Industry Research : ‘More Graduates to Fit BPO Needs’
For Cebu to continue to go up the ranking of the best business processing outsource provider in the world, it must continue to produce more graduates that fit the industry’s needs.
"We also need an open-minded industry extending its resources to the academia and third, we need a government that is facilitative and investment friendly," said Gregg Victor Gabison, Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT) president.
Gabison’s suggestions came after the Tholon’s Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations for 2013 report recently ranked Cebu as the eighth emerged Top Outsourcing Destination.
According to the report, Southeast Asia, South America and Eastern Europe are considered the "Big Three" of the industry and expected to continue at their aggressive pace.
"The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia were amongst the most promising Southeast Asian destinations in 2012. Among the three, the Philippines remains to have the most vibrant IT-BPO industry, led by the most emerged outsourcing destinations in the country, Manila NCR (national capital region)which claimed the third spot deposing India’s Delhi NCR. Cebu City has likewise increased one notch higher," the report said.
Philip N. Tan, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, agreed with Gabison’s suggestions.
Tan said the government’s role would be to ensure an enabling environment which would be very critical for the industry to stay competitive.
Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph said that the task to sustain the momentum was "simple but difficult."
Joseph said we need to improve the quality of graduates that Cebu would produce so that we could have a deeper labor pool for investors to consider as well as a sound marketing plan to better promote the province.
We would also need to have reliable and less expensive power, improved infrastructure and traffic management which would be major concerns for every investor that come to look at the potential of Cebu, Joseph said.
"If incentives are removed then Cebu will have to show that it is still the best location for high quality high value business process outsourcing," said Joseph.
Prudencio Gesta, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, said with the suggestions of some of Cebu’s business leaders, he could only expect the industry to grow and sustain the momentum and benefit the whole economy.
Based on data from Cebu Investments and Promotions Center (CIPC), there were 17 companies that opened in Cebu last year with majority classified into the higherend outsourcing segment or the Knowledge Process Outsourcing and ITO or Information Technology Outsourcing.
The companies opened at least 11,000 job opportunities for Cebuanos bringing the number of employees in the industry to at least 90,000 from only 75,000 in 2011 including some 4,000 job openings from existing companies’ expansions.
According to Yu, they expect at least five more new companies to open in Cebu this year.
Noli D. Hernandez, Megaworld Corp. Cebu president, also said that they expect at least 4,000 jobs to be available starting this year until the first quarter of 2014 with at least four new outsourcing companies opening at the Mactan Newtown Center.
Hernandez said the Tholon’s ranking of Cebu as a leading BPO provider would only serve to enhance and strengthen the Mactan Newtown’s position as a unique destination in the Central Visayas offering the Live-Work-Play concept pioneered by Megaworld.
Aside from Manila and Cebu, other five destinations from the country were also in the list including Davao which ranked number 70; Sta. Rosa, Laguna at rank 84; Iloilo City ranking 93 and two new entrants this year – Bacolod City at rank 94; and Baguio City at 99.
Bacolod City and Baguio City are both focusing on delivering voice BPO services.
According to the report, the industry will continue to expand but with tighter competitions this year.
"The Big Three will all continue to have a positive outlook in 2013. Southeast Asia will continue to hover above other regions for BPO services, with the opportunity of targeting its respective and growing domestic market," the report said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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