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Can Philippines Topple India to Become the Call Center Capital of the World?

Can Philippines replace India as Call Center Capital of the World?

There are two countries that compete neck to neck with each other in the title of being decked with the BPO capital of the world. One is India, and another is Philippines. The rivalry is so stiff that the global firms must weigh their requirements vis-a-vis cost, proficiency, turnaround, location, and scalability.

India vs Philippines - Racing Neck to Neck to Lead the Call Center Domain

Number of English Speakers
125 million
90 million
Number of Call Center Agents (2012 data)
Number of People Employed in BPO
1.1 million
1.3 million
BPO Industry Estimate (Revenue in $)
28 billion
25 billion
Numbers of Companies offer BPO Services
891 (2014 data)
Contribution to nation's GDP
BPO Industry Growth Rate
University Graduates
35 million
400 thousand
Share in Global BPO Industry

While the Philippines majorly provide services confined to voice-based support, Finance, etc., India's BPO industry is mature and handles a plethora of primary and secondary (non-core) business tasks. It includes customer call centers, IT system development, IT infrastructure, technical support, billing, claim processing, inbound & outbound logistics, inventory management, payroll, recruitment, accounts payable/receivable, tax documentation, information processing, etc. This comprehensive portfolio of outsourcing services has enabled India to boost its BPO services with an extensive nexus of people, infrastructure, and environment.

8 Ways in which Philippines Can Overtake India to Become the Call Center Capital of the World

Solely on the people factor, India is far ahead w.r.t its competitors. However, Philippines, because of its lower cost per people and massive resources plying on to join the call center companies, it might take over its rivals including India in the future. Here are 8 reasons why call centers prefer working in the Philippines and why is Philippines the call center capital of the world.

  1. Significant English-speaking Population

    Significant English-speaking Population

    For the past decade, American, European, and Australian companies are outsourcing their non-core services with a Philippine call center the voice services. Recently, the country of around 90 million English speakers has become the preferred destination for outsourcing multilingual call center services as well. The fact that the island nation has the highest English proficiency level among the non-native English-speaking countries bolsters its spot in the race of being known as the call center capital of the world.

    The primary task of a BPO industry includes voice support, back-office function support, and essentially every other support services that can help a service or a product company to support their customers better.

    In the island nation, most of the BPO tasks are confined to support services of the financial institutions, insurance firms, IT support, retail outlets, and travel industry, where the headquarters are mostly present in the USA.

  2. Close Cultural Similarities with the US with Neutral Accent

    Close Cultural Similarities with the US with Neutral Accent

    In the business process outsourcing industry, the issues pertaining to convergence, diversity, and ethics have recently gained momentum. Earlier it was narrowed down only to the cost factor.

    Lately, the cost-oriented model has given the way to more value-driven model where the language proficiency, ethics, and empathy are given more priority. As of now, more than 1 million Filipinos work in the call centers. Moreover, the Americans do not mind, in fact, they prefer the Filipinos more because of their and neutral accent.

    The foreign companies have started setting up their own subsidiaries and getting into joint ventures with Philippines' native companies to outsource their call center services.

  3. Large and Growing Young Population

    Large and Growing Young Population

    One of the main reasons for the global companies to start shifting their focus on the Philippines is its young population. According to the government data, around 30% of the population is below the age of 15. Thus, the global firms are trying to leverage the skills and expertise of the young populace for the entry level call center works to serve the larger market. As a result, as of now, there is more call center executive working from the Philippines as compared to India.

  4. Inexpensive Labor Market

    Inexpensive Labor Market

    Until recently, the American and European businesses were looking for only cost-effective solutions for their non-core outsourcing needs. Soon they realized that this model is turning out to be expensive for them. There was a significant language barrier and mother tongue interference while collaborating with Indians, and, despite tailoring specific training programs, the language barrier was not enough. Only a small population of the worker could master the neutral accent. Moreover, India has shifted towards more macro services, of which call centers are just a fraction of their outsourcing portfolio.

    In the Philippines, however, with more than 400 thousand university graduates each year and with their strengthening Peso, call center jobs are still lucrative. A single US call center job can employ at least six Filipinos. Thus, the math corroborates the cost factor in favor of the outsourced companies. In the island nation, the cost of setting up the private offices, technical equipment, hiring resources, and even setting up the legal formalities is significantly cheaper than those in the USA.

  5. Specialized Skills

    Specialized Skills

    Only recently, the Philippines is now slowly gaining popularity as the call center capital of the world by toppling India, as the prime offshore BPO destinations. But it did not happen overnight. The global companies realized that their cost-driven model is not working as intended, which made them adopt different model and focus on skills and a non-accented voice for call centers.

    The Philippine government is also very serious, one of the examples that show their well-intended motive is the skill-development program through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) that substantiates the BPO sector requirements, specifically the call center skill sets.

    Thus, the combination of inexpensive labor-force and specialized skill sets has made the Philippines one of the leading contenders to be called as the call center capital of the world.

  6. Growing Economy

    Growing Economy

    India and the Philippines are both developing nations with an annual growth rate of 6.6% and 6.7% respectively. However, in the case of the Philippines, the BPO sector contributes almost 10% of the country's GDP, which generates an exorbitant annual amount of $25 billion. Lately, the Philippines is deemed to grow more than 7% and BPO will play a major role in it.

  7. Better Efficiency per Person

    Better Efficiency per Person

    The English proficiency grade of the Philippines (EF EPI score) is 61.84, which is actually a high proficiency score and stands second in Asia. While, India has EF EPI score 57.13, which is moderate. Thus, the Philippines is trailblazing the other Asian countries, and particularly, India in the outsourcing domain and giving strong competition in the race of being decked the BPO capital of the world.

    India's dominance in the voice-based support is being aggressively challenged by the Philippines because of its strong cultural similarity with the USA and low cost high-skilled Filipino labor pool. The call centers in the Philippines have aced the competition of leading the voice-based support, leaving behind India, once known for its strong foothold in the call center business. However, India has evolved into a more matured outsourcing service provider with its KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) services.

  8. Location


    India and Philippines both sit at the helm of a preferable outsourcing market. The time-zone difference is merely a little more than 2 hours. Thus, when an outsourcing company wants to switch the location from India to the Philippines, or vice-versa, they can effectively do so.

    One of the recent trends in the global BPO industry that is catching up at a fast pace is outsourcing KPO to India and voice-based support to the Philippines. A few Indian companies that lead the BPO domain have also set up their call centers in the island nation to provide 360-degree support.

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Conclusion - The Throne Stays with India Currently

BPO is no longer just call centers. It has been replaced with niche services, including web design, coding, social media, accounting, finance, human resources, and other tasks. So, has Philippines toppled India to become the call center capital of the world?

Well, while India has moved ahead to emphasize more on process automation for the outsourcing services, the Philippines is still relying on its recent surge in the call centers.

Moreover, India is not at the twilight of the BPO as many media pundits like to point out, but she has evolved in a more comprehensive industry that incorporates the full BPO and KPO services. Thus, it is right to say that, as of now, Philippines is the world's preferred location for call centers, but when a company looks for a complete outsourcing package, India clearly has more technical expertise.

Outsource Call Center Services to O2I

Outsource2india is among the leading call center services provider in India that has successfully catered its BPO and KPO services to global clients from diverse regions, location, and cultures in several languages over the last 19 years. We have five global delivery centers and call centers with expert call center executives in the Philippines as well. Based on the client's requirement, deliverables, and timelines, we leverage suitable delivery centers.

At O2I, we have the required infrastructure and resources to render multiple call center services, including inbound call center services, outbound call center services, telemarketing, lead generation, customer support, email support, remote IT support, chat support, technical support etc.

If you are looking for a dependable, flexible, and cost-effective call center service provider, then outsource call center services to us. Get in touch with us today!

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