BPO industry still bullish on nationwide expansion
THE contact-center industry remains bullish on prospects to expand outside of Metro Manila, as Internet connectivity gradually improves in the countryside.
“The growth of the industry has been ongoing year after year. A big part of that growth story is it’s been inclusive in the industry. There has been growth in places that would not have been BPO [business-process outsourcing] locations in the rural areas,” Benedict Hernandez, chairman of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines, said in a news conference on Wednesday.
New cities and municipalities that now play host to pioneer BPOs, like Accenture and Allorica, include San Nicolas in Ilocos Norte, Roxas City, Puerto Prinsesa, and Bataan, added Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)’s E-Innovation Group Deputy Executive Director Monchito Ibrahim said. Two more large BPO firms will be opening up in Cagayan de Oro, he said.
“I think there’s more to come,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez highlighted the improving Internet connectivity in the countryside as a key factor in facilitating the spread of BPOs outside of the country’s metropolises.
The government and the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines have embarked on a program to identify cities outside of Metro Manila with a potential to become BPO hubs, under the Next Wave Cities Program.
Ibrahim estimated 80 small cities and municipalities outside of Metro Manila now play host to these BPOs.
In a previous event, Hernandez said the industry is eyeing a 50-50 distribution of BPO companies within and outside of Metro Manila by 2020, from the existing scheme of 70:30, with more workers in Metro Manila. CCAP has just concluded its 11th International Contact Center Conference and Expo, themed “Contact Islands: Opportunities in the Ultimate Customer Experience Paradise,” which marked the first time the industry association will be bringing in investors.
The delegation of investors, numbering 100, is a mix of nationalities, including European, American and Australian in the information-technology-business-process management sub industries of health care, telecommunications, financial and hospitality.
The local IT-BPM industry is eyeing $25 billion in revenues by 2016, and 1.3 million workers.
The contact-center sector still takes the bulk of employment in the IT-BPM industry, accounting for 65 percent of the estimated employment of 1.2 million workers in 2015.
September 28, 2016