Cebu said ripe for high-end outsourcing
April 1st 2011 - Friday
Outsourcing advisory firm Tholons has unveiled a road map that will guide Cebu as it moves up the value chain and transitions to the higher-value knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) services, the Philippines’ BusinessWorld reported.
Manuel Jacinto Ravago, Tholons vice-president and head of research, said the study showed that Cebu City’s greatest opportunity lies in developing the KPO segment because its talent pool has stronger analytical abilities than that of India, currently the world’s biggest KPO services provider.
He said implementation of the road map should enable the outsourcing industry to generate US$2.4 billion in revenues and around 150,000 jobs by 2015.
Ravago said, however, that there’s no intention to replace voice-based services. Rather, the Cebu City IT-BPO road map recommends that the city build on its strength in voice-based services to develop more high-end, "vertical" BPO services and transition to KPOs.
Vertical BPO refers to functions that are not easily replicated across all sectors, while KPOs refer to information and knowledge-related services such as research and analysis, engineering services, e-learning, animation, paralegal and medical services, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
The road map also recommends that a lead organization be set up to champion a unified development, marketing and promotion strategy for Cebu’s outsourcing industry and local officials embark on selling missions to aggressively promote the city as a KPO destination.
"Competition in the next five years is going to be keen. Everybody wants to do services now. Cebu can’t just wait for the KPO providers to come here," he said.
Results of the skills assessment that Tholons conducted on 475 graduating students and new hires using a customised assessment suite showed that the KPO segment, for which analytical ability is most crucial, will be able to find highly employable talent in Cebu City.