Ang galing talaga ng Pinoy.
One of the TOYM co-awardees with me is Benedict Hernandez, the guy behind E-telecare, one of the three largest Call Centers in the country. Under his leadership, his company grossed P8 Billion last year. (I told him, “No wonder we’re both TOYM awardees. Gosh, we’re so alike. Last year, my food business earned the same figure. Almost. My business grossed P8T…”)
From him, I learned that the Philippines is now the #1 choice for Call Centers in the entire world. Hey, we’re not only #1 in Boxing, #1 in Billiards, we’re also #1 in Call Centers. (I’m sure Benedict Hernandez won’t like my analogy, but to me, he’s like the Manny Pacquiao of Call Centers.)
Somehow, I always thought India was first, and we were second. I got that idea after reading Thomas Friedman’s humongous book, The World Is Flat.
But Benedict said that three years ago, that question on who’s the best was already settled—and the Philippines is champ. Though our Call Centers are 20% more expensive than other countries, Filipinos provide superior quality. Naks!
Because this superior quality spells repeat customers (and thus higher profits) for these giant companies, the Philippines has become their first choice.
In fact, Benedict told me that he had American companies who at first turned them down, built their Call Centers in other countries, only to return to them again after a few years. They were not satisfied and wanted the quality that our Call Centers provide.
The entire Call Center industry now gives 150,000 jobs to Filipinos. Benedict’s own company hires an additional 650 new Call Center agents per month. They actually double in size every year.
Here’s the projection: In four years, the entire Call Center industry will give 500,000 jobs to Filipinos. Half-a-million people and their families will be fed!
But here’s something that I didn’t know.
In four years, the Call Center industry will give the country $10B each year. Do you know that’s the same amount of money that OFW’s remit back to the Philippines each year? Remember how people always say that without the OFW remittances each year, our country’s economy would have gone down the dogs? Well, here’s another industry that will bless the Philippines with another $10B!
And the bonus? No one has to go out of the country.
I believe that the CALL CENTER industry is a gift to our country.
I asked Benedict, “Five hundred thousand agents is a lot of people. Can you find enough qualified Filipinos for that?” He said he’s confident they can, even if the standards are very tough.
Reality: For every one hundred applicants, only one gets hired.
But from those that they reject, they choose a few with potential to undergo free training—and even pay them to be trained! Today, 30% of their new hires come from these “once-rejected-but-now-trained” applicants.
Gosh, I felt so much hope for our country.
After talking to Benedict, I realized that all these wouldn’t have been possible if English wasn’t our second language. Both the Call Center industry and even the OFW industry wouldn’t have been possible without it.
But mind you, Call Center agents aren’t just telephone operators.
Benedict’s company even has agents that sell mutual funds and stocks for the US Stock Market. That sophisticated. Don’t be confused with the technology they use (telephone) with the high expertise they need to have.
I thank God magaling talaga ang Pinoy.
Filed under: Blogs by bosanchez