Supporting the BPO Industry and Driving the Digital Transformation of Businesses in the Philippines
This week, we welcome Jack Madrid to the Digitally Irresistible podcast. Jack is president and CEO of the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP). He oversees day-to-day operations for the primary trade body and advocacy group for the IT and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector in the Philippines.
With almost 400 member organizations, including iQor, and six partner associations, IBPAP plays a pivotal role in sustaining the growth of the IT-BPM industry by working with stakeholders in the government and academia.
On this episode, we discuss the role of IBPAP and how the organization supports the BPO industry and drives digital transformation among businesses in the Philippines.
A Transformative Journey to the BPO Industry
After graduating from university, Jack began his career as a banker in both the Philippines and Hong Kong. That led him to a role overseeing strategic planning and business development for a Philippines-based conglomerate.
His career then took an interesting turn when Jack became managing director for MTV Philippines, empowering him to reinvent himself professionally and personally. From there, he was introduced to the BPO industry in the Philippines where he recognized the future of the country and vibrant opportunities for job creation. This prompted his digital journey in marketing, setting up operations for Yahoo Philippines. After a few years there, he set out to establish the first e-commerce marketplace in the Philippines. Several years after that, he moved to Vancouver, Canada to be with family and six years later he returned to the Philippines to lead IBPAP—15 years after his introduction to the BPO industry.
How IBPAP Supports the BPO Industry in the Philippines
IBPAP is the flagship association for the IT-BPM industry in the Philippines, primarily representing the industry, its members, its employers, investors who have offshored their operations in the country, and—most importantly—BPO employees. IBPAP has grown to represent 1.56 million Filipino employees in the country since the beginning of the BPO industry in the Philippines several decades ago.
In fact, IBPAP represents the largest industry in the Philippines in terms of jobs and revenue, contributing nearly 8% of the country’s GDP. The work and mission of IBPAP is essential for advancing continued opportunities to create jobs throughout the country.
Because the Philippines is an archipelago, jobs extend beyond metro Manila and Cebu to 25 cities throughout the countryside that have their own unique characteristics and talent pools with good universities to educate future talent and further expand the BPO industry in the Philippines.
The Present State of the BPO Industry in the Philippines
Jack notes that the BPO industry in the Philippines is entering an exciting new chapter given the COVID-driven migration of 1+ million employees to work-at-home (WAH) and hybrid environments. When onsite operations quickly moved to work-at-home and hybrid environments while maintaining security, productivity, and customer satisfaction, the BPO industry proved it could deliver outsourced customer service success independent of location and environment for global customers spanning different time zones across verticals and industries.
Jack believes the future is bright as the BPO industry in the Philippines develops more value-added services for brands across the globe.
Core Strengths and Advantages of the Philippines as an IT-BPM Investment Destination
Jack says the primary strength of the Philippines as an IT-BPM investment destination lies in Filipino talent. With a population of 110 million, the Philippines has the demographics and the scale to grow the IT-BPM industry even more. The Filipino workforce is world renowned for excellent communication skills, English fluency, patience, empathy, and the ability to adapt and learn new skills to resolve customer issues across different industry verticals.
Talent supply will always be an advantage, but Jack recognizes the need to continue to build on that strength given the continued demand for offshoring to the Philippines. On top of that, he says the Philippines has done a great job building up the digital infrastructure and internet connectivity throughout the archipelago outside of metro Manila and Cebu.
As a nation comprised of thousands of islands, each with its own unique population and talent pool, internet connectivity has improved over the years and will continue to improve in the years ahead as IBPAP works with telecom partners.
Future Opportunities for the BPO Industry in the Philippines
IBPAP recently launched its IT-BPM Roadmap 2028. They publish a new roadmap every six years to outline specific recommendations on how to grow the industry.
The most significant part of their Roadmap 2028 is the goal to deliver an additional 1.1 million new jobs for Filipinos by the end of 2028. IBPAP will work with industry stakeholders, government partners, and the private sector to realize this vision over the next six years.
The roadmap outlines the following four pillars to grow the IT-BPM industry in the Philippines.
- Attract and retain investors by reinforcing the ease of doing business in the Philippines.
- Cultivate an extensive and qualified talent pool. Work with the Department of Education and other partners in government to strengthen university and high school curricula and collaborate with the private sector to ensure the continued availability and employability of talent for the years ahead. Jack emphasizes that this is likely the most critical pillar.
- Improve and strengthen digital infrastructure in the Philippines to ensure strong connectivity in in-office, at-home, and hybrid work environments throughout the archipelago.
- Continue to strengthen the Philippines’ industry positioning to meet the challenge of adding more than 1 million new jobs in six years, a goal that took over two decades to achieve in the early years of the BPO industry in the Philippines.
By focusing on these four pillars, tapping into new talent pools, and continuing to strengthen the Filipinos’ acceptance of the BPO industry as a long-term career path, Jack and his colleagues at IBPAP will continue to support the growth of the BPO industry and drive digital transformation among businesses in the Philippines.
What Jack Does for Fun
For fun, Jack’s passion is studying wine. He began his studies a few years ago and now teaches others as an informal wine coach. He enjoys sharing his knowledge about the wine regions as well as the different grapes and varieties of wine. He also spends a fair amount of time analyzing wines through blind tastings. When he’s not honing his wine skills, Jack enjoys playing golf and improving his short game.