinos in 2012 and boasted revenues in the region of $11 billion and accounted for around 5% of Philippines’ GDP. According to a report in the Economist, the Southeast Asian country has leapt ahead of the long-time leader in global call center operations, India.
It is predicted that by 2016, the Philippines BPO industry would have added another 700,000 jobs and generated around $25 billion worth of revenue. That would be close to a tenth of the country’s GDP and even greater than the remittances from overseas Filipinos. That’s how fast the BPO industry is growing in the Philippines.
Philippine Call Centers – The Accent Advantage
One of the main reasons for the superiority of the call centers in the Philippines over Indian call centers is that the Filipino workers speak English with a neutral accent and are knowledgeable about American idioms. This endears them to their American customers. Indian call centers employees were not successful in this respect.
- Indians have not always been able to shed their Indian or Asian accent, making many Indian BPO firms turn to the Philippines to set up call centers there.
- Call center jobs were moved though wages in the Philippine are higher than in India. It’s the accent advantage that has been boosting the Philippine voice BPO industry.
Working in call centers also gives the youth of the country attractive salaries to start off with, which is why many are embracing it. So when you have a willing and well-educated youth population plus the right accent to suit customers, there’s nothing stopping the industry from achieving greater heights.
India Still Reigns in Complex BPO Services
Now there are even concerns that the growth experienced in the Philippines’ BPO sector is a bit shaky and could falter. Key factors pointed out for this are talent retention issues and high operational costs. However, industry gurus and stakeholders believe that the country’s BPO sector can retain its current growth rate by diversifying into more complex outsourcing areas as mentioned above.
Outsourcing Industry in India
India’s annual revenue from its outsourcing sector totaled to around $11 billion in 2012, which contributed to 1% of India’s GDP. Though there were 2.8 million people employed in the outsourcing industry in 2012, there is skill shortage experienced which is resulting in a 10 to 15% rise in salaries.
India’s BPO industry is continuing to grow, and the coming years could witness great competition between the two Asian nations.