IBPAP – PH BPO’s Impetus in Stepping Up Their Games to Attract More Investors
Starting next year, IBPAP (IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines) plans to do their midyear reviews of the country’s IT and BPO sector, assessing the performance of the industry’s players in terms of revenue and company size. The evaluation aims to give the industry the opportunity to “self-correct” if need be, as per Rey Untal, President and CEO of IBPAP.
Untal stated that this initiative is to depart from the practice they currently have in place, which is doing an annual review. Untal said that the industry as a whole needs “to become smart and practical” since the sector is expected to experience unpredictable developments. “What we have right now is a yearly reckoning. That’s one of the things I’m trying to work out. Let’s have a middle of the year assessment. We shouldn’t learn about how we did revenue-wise and headcount-wise when the year is almost over,” Untal stated. This move is set in place since according to Philippine Statistics Authority, the IT-BPM industry is not pulling in much, in fact investments have been really slow. Investment pledges recorded in seven investment promotion agency during the first quarter have dropped by 34%. It only pulled in 4.18 billion as compared to 6.34 billion in the same period of the previous year. Untal validated this drastic decline saying: “to a certain extent to not what’s happening now but what’s happened before,” and referencing President Duterte’s anti-western oration last year as an example. “In our job, there is a performance evaluation. You need a performance evaluation that is more frequent. We need to understand that the industry is very big. To gather these numbers takes some effort,” Untal added. A more frequent assessment would help illustrate whether the BPO sector will be able to reach their targets, especially in the midst of the administration’s propositions in the comprehensive tax reform program which would take away some of the benefits that make the local sector and agencies competitive in terms of cost-efficiency. In line with this, local business process outsourcing company, Coefficients Co. Ltd, has dived into knowledge process outsourcing in order to diversify their services and portfolio, and pull in more investors.
The IT-BPM sector, viewed as one of the pioneers of the modern economy, aims to hit a revenue of $38.9 billion by 2022 after hitting $22.9 billion last year. It is also regarded as the biggest private sector employer, presently having 1.15 million direct employees, which is expected to be 1.8 million by 2022. Furthermore, Untal stated that IBPAP is in the midst of “country branding exercise” in an effort to bring in more investments into the country, which is presently ranked third as the most enticing business process outsourcing provider in the world (The Philippines formerly ranked second behind India.) Untal also stated that the organization has done a trade mission in Japan and Australia in May, and according to him, there would be another trade mission in Canada in this year’s last quarter.