PH BPOs urged to tap emerging markets

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The Philippine business process outsourcing industry has been urged to do all it can to tap emerging market economies, which are expected to account for 50 percent of the world’s gross domestic product by 2020.

This will enable the Philippines to further strengthen and cement its foothold as the world’s top destination for global outsourcing and related investments.

Asheesh Mehra, Japan and Middle East head of Infosys BPO, said that the Philippines must also gear up for the surge in demand for offshore outsourcing services from emerging market economies.

These emerging markets, which are seen to account for 38 percent of global spending and 55 percent of fixed capital by 2020, included China, Russia, Turkey, Brazil, and other countries.

“Six hundred billion dollars in foreign direct investments are going to these emerging market economies. Imagine how many industries are being created. And yet, we are focusing only on the United States. We need to spread our wings,” Mehra said during the International Contact Center Conference and Expo.

While countries belonging to the Group of 7 (G-7) managed to grow by only 1.4 percent in 2012, emerging market economies, made up of 81 out of 192 countries in the world, posted an average growth of 4.9 percent, Mehra told the delegates who attended a forum hosted by the Contact Center Association of the Philippines.

Mehra pointed out that, although the Philippines may have established a niche in offering voice services, it has not, however, “maximized its full potential” as a destination for offshore outsourcing of data services like India.

Thus, local BPOs need to educate workers to make them more than just a friendly voice on the line and enable them to acquire higher value skills, he said.

“Philippine companies must be strong in strategic improvisation, flexible and experimental… The cookie-cutter approach (that companies used in penetrating the US market) may no longer apply in emerging markets,” Mehra explained.

“The key to unlocking the emerging market economies’ door is to think differently. There may be significant opportunities, but there are also huge complexities such as the diversity in culture, language and scale,” he added.

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