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For the third year running, Tholons presents the Global 50 Centers of Excellence - an exhaustive study
which aims to provide an accurate means of assessment of Global Outsourcing destinations in relation to
their capacities as service delivery centers.
In recent years, we have noticed an increasing trend • Infrastructure
during our interactions with Tier I and Institutional • Risk Profile
clients. That is - there is an increasing need for a • Quality of Life
higher level of granularity when identifying potential The parameters above are the very same compo-
Global Outsourcing locations. We are more often nents which differentiate cities, and to a large
referring to specific locations such ‘Cebu City’ and extent – determine their individual capacities to
‘Monterey’ rather than broad designations of Philip- fulfill particular services. Cities with large, English-
pines and Mexico. Further, clients have increas- proficient labor pools for example, may be better
ingly demanded a greater focus when we are asked equipped to provide voice-based customer support
to provide location assessment. The days of simply while a smaller city with robust infrastructure and
stating English literacy rate, or number of college adequate supply of network engineers may be
graduates, have greatly evolved. Today, we are better candidates to provide IMS (Infrastructure
delivering location analysis to clients that are more Managed Services). Consequently, there is no
detailed and more relevant in guiding their business definitive set or order of parameters which will
decisions. When we refer to voice and English profi- provide a definitive advantage for each city across
ciency for example, we asses by specific segments all service lines. Each parameter must take into
such as comprehension, attention to detail and consideration a number of determining factors: type
verbal aptitude. Likewise, this more granular of service, desired scale, and nature of delivery, to
method of segmentation is applied to other catego- name a few aspects.
ries such as scale and quality of the labor force.
Where indicating the total number of graduates may Needless to say, the past eighteen months have
have been a sufficient point of reference five years been an incredibly dynamic period for the global
ago, today we are enumerating the number of Engi- Outsourcing industry. The ongoing downtrend of
neering and Computer Science graduates on both a the US economy, the continuing maturation of the
per country and per city level. Outsourcing model, the rise of Tier II & III cities as
delivery centers, the heightened level of competi-
As a reference point, Tholons identifies six general tion and emergence of ‘global BPO providers’ are
categories in providing location assessment. Within some of the key ecosystem movements we
these six segments are fifteen sub-categories, each continue to closely monitor. We have noticed that
possessing a corresponding weight. Providing this with each fundamental shift in the market, stake-
level of detail allows for a more thorough analysis of holders in turn are requiring a deeper understand-
locations and their long-term potential as Business ing of delivery locations. This level of knowledge
Process Outsourcing delivery centers, where a has become essential not only to maintain financial
business process can be IT, technology or any of objectives, but more so to ensure competitive
the other business services lines such as finance advantages and longevity in an increasingly com-
and accounting, human resource, business analyt- petitive market environment.
ics or R&D.
For this report, Tholons utilizes the following catego- With each passing year, location assessment
ries in providing location assessment: continues to be a moving and morphing target, with
• Scale & Quality of Workforce (including a new set of market variables that need to be
Education) considered. This is the challenge that Tholons
• Business Catalyst readily accepts in delivering the Global 50 Centers
• Cost of Excellence.

City v/s Country
Location assessment based on a city perspective deploy connectivity in a much more targeted scale.
as opposed to a country level is reflective of the This pace of efficiency ultimately allows cities to
ongoing trend we are witnessing in the global move in a more efficient manner in attracting service
Outsourcing arena. That is, service providers are provides into their fold. Consequently, nationwide
looking to identify and tap the inherent capabilities agendas and developmental roll-outs as otherwise
and capacities of specific locations. This transition mandated by national Governments are often
on how service providers view locations illustrate prolonged and drawn out – a pace unfavorable to
both the maturation of the Outsourcing model and most service providers.
heightened focus on service delivery optimization.
Though we highlight the increasingly vital role which
Today, a single provider can have centers in
individual cities play in a country’s Outsourcing
multiple countries and cities, with each city having
arena, we do not discount the significance which
the optimal conditions to fulfill specific service lines.
national governments and institutional bodies play in
Software development can be done in Bangalore,
shaping the industry. National governments and
customer service can be done out of Makati City,
industry bodies are commonly tasked to provide
while Engineering Services are processed out of
Krakow. The one-stop-shop country model has in guidance, policies and set direction. Likewise, these
fact given way to the more efficient, multi-city, best- organizations provide essential monitoring and regu-
of-breed city model. latory roles – ensuring that labor and business
related concerns are managed and implemented.
Further, the city perspective which location assess-
As such, the role of the city with regards to Outsourc-
ment now entails reflects the increased responsi-
ing should not be viewed as one which has become
bilities which local government units now have in
entirely independent or separated from that of the
developing their respective areas. City officials,
country. Rather, one should view the evolution of the
infrastructure providers, and local stakeholders are
often better able to promote, stimulate and market city as a direct result of a country’s inherent capabili-
their city’s specific capabilities as outsourcing ties as an outsourcing provider. Referring to Prague
service providers. Moreover, local stakeholders are as a Center for Excellence for Software Develop-
able to address ecosystem concerns in a timelier ment or Ho Chi Minh for IT Outsourcing (ITO)
manner. Many City Mayors and local government processes for example, highlights the respective
units for example, can provide city-specific tax country strengths which have allowed them to
incentives for locators, and Telco providers can deliver such services in those specific cities.

The Tholons Global 50 Centers of Excellence Report provides a weighted ranking of city-specific locations
in relation to their respective capacities as Global ITO/BPO destinations.

The following methodologies were implemented in fulfilling the report:

Primary Research provide economic related data. Publicly released

Tholons utilized surveys and interviews with Tier I & data from Government sources were also considered
II Service Providers and Service Consumers alike. when using country-specific market data. Publicly
These surveys were used to determine delivery and available financial records such as quarterly and
consumption trends for Global Outsourcing annual reports, industry bulletins and trade publica-
Services in specific destinations. Primary data tions were used to verify market assumptions and
gathering methodologies were also implemented to analysis.
determine market and labor sizes as well as expan-
sion strategies of Tier I & II Service Providers. Quantitative & Qualitative Analysis
Interviews with Governments, Industry bodies and Tholons employs a combination of quantitative and
related stakeholders were likewise performed qualitative analysis in developing the weighted
during the data gathering process of the report – to rankings in this report. Our proprietary weighing and
provide both primary data and validation of Tholons ranking system were developed and refined by
analysis. senior Tholons consultants. Further, qualitative
analysis was implemented to provide perspective to
Secondary Research the quantitative results of the report. Tholons care-
Tholons utilized Secondary Research methods fully considered numerous variables when providing
where primary means were not available. Historical final rankings, and considered the impact which
data from Governments, global institutions and non-numerical data plays in the assessment of
agencies, and monetary bodies were used to Global Outsourcing locations.

Top 50 Global Emerging Outsourcing Cities
Ranking for
Rank 2007 Region Country City
Global 50: 2008
Top5 Top8 South Asia India Bangalore
Top5 Top8 South Asia India Delhi
Top5 Top8 South Asia India Mumbai
Top5 Top8 Southeast Asia Philippines Makati City
Top5 Top8 Western Europe Ireland Dublin
1 Top8 South Asia India Chennai
2 Top8 South Asia India Hyderabad
3 Top8 South Asia India Pune
4 1 Southeast Asia Philippines Cebu City
8 2 East Asia China Shanghai
10 3 East Asia China Beijing
6 4 Southeast Asia Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City
16 5 Eastern Europe Poland Kraków
5 6 South Asia India Kolkata
11 7 Middle East and Africa Egypt Cairo
15 8 South America Brazil São Paulo
14 9 South America Argentina Buenos Aires
13 10 East Asia China Shenzhen
12 11 Southeast Asia Vietnam Hanoi
9 12 South Asia India Chandigarh
17 13 South America Brazil Curitiba
20 14 Eastern Europe Czech Republic Prague
23 15 Southeast Asia Philippines Pasig City
18 16 East Asia China Dalian (Dairen)
21 17 South Asia India Coimbatore
19 18 South America Chile Santiago
7 19 South Asia Sri Lanka Colombo
25 20 Middle East and Africa South Africa Johannesburg
New 21 Southeast Asia Philippines Quezon City
New 22 North America Canada Toronto
22 23 East Asia China Guangzhou (Canton)
24 24 Western Europe Ireland Belfast
28 25 Eastern Europe Hungary Budapest
New 26 South America Brazil Rio de Janeiro
29 27 Central America Costa Rica San José
26 28 Eastern Europe Poland Warsaw
27 29 Eastern Europe Czech Republic Brno
New 30 Central America Mexico Mexico City
New 31 South Asia India Jaipur
33 32 Eastern Europe Russia St. Petersburg
32 33 Southeast Asia Malaysia Kuala Lumpur
34 34 Middle East and Africa Ghana Accra
40 35 Eastern Europe Slovakia Bratislava
New 36 Southeast Asia Singapore Singapore
New 37 East Asia China Chengdu
43 38 Eastern Europe Romania Bucharest
42 39 Eastern Europe Russia Moscow
41 40 Eastern Europe Bulgaria Sofia
46 41 Central America Mexico Monterrey
30 42 Western Europe U.K. Glasgow City
44 43 South America Brazil Brasília
New 44 Central America Mexico Guadalajara
New 45 Southeast Asia Philippines Mandaluyong
47 46 Eastern Europe Estonia Tallinn
39 47 North America U.S.A. San Antonio
35 48 North America Canada Halifax
48 49 Eastern Europe Ukraine Kiev
49 50 Eastern Europe Slovenia Ljubljana

Table of Contents

Global Offshore BPO Overview
The Global Top 50 Centers of Excellence
Region 1: Southeast Asia
Offshore BPO in Southeast Asia
Philippine City Centers
Vietnam City Centers
Singapore City Centers
Malaysia City Centers
Region 2: South Asia
Offshore BPO in South Asia
India City Centers
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka City Centers
Region 3: East Asia
Offshore BPO in East Asia
People’s Republic of China
People’s Republic of China City Centers
Region 4: Central America
Offshore BPO in Central America
Costa Rica
Costa Rica City Centers
Mexico City Centers
Region 5: Western Europe
Offshore BPO in Western Europe
United Kingdom
United Kingdom City Centers
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland City Centers
Region 6: North America
Offshore BPO in North America
Canada City Centers
Untied States of America
United States of America City Centers
Region 7: Middle East and Africa
Offshore BPO in Middle East and Africa
Egypt City Centers
South Africa
South Africa City Centers
Ghana City Centers
Region 8: South America
Offshore BPO in South America
Brazil City Centers
Argentina City Centers
Chile City Centers
Region 9: Eastern Europe
Offshore BPO in Eastern Europe
Poland City Centers
Czech Republic
Czech Republic City Centers
Hungary City Centers
Russia City Centers
Slovakia City Centers
Romania City Centers
Bulgaria City Centers
Estonia City Centers
Ukraine City Centers
Slovenia City Centers