Tuesday, March 25

The Philippines - Leader in the Outsourcing

By Roberto Bacasong
Company Writer
Call Center in the Philippines

Proving that the Philippines is the best in the world when it comes to the outsourcing industry, three of its cities were identified as among the "Top 50 Emerging Outsourcing Cities" worldwide by the Global Services and Tholons.

Making it to the big wave are the cities of Cebu (No. 4) Pasay (23), and Baguio (36). Tholons said they evaluated the viability of existing and potential outsourcing destinations consists of a host of measurable and pre-determined metrics and variables that impact a location's services landscape.

In this city selection criteria, an exhaustive set of data points add up to a broad set of categories, which ultimately provide an aggregate city score. The selection process was based on scale and quality of workforce, business catalyst, financial, infrastructure, risk environment and quality of life.

It is highly recognized that the Filipino BPO city provides services such as customer services, technical support, help desk, data entry and processing, medical transcription, insurance processing, book keeping and accounting, legal, taxation and back-office transaction processing.

To date, 80,000 sq. meters are presently occupied by at least 17 BPO companies in Cebu. Office lease rates in the city on an average are $6.7 per sq. meter per month. Cebu City is also known as an education center. It has 68 public elementary schools, 23 national high schools and 28 night high schools. Literacy rate in the city stands at 97 percent. Many foreign students, mostly Iranians, Koreans and Nepalese, also come to this city to study since education is relatively cheaper. Infrastructure in the city is quite strong which include Cebu City's Mactan-Cebu International Airport has direct flights to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Qatar and South Korea.

The excellent quality of life (cost of living around 75 percent lower than the U.S.A.) in Cebu city translates into better quality of workers and low employee turnover.

The facilities found in Cebu can host enough contact centers making as prime destination of the contact center companies outside Metro Manila. The city can produce higher number of graduates and the place is friendly to investor.

Beth Lui, the Philippine Country Manager for Accenture, rationalized their expansion to Cebu City, a significantly smaller city yet equally capable labor force as compared to Manila. "Cebu alone is a small province. We will have to draw from the neighboring provinces as well. There is a need to create a hub of talent," says Ms. Lui.

In a separate development, Manila garnered as Top 5 Outsourcing Cities along with the cities of Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, all in India; and the city of Dublin in Ireland.

"We don't see these mature, well-established cities that have been servicing the global corporate world for over a decade, going away from the outsourcing map. But we do see them as Western companies' obvious choices for sourcing IT and BPO services," Tholons said.

The study cited that Metro Manila and Cebu City were among the top choices for contact center services as well as finance and accounting. Manila excelled mostly in legal services while Cebu City was recognized in human resources.*

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