PLAYERS in the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) industry are encouraged to expand operations in the countryside to spread economic opportunities amid the pandemic.
According to IT-BPM consultant and former managing director of the Cebu IT BPM.Organization Wilfredo Sa-a, BPM companies can build pop-up sites in different towns and areas outside the metro to generate employment and stimulate economic activity in the province.
Sa-a said those that expand operations in the countryside are able to maintain operations, especially during this time of pandemic.
“They are quite satisfied with what they have. But they also tried to limit the size of employees to around 20 to 30 people, mostly tapping the talents in that location. They invested in building infrastructure, facilities and talents,” he said.
Sa-a said countryside expansion spurs economic growth similar to what happened in Cebu City.
“This is something that other companies might look into as an option because the advantage is, you are not putting your eggs in just one basket. You have a back-up site, as we call it. Cebu started as back-up site in the early 2000s. Eventually they discovered that Cebu is a gold mine of talents. Who knows, they will discover these different towns to be the same?” Sa-a added.
Even with the pandemic, Sa-a believes Cebu remains a top destination for outsourcing activities as more global companies look for ways to save on costs, among others.
Cebu City landed on the 15th spot in the 2020 Tholons Services Globalization Index.
Boosting internet connectivity
To support the operations of IT-BPM in the countryside, Albert Locsin, first vice president of PLDT Enterprises, said they are strengthening capacities in terms of internet connectivity.
“A lot of big BPM players have big customers that still expect that level of quality in terms of service, so they are trying to get as many people to work onsite. There are also a lot of BPM firms in Metro Manila that are looking for open spaces or hubs as small as internet cafes, renting them and turning them to a mini BPM for the volume of agents in those areas,” Locsin said.
He said it’s also an opportunity for the real estate sector in that area to flourish.
“We’re very supportive to the IT-BPM industry by having internet fiber readily available to sustain their capacity daily,” he added. (JOB)