Expect 2017 to be another banner year for the Filipino business process outsourcing industry, with increasing levels of foreign direct investment, booming eco-tourism, a thriving property market and a rapidly growing outsourcing industry that continues to grow in both size and complexity of services offered.
India, where offshore call centers first exploded, fields as many as 500,000 call center agents, according to some industry estimates. The Philippines, which has a population one-tenth as big as India’s, recenty overtook India as the call center capital of the world. As the newly crowned “king of the hill” when it comes to call centers, look for the Filipino outsourcing industry to continually evolve to accommodate more specialized outsourced solutions, often referred to as knowledge-process outsourcing, or KPO. After BPO, KPO is the next stage in the evolution of the outsourcing market. The Philippines is already one of the top destinations for KPO, and many foreign companies are already outsourcing many processes that require much higher levels of skill and expertise. Strong growth is expected for knowledge-based services in the years to come, especially in the areas of finance, accounting, and legal services. Look for these KPO services, and the companies that provide them, to continually increase in size and complexity in the coming years.
While the Philippines has long been one of the world’s best destinations for call centers and voice-based BPO services, as well as KPO, industry leaders are now pushing for the country to be recognized as a world leader in creative process outsourcing (CPO) as well, due to Filipinos’ exceptional talented in several disciplines of art and design. CPO activities such as 3D animation outsourcing, video game development outsourcing to the Philippines, music engineering outsourcing, sound engineering outsourcing, film outsourcing and multimedia video production outsourcing, industrial design outsourcing, architecture outsourcing, photography, and publishing are already regularly performed in the Philippines. As with BPO and KPO services, sharp increases in CPO should also be expected in years ahead. Pixar, the leading animation studio in the world, recently set up shop in the Philippines. Expect many other animation firms to follow their lead and setup CPO operations in the Philippines.
To meet this pent-up demand, and to continue to succeed in a competitive global marketplace for outsourced services, the outsourcing community of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Filipino Government, must continually strive to promote the industry, so that the Philippines can continue to develop a more highly skilled workforce that can deliver world-class BPO, KPO, and CPO services in the decades to come. Universities must also work closely with industry to bridge the skills gap often experienced by fresh graduates.