Building Cebu’s IT-BPO Ecosystem

Building Cebu’s IT-BPO Ecosystem

Building Cebu’s IT-BPO Ecosystem 150 150 Exist Software Labs Inc.

The 15th Cebu Business Month (CBM 2011) was launched a couple of days ago, bearing the theme: Going Beyond Boundaries.

Event committee chairman Virgilio Espeleta mentions that: this year’s CBM is all about engaging more business players to advocate and craft continuing and sustainable economically-inducing activities that will enable Cebu businesses to maximize their potential.

Now, the IT-BPO sector continues to be one of the “sustainable economically-inducing activities” in the region and plays a very significant role in Cebu’s leapfrogging to “the next level“.

I spoke to Jerry Rapes, Chairman of ICT committee of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and currently CEO of Exist, software firm doing Java development with office in Cebu (and the company I work for), and asked about what can be expected from Cebu in terms of IT-BPO growth.

He shares that: Cebu has about 50,000 FTEs (compared to about 525,000 nationwide) so by ratio it may also have about 10% of the national figures in BPO — about $900M (Philippines made about $9B in revenues in BPO in 2010).

IT outsourcing revenues in the Philippines totalled to about $700M in 2010, so if we put this as part of our formula, Cebu might have produced $970M.

These are just estimates, BUT Jerry believes that Cebu wants to aim for 20% of our national target. So in 2016 when the national target  is $25B, Cebu should be aiming for $5B.

Jerry adds that, “Cebu has a large opportunity to grow its KPO offerings. Cebu will continue to put its effort in building its capabilities for BPO in order to sustain the momentum of this sector and ensure scalability, and at the same time put focus on building KPO and ITO capabilities so that it can climb the value chain.”

I’d say just have a look at Asiatown IT Park and you’ll see how much potential Cebu has in terms of this sector. Still — there’s a lot to be done to keep our peers from looking at opportunities outside of the region.

Jerry believes that, “The government sector of Cebu understands the opportunity that this industry carries and it is willing to invest in helping build it. The City Government is working very closely with industry stakeholders in determining how to improve on capability building so that we can ensure higher recruitment uptake across BPO, KPO and ITO.”

Looking forward to seeing the Cebu IT-BPO roadmap this June come CBM 2011.

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