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The Role of BPO in Boosting Economies

Jen Cagadas, Hubport Group
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Business process outsourcing is one of the biggest contributors to the Philippine economy. In fact, back in 2008, the industry was able to remit millions to the country’s GDP and supply 300,000 jobs for the Filipino people; most of which involved becoming call center agents. Since its birth, business process outsourcing has continuously expanded its roots in the country, taking over several major cities, as it aids the restoration of the country’s financial health. Manila, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan are just of the places where major BPO facilities have been constructed. As of today, the BPO industry continues to breathe life to the country’s financial system, giving ample support and opportunities for employment and profit.

It was only years ago when the whole world experienced a major decline in the financial system. Prices of commodities were high and so was the unemployment rate. Several companies became bankrupt and some were not even able to survive. Who would have thought that the financial drought would deliver a refreshing spring of income to unindustrialized parts of the world?

The Philippines is lucky enough to have had competent and intelligent manpower idle at the time of BPO’s growth spurt. Hence, it was able to respond immediately to the need of foreign conglomerates when the application of cost cutting measures became their only method for survival. With highly skilled and quality outsourced professionals available, the Philippines was able to help maintain business processes of multinational companies.

As such, it was able to triumphantly rise in the ranks of trustworthy business process outsourcing solution providers. By garnering a whopping $2.1 billion income last 2006, the country closed in on the competition and secured third place in the outsourcing hierarchy. The Philippines continues to maintain its lead over Malaysia, taking about 6.9 percent of the total outsourcing revenue for this year. Though it still is far behind China and India in statistics, the Filipino work ethic and service is greatly at par with tenured professionals from these countries.

Now, the country’s BPO success cannot solely be attributed to customer service related outsourcing contracts, though these have been the most dominant and popular form of outsourcing to date. Other facets of the industry, including web-based outsourced services have done their part in boosting the economy. Services such as ecommerce website development, animation, and software development, have recently become the main collector of overseas contacts. As such, next to call centers, IT firms outsource the most number of manpower. In addition, medical transcription, as well as finance, legal and accounting services have also contributed considerably to the bulk of profits the country has received from outsourcing.

McKinsey & Company, an international investment consulting firm, foresees great potential for this business as it predicts outsourcing demands to rise to $180 billion by 2010. Given that the need for cost efficient business processes are still present and will continue to be present until foreign economies are stabilized; business process outsourcing will remain to be the primary recourse for companies struggling to meet ends and prevent further economic upsets.

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