AMID the ongoing rivalry between the Philippines and India for the lion’s share of the global outsourcing industry, the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and its Indian counterpart recently reaffirmed their commitment to work together on common concerns in the IT-BPO industry.
During the recent trip of Vice President Jejomar Binay to New Delhi, Ameet Nivsarkar, an official of India’s umbrella organization for its business process outsourcing industry, signed a memorandum of understanding with BPAP director Jose Mari Mercado.
According to a statement, the agreement strengthens ties between the BPAP and Nasscom, the premier trade body and the chamber of commerce of India’s software and BPO services industry.
Nasscom and BPAP first signed a memorandum of understanding in Mumbai, India, and Makati City, Philippines—through “telepresence” facilities”—in August 2009 to render mutual assistance and promote development and growth of the global IT-BPO industry.
The new deal extends the coverage of the first one by creating a joint Nasscom-BPAP IT-BPO council. The council will be composed of four members each from the two associations.
The so-called “joint apex council” will deliberate and facilitate actions to address common challenges, including outsourcing on a global level, sharing best practices, and representing each country’s interest in bilateral engagements between India and the Philippines.
It will also work for the development and sharing of world-class management practices, a code of conduct and quality standards to ensure growth and global competitiveness of their respective members.
Finally, the council will also create a “Joint Positive Impact Campaign” to highlight BPO as an aspirational career.
Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Amit Dasgupta and Nasscom president Som Mittal welcomed the Philippine delegation headed by Binay.
According to Mittal, the Indian IT-BPO industry operates in 70 countries, with 60 percent of its business from the United States and 20 percent from Europe.
“Our key aim is to deliver specialized work. We would like to tap and reach out to other markets,” Mittal said.
Key issues discussed during the meeting were talent development, assistance on middle management training, the Philippines’ strong currency, strengthening work permits for Indian companies, focus on the so-called “Next Wave Cities,” the potential of the healthcare outsourcing sector, and lack of direct flights from India to the Philippines and vice versa.
The Indian delegation also lauded BPAP’s “Work Abroad Live Here” portal that provides information about global career opportunities in the local industry.
“Although India is our closest competitor in the IT-BPO industry, we acknowledge that we have a lot to learn from their experience. India is a strategic partner in ensuring that best practices in outsourcing are implemented in both countries,” BPAP executive director Genny Marcial said.