India and Singapore are also top destinations where companies outsource. In India, the labor cost is low. In Singapore, the talent pool of qualified professionals is big. Why would a company outsource to the Philippines then? Simply because in the Philippines, you can have best of both worlds and more.
The Philippines doesn’t only have a low labor cost and a big talent pool; it also has a high rating in English proficiency. Filipino professionals graduate from schools that adhere to western standards when it comes to English.
This is also a distinguishable difference from other Asian countries that cater to offshoring companies. Offshoring companies acknowledge this is an undeniable asset when companies outsource.
What do outsourcing companies look for in a skills set? They are always on the hunt for a unique combination of talent and work ethics.
Here are reasons why the Philippines’ outsourcing skill sets are different:
- English Literacy – Standard Filipino education requires an introduction to the English language. Since pre-nursery up to the college level, it has been the medium of instruction for most subjects. Even the simplest blue-collar workers know the basics of the language.
- No strong accents – Filipinos’ most valuable asset as an offshore destination is that majority of those working in outsourcing companies like call centers do not have a strong accent. Other offshore destinations may have low labor costs, but the employees have strong accents that make communication much harder.
- Resourcefulness – Quick thinking and finding clever ways to overcome difficulties are often associated with a Filipino employee. This is a very valuable skill that contributes to the growth of a working community. You don’t need to constantly supervise and address issues yourself because they can already be resolved.
- Teamwork – A Filipino working culture demands mindfulness of your co-workers’ well-being. This makes the working environment more amiable. It also means that by working together, work demands can be met more efficiently.
Analysis of the BPO industry’s uprising in the Philippines
There are a lot of countries that have outsourcing companies, but the Philippines really stands out. Its most appealing feature is the Filipinos’ proficiency when it comes to the English language. It makes communication easier.
The Philippines is one of the most proficient non-native English speaking countries in the world. Just last 2017, according to the Education First’s English Proficiency Index, the Philippines is among the top 15 most proficient non-native English speakers. The index included 72 countries overall.
In Asia, the Philippines has been ranked third out of twenty Asian countries. Singapore and Malaysia being first and second, respectively. This bodes well for the Philippines as it means that it can keep up with the outsourcing’s continuing growth.
The government also plays an active role in encouraging BPO development in the country. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging BPO activities through tax incentive packages provided by the Board of Investments (BOI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
Furthermore, The Department of Information and Communications Technology has been very vocal in its support to the BPO sector. Last October 28, 2016, the government officially launched the Philippine IT-BPM Roadmap 2022. It’s specifically created to accelerate the growth of the BPO Industry in the country.
The labor force in the Philippines, however, has become outsourcing’s most enticing aspect. The Philippines covers 10 to 15 percent of the global share in the BPO Industry.
Filipinos are also naturally hardworking, patient, resourceful, and flexible. The people’s general good-naturedness effectively creates an ideal working environment for a business to be successful.
The Filipino work ethic is centered on group mentality, as opposed to the Western’s individualism. This makes the Filipinos more adaptable and cohesive in working with and as a group. It sets a more efficient professional setting to reach the desired organizational goal.
One of the significant turning points in the success of BPO industry, during its early years, is Microsoft’s generous donation of free Microsoft Apps Licenses to the PCPS program. As this helped in greatly lessening the government’s capital expenditures, the start of the industry was easier.
To sum up, the success of the Philippine’s BPO industry is mainly a combination of low cost of labor, English proficiency, and government support.