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Metro Manila, Cebu climb in global ranking of BPO destinations

By: Ben Arnold O. De Vera, January 31, 2013 4:02 PM

Photo from Reuters The online news portal of TV5

MANILA - Metro Manila and Cebu City improved their global rankings last year as business process outsourcing (BPO) destinations, according to a foreign consulting firm. In its 2013 Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations report, Tholons said Metro Manila ranked third while Cebu City placed eight -- both improving a notch from their previous positions. India however dominated the list, with six of its cities in the top 10. The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) had said India has kept its standing, as the Philippine peso strengthens while the Indian rupee weakens. According to Tholons, last years 10 leading BPO destinations were as follows: 1. Bangalore (India); 2. Mumbai (India); 3. Metro Manila (Philippines); 4. Delhi (India); 5. Chennai (India); 6. Hyderabad (India); 7. Pune (India); 8. Cebu City (Philippines); 9. Dublin (Ireland); and 10. Krakw (Poland). Metro Manila overtook former third placer Delhi while Cebu edged Dublin. Five other Philippine BPO hubs were in the top 100: -- Davao (70th); -- Santa Rosa City, Laguna (84th); -- Iloilo (93rd); -- Bacolod City (94th); and -- Baguio City (99th). In 2012, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines were the most attractive BPO destinations in Asean as their maturing outsourcing brand, improving macroeconomic environment, and expanding domestic

markets attracted investors, but the Philippines remains having the most vibrant BPO industry among the three countries, Tholons said. The Philippines IT-BPO industry was fueled by increased new investments from large- and mid-sized foreign providers, as well as greater expansion of established locators and captives across many of the countrys established delivery locations, the consulting company said. Tholons said the Philippine BPO sector has been widening its services beyond voice to include animation and game development, healthcare information management, and software development, among others. It also helps that the local industry is pursuing other markets, such as the UK, and not relying on its top market, the US, Tholons said. More foreign BPO companies are also establishing operations in the Philippines to tap the growing local market. Based on the events of 2012, the Philippines continued to garner interest from large, Western providers, not only as an offshore delivery location, but likewise as a potential rich domestic market for IT services, Tholons said. The Tholons rankings and report overview only reaffirms the Philippines position as a destination of choice for outsourcing services. In 2012, we saw impressive growth across all sectors of the Philippine IT-BPO and GIC [global in-house center] industry. The year 2013 promises to be even greater as we expect revenues to increase to $16 billion to provide employment to 926,000 Filipinos, BPAP outgoing president and chief executive Benedict C. Hernandez said in a statement. IT-BPO will remain the fastest-growing industry in the Philippines as we continue to address challenges and embrace opportunities in new service areas and emerging markets. We are steadfast in ensuring that the industry will achieve its targets of $25 billion in revenues and 1.3 million full-time employees by 2016, he said. The Philippine BPO industry is poised to have ended 2012 with revenues higher by almost a fifth to over $13 billion and employment of 772,000.