Philippines vs. India: The Call Centre Giants of the World

It has been years since the Philippines snatched the title of being the Call Centre Capital of the World from India. While India is still a close rival, it has lost a significant sum of call centre market share to the Philippines. From Filipinos’ neutral accent to their extensive knowledge of the western culture, it is not surprising why international companies prefer to work with Filipino agents. Between the two destinations, it is a wiser business move to outsource a call centre to the Philippines than to India.

But why?

Near-native English Proficiency

Accent is very vital when it comes to catering to English-speaking demographic. While Indian English is laced with a thick accent, most Filipino agents speak with a neutral accent. This makes them a lot easier to understand. Moreover, Filipinos possess an extensive English vocabulary. Because English is part of the curriculum as soon as they start school, you can be confident that they are heavily exposed to the language. They can carry business English conversations, sustain casual ones, and even understand culture-specific references.

Speaking of culture-specific references, customers will not have a problem with mutual intelligibility when it comes to slangs and idioms. As mentioned, most Filipinos have near-native proficiency of the language. Most customers say that they feel like they are talking to people who are raised in a western country because of their cultural affinity. Lastly, if customers carry a heavy accent, there is still a high chance that Filipinos will understand them. This is because of their solid exposure to western media. Aussie, British or South American accent? Not a problem!

On the other hand, a huge number of Indian call centre agents have a hard time understanding western customers, and vice versa. Aside from this, Indian English can be very different from standard English. There are strings of words and vocabulary which make sense to them, but can sound weird to English speakers (e.g. to pass out = to graduate).

Low-Cost Business Expenses

You’ve heard this a thousand times: Philippines offers quality labour with very economical costs – even cheaper than that in India. Although low-maintenance, you can be confident that the Filipino workforce offers expert pool of talents.

Aside from the wage, operational costs in the Philippines can be cut down to almost 50% compared to India, and 75% compared to the US. From construction, lease, utilities and permits, companies enjoy economic freedom when they choose to operate in the Philippines. Government incentives for BPO companies make call centre thrive even more in the Philippines.

With these benefits, it is clear to see why corporations choose Philippines as their call centre hub. Huge savings on operational costs? High-quality service? Low risk, high return? No sane businessman will turn down such a great deal. As the BPO industry continues to grow exponentially, call centres in the Philippines are set to go only bigger.