Publication: Outsourcing Digest
the years, India and China remain the two prime destinations for offshore
outsourcing. Generally, China appears to be more attractive for
manufacturing jobs, while India holds the undisputed record for desirability
as a BPO stronghold.
there has been talk of India losing its BPO supremacy to other low-cost
developing nations that accept offshoring work. It is a lingering fear among
the nation’s white-collar workers that India’s day in the sun will soon
come to an end.
of the most aggressive contenders for the top spot in offshoring
desirability is the Philippines. Last year there were even speculations of
it snatching the top spot as IT services provider from India.
then, it seems the Philippines has started to aim for the top in another
outsourcing field. A study by Singapore-based ACA Services and
Michigan-based Fortune 500 staffing firm Kelly Services shows that business
process outsourcing – specifically of call center services – are offered
at the Philippines not at lower cost, but at significantly higher quality
than in India.
clincher, it appears, is that Philippine call center agents take less time
to train. 64% of all Filipino agents can speak more than two languages,
whereas only 40% of all Indian agents are multilingual. There is also a
marked difference in employee turnover; an Indian call center worker spends
an average of 11 months at a job, while a Filipino call center worker spends
an average of 15.
plus for the Philippines is that while Indian labor laws decree that each
employee has 15 sick leaves a year, Philippine labor laws allow only eight.
India is still cheaper – by a matter of cents. The hourly cost per seat in
India is US$3.18, while in the Philippines it is US$3.82.
the study also mentions that of all the Asian countries, the Philippines was
the only one that did not invest considerable time and effort in improving
their telecom and broadband infrastructure over the year 2004.
recent Computerworld feature uses the experiences of top multinational
contact center service providers in outlining the Philippines’ advantage
over India. Sykes, the first major call center name in the Philippines,
plans to move call center work from India to the Philippines, where it
already has over 7,000 employees.
Mills, author of the feature, reports that he is “currently meeting with
numerous early-stage entrants to the Philippines – more than at anytime
during the past three years.”
Mills ends with the note that this trend does not spell doom for Indian BPO
supremacy. It simply means other low-cost locations are coming to light,
even as India continues to be competitive. “If countries like the
Philippines and Vietnam are better options today, it’s only because they
have been less successful at developing and attracting quality outsourcing
employers in the past. The pioneering accomplishments made by India have now
opened the door for these countries to receive their share of the
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