www.FlatPlanet.com.au: Working with High-Value Talent Offshore
01/04/2013

Here are some facts that may help you in deciding on choosing Philippines. English-speaking skills, education, and economy are some of the factors that brought the Philippines to the top spot in the outsourcing industry.

Online PR News – 04-January-2013 – Sydney NSW 2000 – When considering offshoring many people automatically consider India. But just recently the Philippines overtook India as the #1 location for placing voice-based services. Today non-voice work, such as knowledge process outsourcing, is also booming in the Philippines.

Out of all the countries in the world, what is driving the success of the Philippines in this fiercely competitive market?

Here are some facts to consider:

English – The Philippines has an English literacy rate of 79%. Its parliament and legal system are all in English. India has a huge population but only 13% speak English. This means India still has twice as many English-speakers as the Philippines, but none-the-less the Philippines has around 82 million.

Also, the Philippine accent is very neutral. It sounds slightly American. To an untrained ear a Filipino might sound a bit like a Californian.

Culture – The Philippines is a highly Americanised Catholic country. This is very important. At a practical working level, Filipinos are not resentful of Western culture and do not see themselves as competing with it. Secondly, there is just the one dominant religion, so you don’t have to deal with myriad issues around religious differences. Given that much of the West is also Catholic / Christian there are broad similarities. Filipino culture and Australasian / North American/European cultures, while all different, have many common markers which aid in communication.

Economy – The Philippines is a democracy with a very free-wheeling capitalist economy. There is very low inflation (2.8% compared to India’s 11%) and a very stable currency (except for some wild gyrations during the extreme peak of the GFC). The government sector in the Philippines only accounts for around 15% of GDP, much less than either Australia or the United States. Public debt is only around 50% and falling in both absolute and relative terms. The economy is growing at about 7%.

Education – The Philippines has a uniform, centralised, American-based education system. Interestingly, the largest contributor to the annual education budget, not counting the Philippine Government itself, is the Australian Government through AusAid. Australia therefore has enormous influence on the Philippine education system. The system produces around 600,000 University Graduates a year. This is a huge pool of highly educated talent for businesses to tap into.

The Philippines is now the world leader in contact centre work with close to 500,000 agents working for global companies. However, it has now got almost as many workers employed in high value roles, from engineering to IT design and development, accounting, research, administration and executive assistants.