When it comes to embracing change, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry has long prided itself on its ability to adapt and evolve. From humble beginnings when the main lure was cost-cutting to today’s sophisticated providers that help clients drive innovation and promote business value, the BPO sector is one of the world’s fastest changing industries. As the headline of a 2015 commentary about the industry declared: “Two decades of BPO evolution: We’ve come a long way, baby!”
Never has that need to embrace change been greater than the past 18 months. From the moment China became the first country to ask its BPO employees to work remotely, the COVID-19 crisis has forced the industry to be more dynamic than ever and it has delivered. Like all sectors, the BPO industry faced early challenges as the pandemic swept the world but is rebounding strongly to continue its recent growth trajectory. Even amid the COVID environment, the global Business Process Outsourcing market size was estimated at almost $162 billion in 2020 and is projected to climb to more than $230 billion by 2027.
And while such headline numbers are impressive, it is when you take a deep dive into the value of specific BPO markets that one truly appreciates how much the industry has ingrained itself in modern business life.
In May 2021, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, respected research company Global Industry Analysts released a 776-page report that shone a spotlight on predicted growth for the global BPO industry. Declaring that “timely market intelligence is paramount in these uncertain times”, key findings included:
Among other nations, India remains an undoubted BPO giant by handling 56% of the world’s business process outsourcing. With a reputation for providing quality call centers and customer support, demand for Indian BPO services continues to grow at an annual rate of 50% and the sector is soon expected to employ more than 1.1 million people.
The BPO industry’s ability to withstand the worst of the pandemic’s negative impacts on balance sheets is also highlighted by good news coming out of the Philippines. Speaking at The Manila Times Business Forum in September, experts detailed how the nation’s BPO industry has grown in recent times even as most economic sectors tumbled. The local industry hired an additional 23,000 people during 2020, bringing the total number of BPO staff to more than 1.3 million.
Better still, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines revealed the industry is hoping to add at least 450,000 workers to its ranks in 2022. Long known as ‘The BPO capital of the world’, it is clear the health of the industry remains a key priority for the Filipino Government, with its Labor Secretary confirming at the forum that BPO providers contribute $26 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product annually.
Such healthy predictions for the BPO market are supported by analysis of the wider outsourcing industry. A MarketsandMarkets report released in early 2021 has tipped the global healthcare outsourcing market to reach $468.5 billion by 2026, up from its current level of $296 billion, while the IT outsourcing market is predicted to be worth $397.6 billion by 2025.
With the COVID-19 pandemic well into its second year, providers are keeping a close eye on several BPO industry trends to ensure they remain ahead of the game.
With talk of a COVID-inspired global financial crisis a thing of the past, the BPO industry and its countless providers are well placed to deliver increased efficiencies, reduced costs and positive results for their clients. Connect with MicroSourcing to learn how implementing an offshore element into your resourcing strategy can create more opportunities for your business to grow.
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