Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Philippines: A Promising Future?

Know more about the expanding BPO industry in the Philippines, how it succeeded in South East Asia, and what the future holds for the Philippine-based outsourcing companies.

Published on October 21, 2022
Last Updated on December 13, 2023

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), a familiar term and industry to most, is the process and model in which companies outsource and delegate tasks to a third-party (external) company with the goal of improving customer experience, establishing more efficient operations, accelerating growth, mitigating cost efficiencies of the businesses, and more. The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines, in particular, has created a lasting, positive impact in terms of redefining jobs and careers in the Philippines. For the last two decades, it has strived, stabilized, and flourished, making the country one of the largest and leading BPO service providers.

In 2005, the BPO industry in the Philippines, consisting primarily of outsourcing call centers, contributed 2.4 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) as it gained 3+ percent of the global BPO market. Over the next five years, the BPO sector in the country exponentially grew, generating $8.9 billion in revenue in the Philippines, leading the country to be declared as the world’s BPO capital in 2010.1

Today, the BPO industry in the Philippines holds an estimated 12 to 15 percent of the global BPO market. Nextford University also revealed that 1.3 million Filipinos had been employed in over 1,000 BPO companies since 2019.2

With the upward trajectory of the BPO sector in the Philippines, the opportunity to grow as an industry will not seize anytime soon. But why is the Philippines still one of the leading hubs in today’s expanding BPO world? What kind of future will the BPO industry in the Philippines experience as the digital era keeps rising?

bpo in philippines

The Philippines: The World’s BPO Capital 

The overwhelming growth of BPO companies in the Philippines helps create thousands of job opportunities, attracting investors all around the world thanks to the industry’s years of growth, expertise, and familiarity with the country’s experienced working citizens. However, its success took years to establish a slow but steady phase before it reached its full potential.

One key reason behind the industry’s continuous growth and development is how BPOs in the Philippines consistently add value to the areas where automation and legacy systems cannot adequately fulfill—empathy and active listening, which are both equally important in providing world-class customer service and satisfaction.3

Some of these advantages include:

  • Highly Proficient in English
    • With a high level of English proficiency and a globally-recognized education system, the country is home to a skilled talent pool fit to fulfill the needs of a global BPO service provider in English support.2 In addition, the EF English Proficiency Index 2021 also announced that the Philippines ranked 18th out of 112 countries in the world ranking, and comes second in the Asian region next to Singapore, further bolstering the strength of the BPO industry in the Philippines.4
  • Highly Educated Workforce
    • This 2022, from state-run universities and colleges alone, the Philippines is expected to produce more than 1.6 million graduates.5 With a literacy rate of 95 percent, the Philippines has a well-educated and bilingual (English-speaking) talent pool well suited to the demands and rigors of the BPO sector. Its workforce is highly trainable in sectors such as management, computer, and design skills.6
  • Low Operating Costs
    • Back in 1995, the Special Economic Zone Act was passed, lowering area requirements for development and offering tax incentives to foreign investors.1 This attracted companies to invest in the Philippines, both within and beyond the BPO sector, due to its lower operating cost, which ranges from professional services, office rentals, and office supplies down to food and lodging.7

These are the main factors that contributed to the success and milestones of the BPO industry in the Philippines. But as the industry keeps growing and changing, new challenges might soon arise.

bpo industry in the philippines

The Future of the BPO Sector in the Philippines

Several industries were heavily affected in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. But the BPO industry in the Philippines not only kept afloat but thrived amidst the global crisis.

The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IT-BAP) reported that the BPO sector generated $29.5 billion in revenues in 2021—10 percent higher than $26.7 billion in 2020. On top of the 1.4 million employment within BPO service providers, the number of employees has also increased by 9.1 percent, producing 120,000 jobs, making it one of the best-performing industries for the last four years. By the end of 2022, it is projected that the BPO industry in the Philippines  will achieve $38.9 billion in annual revenue.8

With the turn of events and unprecedented times, the BPO sector is now investing its future toward artificial intelligence. Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and IBM are slowly preparing for future-proofing. However, we should not forget that human interaction adds value, allowing companies to deliver the best quality customer service. Hence the need to invest in the right mix of technology and its people through upskilling, development, and improving customer service are all necessary to thrive.3

business process outsourcing philippines

Outsourcing Reimagined

Back in 2008, during the Great Recession that hit the world economy, two high school friends combined their life savings to build an outsourcing company in the Philippines—TaskUs. They had one vision at the time: to create a Ridiculously Good customer experience. For over 14 years, TaskUs has remained people-first and client-centric simultaneously. Its Ridiculously Good culture, through its best-in-class and comprehensive employee benefits and programs, has produced the most highly skilled and passionate teammates to support clients.

As the future dictates that investing in employees will be a crucial factor in thriving in the industry, TaskUs is proud to be one of the forerunners in the BPO sector. The ripple effect of its people-first culture is reflected directly in its growth and development over the years. Currently, TaskUs has expanded in the Philippines with over nine sites. Meanwhile, the global footprint has reached 26 locations across 13 countries in Asia, the US, Latin America, and Europe. TaskUs’  exceptional customer care and back office support — characterized by a fanatical level of customer service and attention to detail earned the company the reputation of being the “World's Fastest Growing Business Process Service Provider."

  • 1^A history of the BPO industry in numbers
  • 2^The future of BPOs in the Philippines and growth opportunities 
  • 3^BPO Philippines – The future of outsourcing 
  • 4^EF English Proficiency Index
  • 5^1.6M students avail of free college education under PRRD admin
  • 6^Philippines: History & Background
  • 7^Business Process Outsourcing in the Philippines
  • 8^BPO industry thriving despite pandemic
  • 9^You and Us: Our Story So Far
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