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Potential BPO investment deals from Japan being firmed up

THE Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) said it is working to close on two possible business process outsourcing (BPO) investment deals from Japan.

CCAP President Mickey Ocampo said at a news conference in Makati City on Tuesday that “We met one (Japanese firm) last week. This one is already here in the Philippines. They have investments. They are going into the BPO sector. The other (Japanese firm) we’re meeting next week. It is a BPO company seeking to expand,” Mr. Ocampo said.

Mr. Ocampo said the first Japanese company is seeking to expand into the BPO industry. It currently operates automotive, mining, and food businesses.

“They’re looking to expand their footprint in the Philippines with the BPO,” Mr. Ocampo said.

Mr. Ocampo said of the Japanese company that the group will meet next week: “We’re still finding out exactly what they want, but they’re looking at partnering or purchasing. They’re looking at either acquisition or investment in other companies,” Mr. Ocampo said.

Mr. Ocampo said that Colombian trade promotion agency ProColombia will also visit the Philippines to gauge the environment for potential outbound BPO investments by Philippine companies.

“They’re here to promote the contact center industry in Colombia for those people that want to invest there,” Mr. Ocampo said.

“We do have CCAP members that have locations in Latin America,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ocampo said the CCAP is targeting 7% revenue and headcount growth in 2023.

In 2022, CCAP members posted $27 billion worth of revenue, accounting for 84% of the $32-billion revenue of the IT-BPO industry.

CCAP members also accounted for 1.4 million workers or 87% of the industry’s staffing.

According to the IT-BPO roadmap released last year, the industry’s target for revenue is $59 billion by 2028, of which $49 billion will come from CCAP-member companies.

The roadmap also targets 2.5 million full-time employees for the industry, of which 2.3 million will be employed by CCAP member firms.

Mr. Ocampo said the CCAP remains confident of keeping its position as the world’s top provider of voice and BPO services with the adoption of generative artificial intelligence (AI), which is being incorporated into various tasks across the industry.

“Generative AI can be used to automate and enhance various aspects of customer interactions. Some examples are chatbots and virtual assistants. There are automated e-mail responses for faster adaptability,” Mr. Ocampo said.

Mr. Ocampo added that the impact of generative AI could show up in the industry’s performance within two to four years.

“The emerging technology was not factored in when the IT-BPO Roadmap was set because it surfaced about seven months ago, although AI has been widely used across the industry,” Mr. Ocampo said.

The CCAP is due to hold its annual Contact Islands Conference in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu between July 26 and 28. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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