By Audrey B
Offshoring in the Philippines continues to be promising despite the strengthening currency against the dollar. Long heralded as one of the most preferred destinations for call center outsourcing services, the Philippines currently holds high regard in the outsourcing space. Just this past week, the country has once again been named as the offshoring destination of the year against fellow finalists, Egypt, Ukraine and Sri Lanka, by the National Outsourcing Association.
The 2010 NOA Awards, which were announced on the 21st of October, marks the third time that the country has been presented with the Offshoring Destinaton of the Year Award alongside awards for Outsourcing Service Provider of the Year, which was awarded to HCL Technologies (NSE:HCLTECH), and Outsourcing Contact Center Provider of the Year, which was awarded to The Listening Company. This is the second consecutive year that the country has won this award.
Although still 2nd in the offshore outsourcing space against India, the Philippines has enjoyed tremendous growth from the outsourcing industry. Last year, the country generated 7.2 billion dollars in export revenues from the industry. The country remains the second largest outsourcing provider with a workforce of almost 450,000 people—a number that is only expected to grow this year by almost as much as 50% to 650,000. International Labor Organization (ILO) Philippine director, Lawrence Jeff Johnson, meanwhile, says that the Philippines currently has 747,947 customer relationship management (NYSE:CRM) call center agent positions available.
There are, however, some qualms over the country’s strengthening peso—an issue that has also been raised in fellow outsourcing destination, India. According to the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) President, Oscar Sañez, “When the peso is very strong, it is not good for business. In fact, a big part of the economy will be seriously affected by a strong currency… BPO firms are all worried.” But while Mr. Sanez expresses fear for the Philippine outsourcing community, especially among small companies such as call centers in the Philippines, he has also expressed his confidence that the business process outsourcing industry will hit its $9.4 billion revenue target. “We are still very much in the game and very much attractive despite the [strong] peso,” he says.
Several companies have already vouched for their confidence in the country as well, including SPi Global, the business process outsourcing subsidiary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) company (NYSE:PHI). The company announced on the 1st of October that they are planning on further expanding their manpower base by more than half, from 14,000 to 30,000 in the next three years, and expanding further in the country, especially in provinces outside of the country’s capital. Other companies, such as outsourcing firm Aegis PeopleSupport, who announced on the 4th of October that they are hiring 1,200 more workers in the country, Accenture (NYSE:ACN) who announced an expansion by as much as 2,000 new employees, as part of the company’s plans to hit its growth goal of 7-10% next year, and Canada-based outsourcer, Telus (NYSE:TU), who announced on the 8th of October that they are planning on opening two new facilities in the country to add to the company’s existing three sites, with the fourth slated to open by next year.
And even though the country will be bidding goodbye to at least four centers run by Florida-based company, Sykes (NASDAQ:SYKE), due to the company’s acquisition of ICT Group, the country is still expected to see only continued growth in the offshoring sector, not just this year but also in the years to come.
Disclosure: "No positions"