Philippines preferred over India for call centre operations

There you have it. Filipinos have beaten Indians in the call centre operations as per the latest figures released. These days, when an American talks to his phone company, airline and many other service providers, it will most likely be someone in Manila rather than in Bangalore. Well done, Kabayans.

More Filipinos, about 400,000 than Indians now spend their nights talking to mostly American consumers, industry officials said, as companies like AT&T, JPMorgan Chase and Expedia have hired call centres here, or built their own. The jobs have come from the United States, Europe and, to some extent, India as outsourcers followed their clients to the Philippines.

India, where offshore call centres first took off in a big way, fields as many as 350,000 call centre agents, according to some industry estimates. The Philippines, which has a population one-tenth as big as India’s, overtook India this year, according to Jojo Uligan, executive director of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines.

The growing preference for the Philippines reflects in part the maturation of the outsourcing business and in part a preference for American English. In the early days, the industry focused simply on finding and setting up shop in countries with large English-speaking populations and low labor costs, which mostly led them to India. But executives say they are now increasingly identifying places best suited for specific tasks. India remains the biggest destination by far for software outsourcing, for instance.

But, who earns higher? Filipinos earn an entry level salary of US$ 300 compared to US$250 earned at entry level in India.

The Philippines has “a unique combination of Eastern, attentive hospitality and attitude of care and compassion mixed with what I call Americanization,” said Aparup Sengupta, CEO of Aegis Global.

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