What Main Street Can Learn from Manila

This summer, I was lucky to travel abroad, not to relax on the beach or ride roller coasters, but to do business and visit our firm’s offices in India and the Philippines.

With an eye for global expansion, these are important markets of focus, and we see great potential, particularly in developing more of a presence in Manila, one of the fastest growing countries in Southeast Asia, driven largely by the outsourcing industry.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) has emerged as one of the fastest-growing segments of the $272 billion economy in the Philippines, according to Bloomberg News, and it does not look to be slowing down anytime soon.

This presents a huge opportunity for companies in the U.S. Some have already taken advantage of that by moving their back-offices overseas. Some of the companies that have a presence in Manila are Chevron, JP Morgan, United Health and many others.  Based on our experience in Manila, below are just a few insights companies can take from Manila back to Main Street to apply their own businesses:

  1. Tap into the best labor pool: Manila is mostly populated with an influx of young, educated workers who are eager to work for outsourcing companies and look to these jobs as opportunities get better training, access to the latest technologies, and much more. These employees are dedicated, tech-savvy and very open to training and education. They view the careers we offer them as a career, while in the US it is generally viewed by employees as a “job”.
  2. Don’t sacrifice efficiency and quality for cost savings: While it’s not true of all countries, the Philippines has the networking infrastructure in place to handle the bandwidth for data. Therefore, costs remain low while still being able to get the job done – to support both labor and infrastructure.
  3. It still needs to be managed: Even though you may view it as cheaper than the US, an offshore location still needs to be managed properly to ensure that it is delivering service and is as effective as if it were in the US. This requires dedicated management just like any location in the US, if not more so.

Looking to Manila as an example, I think it’s evident that understanding how countries globally are changing and growing can be necessary for development both domestically – and abroad. How are you changing your business through outsourcing?