Gone are the days when the thought of talking to an offshore customer support seemed alien and even unacceptable. At present, the practice of outsourcing processes and tasks to a BPO provider is now recognized by many companies as a winning strategy that drives business growth. And if there’s one country that could attest to how far this industry has come, it would be the Philippines.

A consistent name in the yearly Tholons Top Outsourcing Destinations list, the Philippine BPO industry has come quite a long way since it first came into light in the early 90s. At present, it is already the country’s largest source of employment (private) and places second to remittances when it comes to foreign exchange earnings.

Here’s just a brief overview showcasing the industry’s journey:

1990s – A Decade of Many Firsts

  • 1992  – The country’s very first contact center was established by Frank Holz.
  • 1995 –  The Philippine Economic Zone Authority, commonly known as PEZA, was instituted. This initiative helped attract foreign investors by offering tax incentives and lowering area requirements.
  • 1997 – The country had its very first BPO multinational company
  • 1999 –  Jim Franke and Derek Holley founded the Philippines’ 1st call center company

2000s – Years of Growth and Achievements

  • 2000 – The BPO industry was able to contribute 0.075% to the nation’s GDP
  • 2001 – Then Trade Secretary Mar Roxas established the Contact Center of the Philippines. The organization was formed mainly to promote awareness and exchange ideas within members of the contact center industry.
  • 2005 – From 0.075%, the industry’s GDP contribution climbed to 2.4% in less than five years. Another highlight was the 3% global market share gained by the country.
  • 2006 – The start of the industry’s annual growth of 46%
  • 2010 – The Philippines was declared the world’s BPO capital as it provided jobs to 525,000 Filipinos and generated a revenue of $8.9bn
  • 2011 – We surpassed the previous year’s figures as the number of employed by the industry reached 638,000 an GDP climbed to 4.9%
  • 2012 – GDP continued to grow as it reached a solid 5.4%
  • 2013 – Full-time employees reached a whopping 900,000 as the revenue climbed further to $15.5bn

The Future

Although GDP for 2017 fell 0.2% short of 2016’s 6.9%, the future is still great for industry as it gears towards high-value services like web application development and financial services. It’s also expected that drive the demand for office space and bring even more jobs just in 2018.

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