Philippines’ call center image is improving – Al Jazeera

The Philippines continues to sizzle as a hot outsourcing hub favored by most companies in the U.S. and Australia. Al Jazeera cited the country’s stable geopolitical climate, skilled and competitive workforce, and low cost of doing business as reasons it deserve the new title – the Call Center Capital of the World.

Not blind to notice the progress, the prestigious global media network featured the booming outsourcing sector in the Philippines through a documentary last January 22, 2013. Running a total of 25 minutes, the investigative report made by Drew Ambrose details the fast growing industry, the limits to such growth as well as challenges ahead.

As one of the most prominent English-language Arab news networks in the world, Al Jazeera’s documentary is remarkable. For one reason, it is a growing evidence of the generally-positive reception given by global media. Al Jazeera is also known for its independent yet eclectic taste when it comes to the selection of issues and global affairs that it feature. In effect, the media exposure is a big boost to the Philippines’ new emerging industry of outsourcing.

Outsourcing is a business strategy that many foreign companies are seeking to get the most out of their investments to low-cost countries like the Philippines and India. Other countries in South America are considered major offshoring hubs as well as those from Ukraine and Ireland in Europe.

And call center services is just one of the many back-office operations that small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as multinational corporations, are getting from offshoring companies in Manila. Technically, the operation of a call center involves the setup of a workforce or a virtual office capable of handling non-core functions such as customer support, outbound sales, and marketing.

With the unprecedented growth of the call center industry, Al Jazeera noted that the sector is helping pull the country’s economy up. Already established in the Philippines are prominent names like Accenture, Convergys, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, IBM, and ANZ Bank from Australia, among others. Call center operations can be found in the major cities of Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Taguig and Cebu.

Compared to their counterparts, Filipinos are well-versed in American English, as well as educated and skilled. While observers note that the English fluency of the Filipinos are exeptional, this is hardly a new phenomenon because the Philippines has formerly been a nation ruled by the Americans.

Today, the call center industry is just a decade old but now comprises of more than 420,000 workers, accounting to five percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product or GDP, or roughly $11-billion in revenue.