The Philippines is undeniably becoming the most popular location for the BPO industry. This conception and the lackadaisical growth of India’s BPO industry have led to the conclusion that India needs some serious rebranding.
At the beginning, the BPO Industry of Philippines concentrated on voice-based (call center) services. But as the years flew by, it has migrated to higher-value, knowledge-based services that cater to multinational clients. Call center agents whose jobs were limited to taking calls or delivering voice-based services are now trained to be likewise capable in being domain experts, specialists, or analysts. This has changed the BPO industry of Philippines from giving stop-gap options to providing full-fledge career choices for the nation's professionals.
India, on the other hand, initially shared the same BPO growth as that of the Philippines; however, several Indian BPO companies failed to go through the same development or transition sooner. In turn, the Philippine BPO industry gained the preference not only of people searching for a job or a career but also of companies searching for outsourcing services.
India needs to rebrand the way BPO industry is introduced in its society, that is, make the industry more attractive to parents and university professors since they are the ones who can exert a significant influence in the career choices of their future professionals.
The Philippines has done well in branding the BPO industry. The government has given much support for propagating the industry. It worked with independent organizations focused on overseeing the movement and growth of the BPO industry of the country. Some of the popular organizations include the Business Processing Association of Philippines (BPAP), Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), and Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT). The government organizations who actively participate hand in hand with the mentioned NGOs include the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). The educational sector of the government has also given their support, the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
The end result was astounding; the BPO Industry of Philippines has become the world’s leading contact center hub and is where most career choices lie for the youngsters. As for India's BPO industry, a specific curriculum needs to be developed; the country's college teachers can also benefit from trainings about the industry.
BPOs today employ specialists in analytics, accounting, or finance and professionals such as tax consultants, lawyers, doctors, and chartered accountants. Call center businesses now handle more complex functions—it is no longer limited to making random sales calls. India may have produced several of such specialists but they remain wary of the "BPO" tag.
The established relationships between BPO service providers and their multinational clients have increased the latter's confidence in outsourcing more tasks. What comes with this advantage, however, is the client's heightened expectation or an indifference to high-end delivery and a demand for increased value.
India is still leading in IT-BPO and KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) services, but the image and equity thereof are diminishing. For the last few years, the BPO industry of India focused on growth and scale; but since 2009, it has stopped growing.
Raman Roy, chairman and managing director of Quatrro BPO Solutions and considered the father of Indian BPO, says rebranding is critical in the context of career development.
India needs to go back to where its outsourcing industry began and redesign how it was built to prevent further BPO industry decay.
The Philippines has indeed made neighboring countries quiver with its flourishing development in the BPO industry. It’s only a matter of time that the country will be a renowned specialist, not only in BPO, but in all other aspects of outsourcing, worldwide.