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Contact center industry set to rebound this year

A call center agent works in an office in Makati in this Feb. 6, 2012 file photo. — REUTERS

THE PHILIPPINE contact center industry expects to grow its full-time employee headcount by as much as 9% this year, which it says is higher than the global average, despite continued challenges amid the prolonged pandemic.

The Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) in a statement on Tuesday said that the local industry outpaces the 6-7% growth seen globally.

The revenue growth target for the year is 9%, against the global 6-7%. The industry group has not yet shared 2020 base data.

“The story of our industry was a really tough 2020 for many of us, still tough in 2021. But the market is rebounding. The Philippines is rebounding together with the market, but because we are highly differentiated we are enjoying faster growth than the global market, and fueling our business growth is the creation of jobs,” CCAP Chairman Benedict C. Hernandez said.

Noting flat revenues in global outsourcing during the pandemic last year, he said that pent-up demand is supporting growth this year.

“Some of it — in the countries that release fiscal stimulus by their particular governments — that’s allowing them to fund these investments,” Mr. Hernandez said.

Around 80% of CCAP member companies that responded to a survey said they expect double-digit growth this year, compared with 11% projecting growth in the single digits.

Most contact center employees are able to continue working, with an average of 40% working on site.

“Half a percent of all employees is unable to work due to various reasons. One out of three companies are providing financial support to these employees,” CCAP said.

Around 73% of the on-site employees and 97% of the work-from-home employees of CCAP member companies have received extra pay and allowances.

Overall outsourcing revenues inched up 1.4% after the pandemic disrupted operations last year. — Jenina P. Ibañez