Demand for outsourcing, high-value services drive IT-BPM sector’s resilience

THE information technology-business process management (IT-BPM), or more commonly known as the BPO sector, is a stable industry and very resilient indeed, thus benefiting the Philippines amid the current economic challenges, an industry leader said.

Jericho Go, president and chief executive officer of RL Commercial REIT Inc. (RCR), the real estate investment trust unit of the Gokongwei Group, is bullish on the sector’s prospects.

When times are bad, the large multinational corporations need to cut their costs in order to keep their businesses running. The only way to do this is to tap affordable but good quality labor. This is achieved by outsourcing.

On the other hand, when global economies are doing well, they need to expand in order to grow their business and grab market share. Again, they outsource in order to have economies of scale while leveraging on cost efficiencies in order to stay ahead of competition.

“So in good times and in bad, the most logical thing to do for companies in developed economies is to outsource,” Go said in a statement on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

More importantly, the Philippines, as a BPO destination, continues to move up the value chain.

“We now have data analytics, healthcare services, financial services, software development, business process management, creative process outsourcing such as CAD engineering design, web and game development. These are of higher value. We have moved up the value chain, which started with call center operations,” he explained.

Filipinos, being highly proficient in English with a relatively neutral accent, are also the preferred BPO workers. Even India, Asia’s top BPO destination, also outsources to the Philippines.

“Here, we hire college graduates. Filipinos take pride in their jobs. They get assigned to the US for training and the cost here is lower. So you have high productivity and the cost is only roughly about 20 percent of rates they charge in developed economies,” Go said.

When the late tycoon John Gokongwei built his business empire, he envisioned giving Filipinos more choices -- apart from the usual and existing businesses at the time -- from malls to snack foods to airlines.

Decades later, the Gokongwei Group has successfully established itself in the Philippine business landscape, disrupting many industries and giving consumers more choices, indeed.

RCR, the country’s largest REIT in terms of market capitalization, portfolio valuation, asset and initial public offer size, which made its debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange on September 14, 2021, is no exception.

“JG envisioned improving people’s lives for everyone. With this REIT, we are helping to create financial literacy and giving Filipinos the opportunity to partake in the distributable income of this large corporation. For a few thousands of pesos, for as little as 1,000 shares, this can happen and Filipinos can be part of something big,” Go said.

This essentially means making it possible for Filipinos to invest in property and earn from it without shelling out huge amounts of money.

The REIT Act allows REIT companies to list and trade its shares of stock in the stock market as an alternative means to raise funds for property development and expansion initiatives. (CSL with PR)


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