PH contact center sector forecasts strong rebound

Following a flat growth in 2020, the Philippines contact center sector is experiencing a strong rebound this year with single high-digit growth outpacing global growth on pent up global demand and the unique position of the country as the world’s outsourcing destination of choice.

(Mark Balmores/ File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) Chairman Benedict Hernandez said at the virtual Contact Island 2021 Conference the sector has become so bullish and is now facing a rapid 9 percent growth in revenues this year from a flat 2 percent growth last year.

Hernandez presented a data showing that Philippine contact centers are forecasting 9 percent growth in revenues as against global growth of 6-7 percent. In terms of headcount, the sector is also looking at 8-9 percent versus 6-7 percent global growth projection.

This would mean additional new jobs to the present 800,000 jobs from the contact center industry out of the total 1.3 million jobs for all the IT business process management industries. The entire ITBPM industry also generated $27 billion in 2020.

Such bullishness in the domestic industry can be gleaned from its recent survey among CCAP’s 130 member companies, which represents 70 to 80 percent of total industry jobs.

Hernandez said that of the 130 CCAP members, 42 companies, representing 300,000 employees, responded to the survey. These firms were forecasting double digit growth rate, which Hernandez said is quite phenomenal because the industry faced tough 2020 and many of them are still facing another tough 2021.

This only means, Hernandez said that “The market is rebounding, the Philippines is rebounding together with the market, because we are highly differentiated right in the contact center and nobody can do contact center client experience management better than the Philippines. We're now enjoying that faster than global market rate growth which is, you know, fueling our business growth our creation of jobs in this particular economy.”

“What’s interesting to note is on the contact center sector, you're seeing that there's an increased growth of the Philippines compared to what global contact center growth is a, which is not, it's positive,” he said.

Already, he said, some companies are now seeing pickup in growth. He attributed the very bright projection to the pent up demand last year that is actually the feeding this year.

The growth is also fueled by countries that released fiscal stimulus allowing companies to fund their investments. Because of the crisis, he said, companies are looking at cost effective area to invest and expand.

“As we've seen in historical headwinds or economic crisis, companies are looking for a more cost effective way to operate so that's also driving this. And if there's one thing that a pandemic has brought to the table, it's really just been a tipping point to make companies realize we've got to shift to a more agile, digital base business. Some of this is driving that but we're happy to see that from a bit flat last year, we're starting to see some interesting high single digit numbers this year,” he noted.

Hernandez, however, said that the Philippine contact center growth is not really surprising.

“That's the way we won our number one global market position and that's the way we've been keeping this, which is taking an unfair share of the global market. Now that the market is growing, we're just growing faster than particular market,” he added.

In addition, one advantage is the Philippines is really uniquely positioned because of its size, scale, and ability to grow right to help the country.

“We are uniquely positioned to actually take the lead right in helping this country recover create more jobs, you know,” he said.


With that, he also that the industry has also a unique responsibility “to actually get this right, you know, ride that wave of global market growth, take more market share and do some goodness in this community that has been very generous to all of us in this particular industry.”

But, he also said that some of the factors need to be sustained to keep growth. Foremost is to keep employees healthy and safe because productivity is foremost in all of their minds. Thus, he said, vaccination is necessary.