The rise of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines is a tale of transformation. From humble beginnings in the late 1990s, the BPO sector has expanded exponentially.
This growth was facilitated by the Philippine government’s forward-thinking policies, most notably the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, which offered tax breaks and other incentives to entice foreign companies.
Fast forward to the present day, and the Philippines is a buzzing hive of BPO activity, housing leading global players like Accenture, Convergys, and Sitel.
But what is it about the Philippines that makes it such an attractive hub for outsourcing? The answer lies in the rich tapestry of Filipino culture and values.
12 Filipino Culture and Values
Overseas Filipino Workers are known for their work ethic, creativity, and admirable culture. For this reason, they are always the most in-demand workers.
But to work abroad is a great sacrifice.
Filipinos are known for being family-oriented. So, when outsourcing companies started to invest in the Philippines, we saw a win-win situation. Foreign companies benefited from having excellent professional workers. It is definitely a profitable business. And Filipinos found ways to bring out the best in them without having to leave their families.
Below, I will enumerate the 12 compelling reasons why Filipino values and culture power outsourcing success.
Outstanding English Proficiency
English proficiency sets the Philippines apart from many other outsourcing destinations. English isn’t a foreign language in this Southeast Asian nation; it’s one of the two official languages, ingrained in the education system from elementary school to university.
Clear, precise communication is crucial in any business setting, and it’s doubly important in outsourcing, where instructions often have to cross oceans and time zones.
When you outsource to the Philippines, you’re not just tapping into a workforce that understands English, you’re partnering with a team that is comfortable and fluent in it.
This greatly reduces the risk of misunderstandings that could lead to costly mistakes or delays.
Excellent Educational System
Quality education is highly valued in the Philippines. The country has a literacy rate of over 98%, among the highest in the region.
Higher education is also widely accessible, with universities and colleges spread across the archipelago, producing thousands of competent, ready-to-work graduates each year.
These graduates aren’t just proficient in English; they’re also skilled in a variety of fields relevant to outsourcing, such as IT, business administration, and communication.
Outsourcing companies can tap into this pool of well-educated, motivated individuals, cutting down on training costs and ensuring a high quality of work from the outset.
Adaptability to Western Culture
The Filipino culture, a fusion of Eastern and Western influences, gives the country an edge in the global outsourcing industry.
Having been a Spanish colony for over 300 years and an American colony for nearly 50, the Philippines has a unique understanding and appreciation for Western norms and customs.
Filipino employees can easily relate to Western business etiquette and practices, reducing the likelihood of cultural misunderstandings that can disrupt workflow.
This cultural adaptability, combined with English proficiency, makes for a seamless work experience that’s akin to working with a local team.
Hardworking and Dedicated
Filipinos are widely recognized for their strong work ethic. Rooted in the cultural values of ‘sipag at tiyaga’ (diligence and perseverance), they display an exceptional level of commitment and dedication to their work.
They’re willing to put in the extra hours and effort to ensure that tasks are not only completed but completed well.
This diligence extends to all levels of work, from entry-level positions to management roles. When you outsource to the Philippines, you’re gaining a team that takes pride in their work and strives to deliver results that meet, if not exceed expectations.
Highly Regarded Hospitality
World-renowned Filipino hospitality extends beyond personal interactions and into the realm of professional relationships. In the outsourcing industry, this hospitality translates into top-notch customer service. Filipinos’ innate warmth and friendliness shine through in their interactions with clients, helping to enhance customer satisfaction and build long-term business relationships.
Whether they’re answering customer inquiries, resolving complaints, or providing technical support, Filipino employees treat each interaction with a level of respect and courtesy that leaves a positive impression.
Strong Team Spirit
The Filipino value of ‘Bayanihan’ – communal unity and cooperation – is a crucial aspect of the workplace culture in the Philippines.
The concept promotes a sense of community, working together towards shared goals, and supporting each other in times of difficulty.
In an outsourcing setup, this value translates into strong team spirit and a collaborative environment. Filipinos are willing to assist their colleagues and work collectively to meet targets, fostering an efficient and harmonious workplace.
This sense of camaraderie can contribute significantly to the successful completion of projects, giving businesses an added advantage.
Resilience Amid Challenges
Filipinos are famous for their resilience in the face of adversity. They display an ability to stay positive and focused, even during challenging times. This resilience is not limited to personal life but extends into their professional lives.
In the realm of business outsourcing, this resilience ensures business continuity and consistent performance, regardless of external circumstances. It’s an assurance that you’re partnering with a workforce that can adapt to changes, withstand pressures, and continue to deliver high-quality results.
Patience and Understanding
Patience and understanding are hallmarks of the Filipino character. These traits are especially important in roles that require meticulous attention to detail or that involve customer interaction.
Filipinos handle such situations with grace and efficiency, ensuring high-quality outputs and a more harmonious work environment.
This patience and understanding allow Filipinos to manage high-stress situations effectively. This not only guarantees superior work output but also promotes a more harmonious, peaceful work environment, leading to increased productivity and reduced workplace conflict.
A crucial advantage of outsourcing to the Philippines is the cost-effectiveness of its labor force. Despite offering high-quality work, the country provides labor solutions at a fraction of the cost of Western countries.
This allows businesses to enjoy significant cost savings without compromising the quality of work.
These savings enable companies to channel their resources to other crucial areas, such as research and development, marketing, or expansion efforts.
The ability to maintain high work standards while keeping costs down makes the Philippines an attractive option for outsourcing.
The Philippines has a digitally-literate population, with a high level of proficiency in IT and related skills. This tech-savviness is a product of the country’s robust educational system, which places a strong emphasis on IT and digital skills.
This allows Filipino workers to stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends and developments.
Businesses in need of digital skills can leverage this tech proficiency to stay competitive and innovative. Having a tech-savvy outsourced team can help businesses accelerate digital initiatives, foster innovation, and drive growth.
Positive Government Support
The Philippines government actively supports the outsourcing industry with attractive policies and incentives. This has significantly simplified the process of setting up an outsourcing business in the country.
Such initiatives instill confidence and trust in foreign companies looking to outsource.
With the government’s proactive role in promoting the outsourcing industry, businesses can confidently invest in the Philippines.
Time Zone Flexibility
The geographical location of the Philippines offers an advantage in terms of time zone flexibility. Filipinos are used to working in shifts, making it possible for businesses to operate 24/7.
This flexibility is invaluable for businesses that need to provide round-the-clock customer support or need to coordinate with teams across different time zones.
The Filipino culture and values, steeped in the country’s history, resilience, and inherent warmth, make the Philippines a prime choice for businesses seeking to outsource. It’s not just about access to a pool of talented professionals; it’s about partnering with a workforce that’s committed to delivering the best possible results.
Popular BPO Companies in the Philippines
Finally, let’s pay tribute to the top 10 popular BPOs that have thrived in the Philippines and have contributed to its position as a top outsourcing destination.
These companies have reaped the benefits of Filipino culture and values, and in return, have offered countless job opportunities to the local workforce:
- Accenture: A leading global professional services company, Accenture offers a wide range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations.
- Convergys: Now part of Concentrix, Convergys was one of the largest BPO companies in the world, providing customer care, human resources, and billing services.
- Sitel: As a global leader in end-to-end customer experience products and solutions, Sitel has multiple facilities in the Philippines providing multilingual customer experience management.
- Teleperformance: As a global leader in outsourced omnichannel customer experience management, Teleperformance has been present in the Philippines since 1996.
- Sykes: One of the pioneers of customer service outsourcing in the Philippines, Sykes offers support in multiple languages from its centers in Manila and Cebu.
- Genpact: A global professional services firm, Genpact helps businesses drive digital-led innovation and digitally-enabled intelligent operations.
- Aegis: Now part of Startek, Aegis is a leading outsourcing and technology services company offering a wide range of services, including customer support.
- WNS Global Services: A global Business Process Management (BPM) leader, WNS offers business value to many of the world’s leading companies.
- HGS (Hinduja Global Solutions): Providing outsourcing solutions that include back office processing, contact center services, and customized IT solutions, HGS has been in the Philippines since 2000.
- TaskUs: A leading provider of outsourced digital services and next-generation customer experience to innovative and disruptive technology companies, TaskUs has multiple locations across the Philippines.
The success of these companies in the Philippines further underscores the benefits and potential of Filipino culture and values in the outsourcing industry. As the BPO landscape continues to evolve, the role of the Philippines is set to become even more pivotal.