The offshoring industry has been a key industry especially in developing countries. As a matter of fact, the outsourcing industry is one of the robust sectors in some Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Philippines — yes, you read it right, Vietnam has now ventured into the BPO industry, this communist state country has been rarely recognized and is overshadowed by the Philippines and India in the list of top BPO destinations in Asia. However, the outsourcing industry in Vietnam has been hurdled by linguistic and cultural compatibility, which are pivotal points in mapping a good location and long-term sustainability, particularly in the call center industry. That’s why the BPO industry in the country is only limited to document-oriented business processing.
Maybe you are wondering what is the connection of linguistic and cultural compatibility in the call center industry. As mentioned, mapping a good relocation destination for call center outsourcing is very important. Notably, a majority of outsourced services are provided in the English language and it is very important that the chosen country of relocation is well versed in the English language. — Here in Vietnam, as well as, in India and the Philippines, there are both opportunities and obstacles.
The call center industry in Asia was first introduced in India, which is regarded as one of the nations with a powerful command of the English language. This is not surprising, India’s historic use of the English language is the product of colonization by England. It has been estimated that India has used the English language since the 1800s. However, despite having the linguistic and cultural advantage, a lot of call center industries are shifting to a BPO emerging market: the Philippines.
There are many reasons why call center firms are moving their services to the Philippines. Primarily, BPO firms in India have been facing different challenges. According to an educational portal (managementstudyguide.com), which tackles the growing problems of BPO firms in India, BPO firms are greatly affected by the current socioeconomic and political instability of the country, which forces them to discontinue their service.
Moreover, unlike other developing countries which served as a good relocation site of BPO companies, the Philippines has been distinguished for its advantage to other countries in terms of linguistic and cultural compatibility. The archipelagic country located in the Western Pacific has been part of the American state for almost half a millennium, and they embody the American culture until today. As a matter of fact, the Philippine government has developed a form of government somewhat similar to that of the United States, which is why a lot of western companies are very keen in relocating their companies to the country.
In fact, India has been known to be more economically and technologically advanced when compared to the Philippines. However, Filipinos are known for their neutral accent, which is the one considerable factor why a lot of call center firms choose the Philippines over India.
The book by John C. Messenger and Naj Ghosheh, ‘Offshoring and Working Conditions in Remote Work’, emphasized the importance of different factors BPO firms need to consider in mapping the right relocation of their service which include; the importance of the social and political stability of a country, linguistic capability and cultural empathy. These are very crucial factors in relocation of business processing, especially for long-term sustainability of the company, which mainly rely on manpower.