The New York Times is reporting that the Philippines is the “new capital of call centers”, overtaking India which now ranks second behind the Philippines as a home for call centers for US companies. The times estimates that 400,000 Filipinos now work in call centers and Filipinos have become more preferable to Indian call center workers because “they speak lightly accented English and, unlike many indians, are steeped in American culture. According to the Times:
MANILA — Americans calling the customer service lines of their airlines, phone companies and banks are now more likely to speak to Mark in Manila than Bharat in Bangalore.
Over the last several years, a quiet revolution has been reshaping the call center business: the rise of the Philippines, a former United States colony that has a large population of young people who speak lightly accented English and, unlike many Indians, are steeped in American culture.
More Filipinos — about 400,000 — than Indians now spend their nights talking to mostly American consumers, industry officials said, as companies like AT&T, JPMorgan Chase and Expedia have hired call centers here, or built their own. The jobs have come from the United States, Europe and, to some extent, India as outsourcers followed their clients to the Philippines.
COMMENT: Not surprisingly, the NY Times article has been picked up and is getting considerable play in India. Currently there are over 50 Indian publications with one version or another of the Time story.