Smaller RP call centers want bigger voice in the industry

Published by rudy Date posted on December 14, 2007

MANILA, Philippines — An organization of smaller call center operations in the Philippines is pushing to have its voice heard in the contact center industry.

With at least 25 members, the Philippine Call Center Alliance Inc. (PhilCall) is now working with government and bigger industry organizations to help smaller players succeed in the global market.

“We don’t have an industry voice,” said PhilCall presidents Joji Ilagan-Bian, as she stressed that smaller players are struggling.

Smaller call centers, which usually operate 10- to 500-seat facilities, are already starting to attract smaller businesses from abroad wanting to outsource call center operations offshore, Ilagan-Bian said.

But these smaller players often face problems from unscrupulous brokers who don’t pay up after they bag clients in their behalf, the organization’s president said.

“I myself lost about P3 million from an unscrupulous broker,” Ilagan-Bian said, as she revealed more horror stories from smaller players operating all over the country who also had experiences with unscrupulous brokers.

“If this is happening to me, it is also happening to others. So the first thing we did as an organization was to create a blacklist of unscrupulous brokers,” she said.

Ilagan-Bian operates a 198-seat call center facility in Davao serving at least six clients abroad. She recently opened another 200-seat facility in Libis, Quezon City and is currently negotiating with a Canadian client.

Her company, Six Eleven Global Solutions, has been operating for more than a year.

PhilCall expects to recruit more members who are also struggling with limited marketing resources.

“We usually don’t have budget for marketing abroad unlike the big boys. We also don’t have a database of clients. So we’re now asking government’s help in helping us build a marketplace,” Ilagan-Bian said.

PhilCall is now working with several government agencies, namely the Commission on Information and Communications Technology and the Department of Trade Industry for promotions, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for training.

“Small entrepreneurs like us are looking for small businesses wanting to outsource their call center operations in the country. We want to push the idea that as an industry, business will be better for us,” she added.–Erwin Oliva, INQUIRER.net

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