Developing Non-voice BPO Segment Offers Great Prospects for the Philippines

While traditional voice-based business process outsourcing (BPO) will continue contributing remarkably to the industry’s growth, developing the non-voice segment offers emerging opportunities and can help the sector to achieve a growth of 15 to 20 percent.

David Caldwell, managing director of Wells Fargo Philippines Solutions Inc., said prospects of developing other important segments of non-voice BPO particularly animation, publishing and engineering design, is huge.

Caldwell, in a business conference, said the sophisticated talent and creative instinct of Filipino animators make the Philippines the preferred outsourcing partner of big international production outfits worldwide.

He said that aside from the lower costs of services, big international companies rely on Filipino animators due to their English proficiency, consistent quality and speed in delivering output, and ability to comprehend concepts and story lines better than their Asian counterparts.

The Philippines also has robust infrastructure to support relevant animation activities, he added.

“Indeed, there are really great prospects for the Philippine animation industry, eminent through the country’s sectoral advantage as well the growing global market opportunity which was expected to reach US$80 billion in 2010,” he noted.

On its publishing sector, Caldwell noted that 80 percent of the currently BPO publishing revenues are contributed by only top two vendors.

“What these figures are telling us is that there is a great opportunity to develop the mid-tier (200 to 500 employees) vendors to significantly contribute to the $100-million BPO publishing business,” he said.

Moreover, Caldwell said the highly skilled engineers and additional graduates annually can support the high growth of the engineering design sector.

“(They are) ready to support the almost US$250-million engineering design sector in the country, growing at more than 50 percent yearly,” he said.

Apart from these sectors, the growing non-voice BPO segment includes information technology (IT) services, legal transcription, back office and knowledge process outsourcing.

Citing a data, Caldwell said the non-voice BPO segment expanded from 15 percent in 2006 to 20 percent in 2010. On the other hand, the growth of the voice BPO segment slowed from 74 percent to 69 percent.

He said the industry has also started to diversify its graphic base. The sector was beginning to capitalize on new business opportunities offered in the United Kingdom, European Union and Asia Pacific, thus making it becoming less reliant on the United States market.

“The industry is showing initial signs of diversification beyond traditional areas of strength,” he noted. “Diversification is necessary to be healthy.”

By 2016, the BPO industry is projected to grow $25 billion in revenues, employ more than 1.3 million Filipinos directly and share 9 percent to the gross domestic product. Its revenues reached $11 billion in 2011.

— Danielle Venz, PHILEXPORT News and Features

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