Continued Growth for RP’s BPO Industry

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MANILA, Philippines—The growth of the country’s business process outsourcing sector is expected to accelerate in the first half, with companies committing to expand faster than expected.

Gillian Joyce Virata, Business Processing Association of the Philippines executive director for information and research, said the industry’s recovery from the economic slump would be “very steep” in the first semester, as existing players scramble to expand their workforce.

“People are really ramping up. There are recruitments left and right, so we’re seeing a very steep recovery in the first half. The growth will taper off by 2011,” she said.

The growth, she said, was not just for voice services, which last year accounted for the bulk of BPO revenues. Existing players were also recruiting more people to do back-office work and higher-value services.

The expansion trend was also not limited to third-party service providers, or BPO firms engaged in the business of servicing different companies’ various outsourcing needs. Captives, or BPO firms performing dedicated services for one company alone, were likewise ramping up.

Virata said that more Australian firms were looking to outsource to the Philippines. The banking sector was likewise increasingly considering the outsourcing option.

Interest in the Philippine BPO sector was also moving beyond voice and leaning more toward higher-value services, she said.

In an earlier interview, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines director Richard Mills said the Philippines was now well poised to take on higher-value jobs, after proving its worth as a premier destination for voice services.