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Monday, August 02, 2021

Homegrown firms need protection

NEWLY appointed president of Innovation Council of Cebu (ICC) has vowed to protect homegrown information and communication technology (ICT) players from being eaten up by foreign multinationals.

ICC president Michael Cubos said that like other giant ICT players being groomed abroad, the Philippines, being fertile ground for rising ICT companies, also deserves to produce homegrown success stories and eventually become recognized internationally.

“One of ICC’s goals is to become the voice of ICT-related sectors, more than helping them link with the right people in the ICT value chain,” said Cubos, who also owns a business process outsourcing firm in Cordova, Mactan Island.

To protect homegrown businesses, Cubos said the ICC is envisioning to generate more revenues circulating in the domestic economy.

He noted that while the IT-BPM industry expects to generate $40 billion in revenues in 2022, about 95 percent of their earnings do not circulate in the country, as most of the large companies are owned by foreigners operating outside the country.

“We are happy they generate employment and pay taxes here, but we would also want that earnings of BPOs not to go outside of the country,” said Cubos.

He noted that the industry may closely study the success of the ICT industry in India, wherein 20 to 30 percent are large enterprises owned by Indians.

“So whatever changes in the global market conditions, India’s ICT industry remains strong because they own these large call centers. They can easily shift to other markets,” said Cubos.

ICC initially identified nine clusters that they represent—business process outsourcing, software developers, digital marketers, tech startups, cyber security, multimedia, IT-enabled services, e-commerce and makers.
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