Innovation, technology seen to help Cebu BPO sector regain faster growth


Posted at Jul 05 2021 01:01 PM

MANILA - Cebu's business process outsourcing (BPO) sector will invest more in innovation and technology so that it can get back to faster growth after slowing down in recent years, an industry group said Monday. 

Even before the pandemic, the IT-BPM sector's growth had been slower compared to 2010 to 2016 when it expanded at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per year, Cebu IT-BPM Organization president Pert Cabataña told ANC. 

Growth in 2019 was at 7 percent, while the projection for the year 2020 to 2022 was revised downward to 3 to 5 percent, he said. 

"That kind of low growth is expected to continue for the next few years. That’s why were taking this opportunity to inject something new into the industry such that it would be able to recover its fast-growth trajectory," Cabataña said 

Cabataña said the group would hold a virtual summit from July 12 to 15 as a sign of their determination "to do something drastic."

In Cebu, the summit intends to boost new innovations and ecosystem development, he said, adding that technology such as artificial intelligence would create high-value jobs.

Despite the pandemic, the Cebu BPO space managed to add headcount to its total workforce while other companies trimmed down due to the impact of COVID-19, Cabataña said. 

"We were able to attack more business, more investors, more business by doing well what we have been doing," he said. 

"But we cannot rest on our laurels, we have to get to the next level in order to accelerate again not just stagnate on the same level," he added. 

Collaboration with the government and the academe as well as improvements in the telecommunication space are among the crucial factors needed to achieve accelerated growth in the industry, Cabataña said. 

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