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US firm opens first BPO branch in Makati

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 [ ]

Colorado-based business process outsourcing (BPO) firm StarTek inaugurated on Monday its Makati facility, the first outside North America, executives said.

Larry Jones, StarTek president and CEO, told reporters that the Philippines remains a leading and competitive BPO destination and it is possible that StarTek would further expand operations in the country in the near future.

He said StarTek chose the Philippines as its first offshore site due to the local industry’s strength in outsourced customer care services, the English-proficient labor pool, and impressive telecommunications infrastructure.

The Philippine BPO industry projects growth of about 35 percent this year.

According to Jones, although the company is not yet looking for new sites, many areas outside Metro Manila like Cebu are also viable BPO locations.

StarTek’s investment for its Makati site reached $10 million to build the 7,200-square-meter, three-level facility, including equipment, Jones said.

The company started operations in the country in September last year with about 50 managers and agents and currently has around 400 employees. The firm targets to expand its workforce to the site’s maximum capacity of 1,100 this year, the executive said.

At present, half of the accounts in its Philippine office are voice services and the rest is non-voice and the mix can change to 70 percent voice and 30 percent non-voice when it expands to the facility’s total capacity. Tclients in the US and Canada, Jones said.-- Ben Arnold O. de Vera With Ike Suarez


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