After years of trying, the Philippines has taken over India’s spot as the world’s top ‘business process outsourcing’ destination. While this includes all manner of back office operations, the dominant employer is call centers for Western customers.

The call center industry was worth US$5.5 billion in the Philippines last year, compared to $5.3 billion in India. The Philippines also had over 500,000 call center employees, while India had 330,000. Philippines President Benigno Aquino said forecasts show the entire outsourcing industry growing to $12-13 billion by the end of next year and even $100 billion by 2020, a fifth of the world market.

Philippines’ large supply of English-speaking workers is obviously an advantage, but there are other situational advantages. The local accent and culture are also much closer to the Westerners who call them, avoiding many of the frustrations customers claim to experience with call centers in other countries. American customers in particular have expressed a preference for Filipino workers. Some Indian companies, such as Tata Consulting Services, have established operations in the Philippines in response.

Other than call centers, office processes being outsourced range from simple secretarial and administrative tasks to accounting and logistics, graphic design, software development and engineering. India is still by far the dominant player in higher end services, though the Philippines is determined to catch up there as well. The country’s surplus of medical professionals could see the development of a new sector in outsourced health support and administration.

source & article: Channel NewsAsia