BPO sector set for record year as call center firm opens 18th site in Makati

The local BPO (business process outsourcing) industry is headed to a record-breaking year with the sector all set to post its 16th consecutive year of growth and exceed OFW remittances as the country’s main source of dollar income.

Local BPO pioneer and Alorica president for Asia Reinerio "Bong" Borja

Local BPO pioneer and Alorica president for Asia Reinerio “Bong” Borja

Property developer David Leechiu said the BPO industry has been expanding without fail in the last 15 years, with office space swelling from a mere 6,000 square meters in 2000 to 6 million square meters in 2015.

The booming industry has also exploded in terms of workers employed, with just a mere 1,000 headcount in 2000 to a staggering 1.3 million agents in 2015, according to Leechiu. The sector is expecting to employ another one million in the next six years, he added.

Revenues from the 15-year-old outsourcing industry is set also to mark another milestone this year as it overtakes OFW remittances, which reached about P25 billion in 2015. BPO revenues have already exceeded more than half of that amount in the last six months.

Leechie disclosed the growth figures during a recent press briefing for the opening of BPO firm Alorica’s 18th site in the country located at Pasong Tamo Extension in Makati City.

Also present at the event was Reinerio “Bong” Borja, a pioneering player in the outsourcing industry who now serves as Alorica’s president for the Philippines and Asia. Borja came to Alorica after the company bought EGS, which earlier acquired PeopleSupport.

Borja recalled that his first company, PeopleSupport, and Ayala Corp. put up the first purpose-built call center building at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Buendia Avenue when the industry was at its nascent stage.

Borja said his latest firm, Alorica, is bent on sustaining the industry’s expansion as it seeks to increase its total seats to 28,00 with the inauguration of its 18th site in the country. The additional new jobs in the Makati delivery center augment the company’s 92,000-strong team in 16 countries.

The new office in Makati City will house top-notch IT solutions for Filipino agents to serve Alorica’s clients using different channels such as voice, mobile, chat, social media and video.

“This exceptional and steady growth shows continued client demand and demonstrates Alorica’s thrust to tap dedicated and talented employees in the Philippines to consistently deliver top-notch technical service and world-class customer experience,” said Borja.

Alorica has also earmarked other locations in the Philippines and will invest in future growth not only in Metro Manila but also expanding its footprint in hopes to jumpstart inclusive development in secondary cities outside the more established business district hubs.

The continued expansion in the country is in line with the forecast of the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) to increase total outsourcing jobs to 1.3 million by 2016 — a strong indicator of Philippine BPO growth even while industries in other Western countries have slowed down.

More than just providing jobs, Alorica said it also values the holistic wellbeing of employees as the new site will be built with agents’ comfort in mind — new amenities, employee lounges, napping quarters, accessibility to public transportation, and safe location.

Alorica is also appointing “Culture Champions” in every site who will be responsible for driving employee engagement, fun activities, and will serve as a conduit between the frontline agents and management.

Building communities is also core to Alorica’s philosophy of doing business. Later this year, Alorica will bring to the new site an non-profit organization called Making Lives Better with Alorica (MLBA). MLBA has a chapter in every US site and this will be the first one in the Philippines.