Philippines Emerges As New Call Center Capital of the World

Americans placing a call to a customer service representatives are now more likely to get routed to someone in the Philippines, rather than India. That’s because the Philippines have overtaken India as the call center capital of the world, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The call center industry was just a fledgling venture less than ten years ago, but outsourcing labor for the service for every business from Amazon.com to banks has now taken a firm hold in the Philippines. It has also become a popular career choice for numerous young professionals who want to get a foot in the door with an American company.

People from the Philippines, particularly in the business sector, are known for their polite demeanor and genteel mannerism, especially on the phone. Most call centers are used to take calls from customers with complaints. The workers are also used to deal with things such as code data, reading medical scans, and advancing sales leads.

The pay is generally about $700 a month. Though the rate is extremely low by U.S. standards, in the Philippines, professionals such as general physicians have a difficult time making a comparable amount of money, while other less skilled jobs make even less.

Call center workers in the Philippines are expected to keep growing, too. According to the the Manila Standard Today, more than 100,000 call center jobs will be added in 2015 alone. The industry represents the most powerful economic contributor to the information technology and business process management industries that are rapidly growing.

Newly added call center workers will bring the number of people in the industry in the Philippines to almost 800,000. The Call Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), which represents over 100 call center companies, projects revenues in the industry to reach as much as $13.5 billion by the end of 2015.

One major advantage workers in the Philippines seem to have over those in India is that their spoken English is closer to what Americans speak. Benedict Hernandez, chairman of the CCAP, told the Manila Standard that growth in the industry in the Philippines alone is about 15 to 18 percent a year. And there are no signs of slowing down.

“We just ended a high-growth year,” said Hernandez, and added that employment in call centers is incredibly steady. India is still the number one location for information technology outsourcing, but the Philippines is now king of every other part of outsourcing, known as business process outsourcing.