Cebu keeps 8th place in ranking

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014


WHILE Manila managed to unseat Mumbai from the second spot in the list of best outsourcing destinations, Cebu managed to maintain its position in the eighth spot, the latest Tholons rankings shows.

Manila and Cebu are the only Philippine cities in the top 10, as Indian cities dominated the top. Davao City is the next Philippine city in the list ranked 69, a notch higher than where it was last year. Other Philippine cities include Santa Rosa, Laguna, up two notches at 82, Bacolod, which rose to 93 from 94, Iloilo City, which slipped two spots to 95, and Baguio City, which stayed in the 99th spot.

Kraków, Poland and Dublin, Ireland were the only cities outside of Asia in the top 10. Holding the top spot is Bangalore, India.

Tholons is a services globalization and investment advisory firm and has been releasing the top 100 outsourcing destinations report since 2006.

For Cebu Educational Development for Information Technology (Cedfit) managing director Wilfredo Sa-a Jr. eighth place is not a bad place to be.

“Of the top 10 cities, Cebu is one of the smaller cities. So the growth of our industry is somewhat limited by the size of our population, unlike Manila, which can easily compete with other cities because of its size,” he said.

Sa-a said Cebu could push for the seventh spot next year, but anything higher would require greater effort because of the limits to Cebu’s size.

Something to celebrate

“For now, we should celebrate for retaining the eighth spot,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

In the first nine months of 2013, revenues of the information technology and business process management industry in Central Visayas reached 84 percent of the revenues it achieved for the whole of 2012. Estimated revenues, according to the Philippine Export Zone Authority, was at $435.4 million for the first three quarters. The industry is considered one of the top growth drivers of Cebu’s economy.

Something to celebrate

To improve Cebu City’s standing, a study was commissioned and Tholons found that Cebu’s graduates had a high level of English communication skills and high analytical skills. Communication skills and customer service aptitude was better than their Indian counterparts while analytical skills were “comparable or slightly better”.

Tholons recommended that Cebu pursue activities that will utilize the skills to Cebu’s advantage like higher value knowledge process outsourcing, engineering services, information technology outsourcing and technical support.

Cedfit is encouraging more academe-industry linkages to prepare students for the jobs available. They are also partnering with international company EMC, which has brought free trainings to university teachers through their EMC Academic Alliance Program.

Last April, it piloted a training on cloud infrastructure services for local universities and the cloud infrastructure services subject is being offered as an elective by schools that attended the training. Sa-a said the success of the training was very encouraging that EMC is returning in May this year to offer big data training. The cloud infrastructure services training will also be replicated in Bacolod and Santa Rosa.

“What started as a pilot training/partnership here in Cebu City will soon be a nationwide program. In fact, EMC is encouraging the Philippines to be its third biggest partner in Asia in their academic alliance program, following closely after India and China,” Sa-a said.

He said such trainings prepare the talent pool for outsourced jobs that Tholons recommended for Cebu.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 23, 2014.

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