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RP's business process outsourcing industry hardly affected by global financial crisis, survey shows


By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio Updated May 27, 2009 12:00 AM [ philstar.com ]

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector has notably been able to weather the impact of the global financial crisis, an industry survey indicated.

A survey conducted by the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) showed 83 percent of the respondent firms said the global financial crunch had minimal impact on them.

It is said about 60 percent of the firms’ executives indicated that they have responded by introducing new services, suggesting new revenue opportunities for these companies.

Among respondents who said their firms were affected by the crisis, most said the impact was “moderate” or “minor.” Only five percent of respondents said the impact of the global financial crisis was “very significant” and 16 percent said it was significant.

“The results of the survey suggest that despite some challenges associated with the global financial crisis, innovative firms are identifying new opportunities as a result of the crisis. This is enabling them to continue growing their businesses,” BPAP executive director for information and research Gillian Joyce Virata said.

Virata said although demand for BPO services remains strong, labor supply remains an area of concern for many firms with 45 percent of the respondents saying their firms hire only six or fewer applicants out of every 100. On the hand, more than half of the respondents indicated they hire seven or more applicants out of every 100.

A positive indicator for the industry is that attrition is either the “same,” “decreasing,” or “decreasing significantly” in the view of 79 percent of respondents, and 53 percent of respondents said attrition in their companies is 10 percent or lower.

However, a significant number of respondents — 29 percent — said attrition in their firms runs between 11-20 percent while 17 percent said attrition is above 21 percent.

In a separate interview, Rita Trillo-Ugarte, president of human resources solution provider, ExcelAsia said: “We see sustained, strong demand for our services with the result that our firm continues to grow rapidly.”

Service providers themselves indicate that expansion efforts are continuing, resulting in increased demand for workers.

StarTek, a mid-size value-added BPO, recently announced it is ramping up its Makati facility to full capacity to meet expanding demand for complex services. Convergys opened three new call centers in Cebu, Santa Rosa and Quezon City in April which will provide almost 3,000 new jobs and increase the company’s headcount to 16,000 in the Philippines. Telus and Sitel have also opened new sites in recent months.

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