Building a call centre in the Philippines can be very cost effective – everyone knows that. But the Southeast Asian archipelago offers enterprises additional benefits, many of which you wouldn’t expect.
Traditionally, western entrepreneurs considered the Philippines a poor and inaccessible location for business. Foreign direct investment was minimal.
Today, though, the country is thriving. Its cities buzz with commerce, with everyone from international brands to street sellers driving growth. Over the next decade, the economy will double from USD 400 billion to USD 830 billion.
Now Australian companies are considering building more call centres there. But why?
A Large Pool Of Skilled And Educated Workers
Incredibly, the Philippines is now the third largest English-speaking country in the world, with more than 95 per cent of its 115-million-strong population adopting the lingo. The nation also operates an English-speaking policy in its schools to make its young people more internationally competitive.
The news is even better for Western businesses looking to set up call centres. Estimates suggest that two-thirds of Filipinos are fluent in English, with more than 36.3 per cent of the population aged 17 to 24 completing post-second and college education.
A Strong Culture Of Customer Service
The country’s culture is another significant reason call centre bosses want to locate in the region. For many years, tourism drove the Philippines’ economy and enabled the country to build foreign capital in the post-Marcos era. There are hotels, accommodation complexes, and restaurants everywhere. The Philippines was also under U.S. protection after WWII and experienced significant cross-cultural influence.
Due to these factors, the Philippines has an entrenched culture of hospitality. Assistants greet you politely in every store and are willing to answer any question, whether at one of the mega malls or a simple street vendor.
This culture of customer service bleeds over into call centre operations, too. Filipino workers are friendly, courteous, respectful, and patient. More importantly, they want to serve. Work isn’t just about collecting a paycheck at the end of the month.
A Stable And Modern Infrastructure
The Philippines also offers a reasonably stable and modern infrastructure to support call centres if you locate in the downtown district of a major city. Manila, Cebu, and Davao all have reliable internet connectivity, power supplies, and telecommunications. Transport links are good in Manila, though the capital and regional cities experience significant road congestion.
Previously, the Philippines experienced regular brownouts. Now, though, the situation is significantly improved. Foreign investment is pouring into the country, and infrastructure projects are gathering pace. The country’s internet connectivity is now among the top in the world, according to an Ookla report.
Another strength of the Philippines’ infrastructure is the country’s telecommunications network. The sector is robust and competitive, with multiple firms competing to improve services and reduce prices. The government has also launched various initiatives to boost broadband infrastructure, ensuring more people and businesses can access high-speed internet.
Naturally, there are challenges. The Philippines archipelago sits in an area of seismic activity and is subject to typhoons. However, this unfortunate location may help the country develop antifragile networks. Over time, it could build more reliable infrastructure than its Western counterparts.