According to some industry experts, there’s a possibility for emerging business process outsourcing (BPO) destinations to surpass the Philippines in the voice segment due to complacency.
At the Annual Noda Contact Center Forum held in Makati, Richard Mills, founder and Chairman of Chalre Associates Executive Search, who is also the chairman of Asia CEO Forum, said the Philippines is still leading the voice BPO segment and is a key player for back office processes. He also noted that the country, which had worked its way up in a tight-knit industry, is currently in a very favorable position. However, the executive cautioned that as the global outsourcing industry is evolving, the Philippines should plan to safeguard its status from emerging outsourcing destinations, similar to what happened to India.
One of the countries which Mills said could overtake the Philippines is Africa because of its huge population, proximity to North America, and similar time zone with Europe. Moreover, Mills said since the outsourcing industry is highly dependent on stable network and connectivity, new developments in Nigeria’s telecommunications line, and improvements being made in Zimbabwe, are anticipated to catch the attention of BPO locators. Also, they are a lot less expensive.
Meanwhile, Time Magazine named a new group of rising economies - PINE, which stands for the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.
On the other hand, CBRE Philippines Vice-chairman Joey M. Radovan said the new contender does not even come close to the Philippines since Manila and Cebu are consistently ranked in the top 10.
Industry leaders said in order for the Philippines to retain its top position in the call center segment, service providers need to raise the bar in developing the skills of agents, adapt to the changes, innovate, and optimize operational efficiency.