How Did the Philippines Become the World’s BPO Capital?

Mark Abaricio
5 min readJun 15, 2023

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The Philippines has earned the title of the world’s BPO capital for a lot of reasons. The country has become the top choice for companies like Google seeking to outsource their non-core business functions at a low cost. Since 2004, the country’s global BPO market share has quadrupled, rising from 4% in 2004 to 10–15% in 2021.

Learn more about the world’s BPO capital and why you should consider outsourcing to the Philippines in the future.

Why is the Philippines one of the best outsourcing countries?

The Philippines is a popular outsourcing destination because it offers a number of advantages to companies looking to outsource their business processes. Some of the reasons why the Philippines is one of the best outsourcing countries to consider include:

English language proficiency

The Philippines has a high level of English language proficiency, making it easier for companies to communicate with their offshore teams.

Skilled and educated workforce

The Philippines has a large pool of skilled and educated workers, including a high percentage of college graduates across various industries.

Cultural compatibility

The Philippines has a culture that is similar to Western countries, which can make it easier for companies to hire culture fit employees abroad.

Cost-effectiveness

Outsourcing to the Philippines can be cost-effective for companies, as labor costs are generally lower than in other countries.

Government support

The Philippine government has implemented policies to encourage and support the growth of the outsourcing industry, which has helped to create a favorable environment for companies looking to outsource.

When did outsourcing begin in the Philippines?

Outsourcing began in the Philippines in the late 1970s, when the country was developing its IT industry. The Philippines has a large English-speaking population and a good education system, making it an appealing destination for businesses looking to outsource customer service, technical support, and other business functions. The Philippines became a key call center outsourcing destination in the 1980s and 1990s, and it is now one of the world’s largest outsourcing destinations.

Why is the Philippines the call center capital of the world?

In the last decade, the Philippines has been dubbed as the “call center capital of the world” due to the country’s large and well-developed business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which includes call centers.

There are several reasons why foreign companies may prefer to hire Filipino call center agents.

One reason is the strong English language skills of many Filipinos. English is one of the official languages of the Philippines, and many Filipinos are fluent in English, which makes it easier for them to communicate with customers from other countries. This is particularly important in the call center industry, where clear and effective communication with customers is essential.

Another reason is the relatively low cost of labor in the Philippines compared to other countries. Hiring call center agents in the Philippines can be more cost-effective for companies compared to hiring agents in other countries with higher labor costs.

In addition, the Philippines has a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure, which makes it easier for companies to set up and operate call centers there. The country also has a stable political environment and a strong legal system, which makes it the world’s BPO capital.

When was the Philippines declared as the world’s BPO capital?

The Philippines was named the world’s BPO capital in 2010. From that point on, the BPO industry grew and generated more revenue, with the industry giving the most job opportunities in the private sector. According to IBPAP, the BPO industry employs 1.44 million full-time workers and generated $29.1 billion in revenue in the first half of 2022. Since the 1980s, the Philippines’ unemployment rate has always been between 8 and 11%.

Who is the father of BPO?

President Benigno Aquino, a former president of the Philippines, hailed Manuel Roxas II as the “father of the business process outsourcing industry in the Philippines.”

Mar Roxas is credited with helping to establish the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines. When he was serving as Secretary of Trade and Industry in the early 2000s, he recognized the potential for the Philippines to become a major player in the BPO industry and worked to create a favorable environment for BPO companies to establish themselves in the country.

One of the key initiatives he pursued was the creation of the IT-BPO Roadmap, which was a comprehensive plan to develop the country’s BPO industry. The roadmap included measures to improve infrastructure, provide training and education, and promote the Philippines as a destination for BPO services.

Roxas also played a key role in negotiating agreements with other countries to allow the export of BPO services from the Philippines, and he worked to create a supportive regulatory environment for the industry.

As a result of these efforts, the BPO industry in the Philippines has grown significantly, and the country has become a major global player in the industry. Today, the Philippines is considered the world’s BPO capital, and home to many of the world’s largest BPO companies.

Which country is the leader of the BPO market?

Here is a list of countries that are considered major leaders in the BPO market:

  • Philippines: The Philippines has a robust BPO industry, especially in customer service and technical support. It’s also a popular choice for businesses wishing to outsource back-office activities like data entry and bookkeeping.
  • India: The Indian BPO industry is huge and well-established, with a significant emphasis on software and game development.
  • China: China’s BPO sector is expanding, with a concentration on engineering design and manufacturing.
  • United States: The United States is a key player in the BPO sector, focusing on high-value, specialized services such as legal and financial services.
  • Thailand: The country has a thriving BPO industry, with a concentration on the automotive services.
  • Mexico: The Mexican BPO industry is expanding, with a focus on back-office services such as HR and administrative services.

Who started BPO in the Philippines?

Frank Holz, a German businessman, is credited with establishing the first contact center in the Philippines in 1992. The company, which was called Accenture Global Resource Center, provided customer service and technical support to clients in the United States. The success of Accenture Global Resource Center paved the way for the growth of the BPO industry in the Philippines.

Today, the BPO industry is a major contributor to the Philippine economy, with many companies outsourcing various business functions, such as customer support, product information management, and creative design, to the country.

Choose the Philippines as Your Outsourcing Partner

Multinational companies that have outsourced to the Philippines reduced their operational costs by up to 70%! Partner with a Philippine-based outsourcing company and work with talented Filipino employees who work across different time zones to support your business needs.

ManilaPros, an Ecommerce outsourcing service provider in the Philippines, helps businesses with growth challenges scale their operations at a competitive price. We employ the top 1% of Ecommerce experts in the field of customer support, creative design, and product information management. We’re the perfect partner for Ecommerce businesses looking to grow their customer base and online revenue on major marketplaces.

Contact us today and learn more about our Ecommerce outsourcing services.

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