7 Facts and Forecasts: The BPO Industry in the Philippines
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The Philippines’ Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry has ‘edged out India’* as the call center leader of the world. BPO is now the biggest contributor to the Philippines’ gross domestic product. We give you fast facts and numbers about it here.
Also called the IT-BPM (Information Technology and Business Process Management) sector composed of customer relationship, support and KPO (knowledge process outsourcing including digital agencies, software development and financial backroom services), it’s the country’s fastest growing industry. More and more investments are made and sealed every year.
Millions of Filipinos used to look at developed countries as career destinations but post-pandemic recovery affected the already long and lengthy process of going abroad. Now Filipinos focus on upskilling, finding work in the local outsourcing sector, or working as a freelancer.
US-based and European companies, in the current fluctuating economy, largely outsource to the Philippines to cut costs AND remain competitive.
1. In the world’s offshoring destinations, the Philippines is second only to India’s pioneering BPO industry. But in the voice or call center sub-sector, we have already surpassed India as global leader since 2010.
2. 2021’s $29.49 billion revenue was at 10-percent growth compared to 2020. The Philippines remain resilient against the pandemic through adapting remote to hybrid work arrangements.
3. Industry experts predict the industry revenue to reach $38.9 billion by 2022, with 2.5 million people working in outsourcing in 2028. The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) predicted $32.4 billion revenue by the end of 2022.
4. Over a million are already employed in the BPO industry, and 1.1 million more jobs are expected to be generated by next year.
5. BPO revenue may soon overtake the revenue from remittances coming from overseas Filipino workers. The local BPO industry contributed $26 billion to the Philippine economy in 2019. With the exemption of closure during pandemic, DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) expects BPO’s revenue to grow at 10% minimum.
6. The Philippines has become the top destination for IT-BPO firms, and remains that way.
Several factors for the country’s success in BPO are:
- scalable, educated talent pool
- cost competitiveness
- excellent infrastructure
- a proven track record
- adequate government support for the industry
The BPO industry contributed to nation-building as the IT-BPM sector opened millions of jobs and contributed billions to the gross domestic product of the Philippines.
- Philippine revenue growth is at 5.6% from 2016 to 2022.
- IBPAP expected the IT-BPM industry’s 10.6% revenue growth and 9.1% headcount growth to double by the end of 2022.
- Hybrid working arrangements during the pandemic in 2020 improved employee productivity and well-being.
- FIRB (Fiscal Incentives Review Board) acknowledged the new business model to IT-BPM companies with 30% work from home and 70% on-site work arrangement.
- BPO companies diversify from voice-based services to various digital support.
7. 77% of the Philippines’ BPO export is for US-based companies. The remaining 23% is shared largely by Asia-Pacific.
The IBPAP aims to craft a new roadmap for the industry beyond 2022, setting new goals and strategies to secure the leadership of the Philippine IT-BPO industry in the global offshoring space. According to IBPAP President and CEO Rey Untal, the 2028 road map is a longer term cure with policies that reflect what the industry needs.
Following India, the Philippines is the second prominent IT-BPM destination in Tholons top 100 list. IBPAP expects continued success as severe Covid-19 waves last year prompted clients to transfer business to the Philippines.
According to BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, BPOs tend to grow regardless of economic conditions. In an interview with the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), he noted the following:
- if times are good, offshore companies need to outsource non-core services to remain competitive
- when their economies are not doing well, they have to resort to outsourcing because of the need to cut on costs.
The BPO industry is also locally dubbed “the sunshine industry,” and for a good reason.
Now the age of the digital economy has arrived, and more and more skilled freelancers and virtual assistants are contributing to the outsourcing industry.
Leading BPO companies in the Philippines:
- Support Ninja
- Wing Assistant
- Virtual Employee
- Acquire BPO
- Sutherland Global Service
– Philippine Daily Inquirer Business
– Rappler, BPO Philippines Timeline
– Business World Online, Finance