BY: ALEXIS HOJILLA
The Philippines is often reckoned as a global hotspot in terms of agriculture, with sheer numbers of flora and fauna exported around different countries around the globe. However, as the Information Age continues to evolve rapidly, the Philippines undergoes a transformation from being an agriculture-oriented country to a cyberPhilippines. It is at this point in history that the Philippines, aside from being a paradise blessed with exquisite landscapes, is building its own name in the call center industry.
Among the growing markets of Asia, India and China have long utilized their labor forces in the call center industry, thus providing the fuel for their economic growth. Since India had been under the British colonial rule for decades, most of their citizens speak English, the so-called lingua franca of the modern world, making India seem such a perfect location for outsourcing. On the other hand, the Philippines had been struggling for the political, economic and social crises it faces. Yet, albeit the different criticisms it receives, many international firms recognize the Philippines, particularly its strong workforce of brown people with neutral American accent, as a potential haven for call center industry.
A survey of multinational companies by a foreign consulting firm reveals that Philippines ranks as one of the most favorable locations for call center operations. In fact, out of forty countries regarded as propitious locations for offshoring, the Philippines ranked fourth, according to the Global Services Location Index 2005 of AT Kearney, following India, China and Malaysia. It jumped two places higher from its last year’s ranking.
Southeast Asia dominates the list of the 2005 index, with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines filling up the top 15 positions. Additional reports by the survey states that the Philippines awaits foreign investments for offshoring because of its English-proficient workforce, despite its political fluidity and infrastracture frailty. The language skills of its natives also provide endless opportunities for worldwide exposure.
Meanwhile, a Canadian market research company stated that Philippines is capable of exceeding India in call center industry. XMG Inc. revealed that as early as 2008, the Philippines could overtake the current market leader if it will converge on brood over administering higher value services enforcing excellent English efficiency and frontline service support affairs. Cesar Toletino, an XMG analyst, said that if headed in the right path, the Philippines could earn $3.46 billion in 2008 in call center industry, surpassing India’s estimated income in the same year of $2.87 billion.
With such definite and abundant advantages of Philippines over other countries, the Philippines truly faces a bright future in call center industry. It is no exaggeration to assert that in a matter of years, call center industry in the Philippines will be at its zenith in international influence and prestige.