A couple of weeks ago, when I left Incredible India for the Philippines, I was struck with the slogans spread across the airport: It’s more fun in the Philippines. This was accompanied by various posters of breathtaking greenery and azure beaches. The first thought that would come to anyone’s mind seeing these campaigns is of a tropical vacation.
But something else whirred in my mind. I had been there a few years ago, and wondered now, how much has Philippines really transformed?
One of the reasons why I love Philippines is because of the people, the hospitality, the polite demeanor, and the happy-go-lucky attitude. I would recommend this country to everyone. Couple this with a natural vacation destination and no wonder tourism in this country is so successful.
That was not where my mind was going though. When, I stepped out of the airport and drove out to the heart of the city, there were tall buildings that had been built just a few years ago.
Call Centers Everywhere!
You name a company and it has an office in the Philippines. Old abandoned buildings (even the huge once-unfinished Toyota building on EDSA) are occupied by BPOs of all sizes. This was not just in Metro Manila, which has always been a magnet for business investment and emerging talent, it has permeated the country in far-off places like Cebu, Davao, General Santos, and so on.
Due to the high literacy rate, hospitable culture, and wonderful people, Philippines has become a pearl in the ocean for BPOs to put up shop. The shift to Philippines did not surprise me though, I knew this long back when I joined this industry. The skills required to patiently handle irate customers, to deal with and communicate with people from all walks of life, are something Filipinos have been equipped to handle.
Conquered by many countries in the past from the Spanish to the Japanese, it is now time for Philippines to conquer the world, as was evident in the recent ICCCE (International Contact Center Conference & Expo) event I attended in Cebu. There were companies from Australia, Europe, Americas, and throughout Asia. It was amazing to see different people and languages interacting on a single platform. Everyone was vying to harness the unique offerings of Philippines for the BPO Industry.
I firmly believe that Philippines will be one of the premiere destinations for Contact Centers. Growth in the region will be spurred by the combination of skills in the local workforce and knowledge exchange with more experienced counterparts across the globe. The next few years will be challenging, the decisions made to cultivate the industry in the country will be watched by everyone, and the influx of experts from around the globe will make Philippines a melting pot of who’s who in the BPO industry.
It truly is more fun in the Philippines.