The outsourcing industry has benefited many countries in the Asia-Pacific region especially China, India and the Philippines, but not every country in Asia is an ideal destination for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. Some countries could not accommodate such businesses that will require proficiency in the English. India and the Philippines, on the other hand, have a huge population of English-proficient residents, which make them targets of the industry. As of late, the Philippines has already surpassed the growth of the BPO industry in India.
Philippines Outshines India
The Philippines and India have been tight competitors in the business. However, the Philippines has become a choice destination because of the quality of service that the companies offer. Filipinos are very well-versed in written and spoken English and the literacy rate in the country is high. English is integrated within the education system and has become means of communication in many institutions.
Western culture is nothing new in the Philippines as a lot of the people, especially in the urban areas, expose themselves to movies, TV shows and publications depicting western cultures and norms. Best of all, the Philippines has a large pool of talented, hardworking and trainable workers who can carry out tasks that have high quality output.
Top Destinations for Outsourcing
A recent report made by Tholons, a global consulting firm for Information Technology (IT), named numerous cities in the Philippines as top destinations for outsourcing. Leading the roster are Manila, ranked third, and Cebu, ranked eighth. These cities were ranked based on quality of workers, real estate, bandwidth, infrastructure, cost of operations, risk profile, cost of living, and quality of life.
Although Manila remains to rank higher, more and more people are looking towards Cebu for outsourcing. From 2012, Cebu has improved its rankings because of the efforts of the local government, the private sector and institutions. In 2012, 11,000 new jobs were generated by 17 new outsourcing businesses that opened shop in the metro. Most of these jobs required higher skills, which includes back office processes and software development.
Why Outsource in Cebu?
Cebu has a big advantage over Manila where cost of living is concerned. A lower cost of living means lower costs of labor. The current minimum wage is significantly lower than Manila and therefore companies can save a lot from wages. Another advantage is its strategic location makes it both an industrial and a tourist destination where businessmen can really mix business with pleasure. In 2010, it was named the number one emerging IT and ICT hub in Asia.
Metro Cebu has highly developed infrastructure and IT centers to accommodate the needs of outsourcing companies. At present, it is home to fifteen registered and special economic zones where outsourcing companies have set up their offices. It has the country’s second largest environment that offers investment-friendly activities. It is also in the top five of cities with the fastest growing economy in the Philippines. Its local government is very much involved in developing the potentials of the whole province, including its constituents, to attract more businesses towards it, especially in the IT-BPO industry.
With the present chaotic weather patterns which is slowly becoming very common across the world, outsourcing in Cebu has its HUGE advantages in terms of natural protection from common natural disasters. Let’s get to the meat of it. For one, Cebu is not easily affected by typhoons because of its surrounding larger islands which act as hedge during typhoon season. Unlike in Manila and in other major outsourcing cities in the Philippines, the immediate streets and vicinity in Cebu, generally, do not flood. Another reason Cebu is considered as one of the safest havens in the country is the fact that it is not prone to earthquakes since it is not in earthquake zone and the fault-lines that run along the entire province are inactive. At present, the city is an oasis of world class communication and transportation facilities in the country which makes it easy to connect and continue an operation. Power outage is also rarely experienced in Cebu since it has enough production capacity and redundant power supply.
Choosing to outsource business in Cebu is a very wise decision because of the many benefits companies can get from it. The environment is almost ideal: low cost of living, lower labor costs, highly developed infrastructure and a large pool of talented workers and natural protection from common natural disasters. The quality of life is not as rushed as Metro Manila, yet not as laid-back as the rural provinces. It is a mix of a lot of things that will make it the most ideal destination for any IT-BPO company.