Before we go on to the real meat of this article, let us lay some facts first:
— The Philippines raked in USD2.1 billion in offshore service generating revenues in 2006, ranking 3rd behind India and China and slightly ahead of Malaysia.1
— Business process outsourcing is one of the fastest growing industry not only in the Philippines, with an expected USD180 billion by 2010 from outsourcing services.1
— Though call centers still dominate the largest part of this sector, other professional businesses sprung from this. These include creative designs, web development, professionals in the law and accounting profession, and application development, which is the focus of this article.1
— The BPO insdustry boomed in the Philippines because of its fairly large educated talent pool and English language skills.2
What is it with Filipino Developers??
As more and more businesses abroad turn to the Philippines for their outsourcing needs, it has come to the attention of many professionals, especially those who are engaged in the applications development business, that exporting talents abroad has now become optional. Whereas previously, IT professionals of all types go abroad to try their luck, today, more of these same professionals come back to the Philippines and hire themselves out to local BPOs.
More often than not, employing the best is a gamble for businesses all over. But it has been said that one cannot go wrong in employing Filipino developers. From my years as a developer myself, and later on working with developers as project manager, I found out that Filipino developers are conscientious workers. They continue to make sure that their codes are clean, that these codes are self-documenting, and that the same can be worked on by other developers. They are easy to work with, what with the English language skills of Filipinos in general. The barrier to work is non-existent, unlike with other countries. Given the right chance to prove themselves, and the correct incentives, I am sure Filipino developers will takeover the development field from China and India soon.
If you are a software development house, you definitely will not go wrong. Believe me.
Will the Philippines become the next applications development BPO powerhouse?
Okay, Filipino developers are really good, but what is it about the Philippines that makes it attractive for employers to set up shop here?
There are a lot of very educated but without work developers here in the Philippines, or looking for another work because either they are underutilised or underpaid but owerworked. Now, if you are an employer offering competitive rates for the same amount of work than a local company, hiring these develpers will be your best bet. Besides, Filipino developers are cheap as compared to developers from other countries. And as mentioned a while ago, the barrier for work is non-existent since English is a second language to all educated Filipinos.
Looking for a good location to set up shop? There are limitless possibilities here in the Philippines when it comes to setting up a BPO. You have options ranging from the very high-end Makati or the Alabang Cyberzone or Ortigas City in Pasig. Or you can also opt to put up shop in outlying areas like Baguio or Davao or Metro Cebu, though not as glamorous as the previously mentioned locations. But this may be the case, one will find a lot of talents that can serve as call center agents, developers, managers, and all manner of needs a BPO will have.
Cost of Living
If you are an expatriate living here in the Philippines, you’d know that the cost of living is lower than any country in the Southeast Asia. Condominium units and houses are so many that the cost of these has been driven down lower and lower. Food is cheap, as well as clothing. Enough said.
The Philippines sport several locations where state-of-the-art facilities are already a given. We have Libis Cyberzone where the likes of IBM, Sykes, and TrendMicro are setup for several years now. The Alabang Cyberzone where several up and coming BPOs are setting up in a hurry for fear of losing prime real estate. And of course, the Makati Business District does not need any espousing. It basically speaks for itself.
So, Why the Philippines?
The Philippines is ranked #1 in the availability of knowledge-based jobs and workers worldwide, and ranked 4th among Asian nations in terms of labor quality, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. based Meta Group. Aside from the huge pool of productive, trainable and multi-skilled labor force, the country competes in the quality of its managers and information technology (IT) staff and engineers. The unique edge comes from a high level of proficiency in English.3
Therefore, after all has been said and done, you can of course opt to go to either India or China. But what can be done in these 2 countries can be done here even better. Neither of the 2 can hope to rival us in our English-speaking and willing workforce. Only India has far more state-of-the-art locations and facilities, and the Philippines is gaining ground. And only in the Philippines can you find very skilled developers, who can cater to all your technical needs, online or offline.
So, what are you wainting for?