Wednesday, 14 April 2010

RP’s language diversity attracts BPO firms

Manila Bulletin

It’s not just mastery of the English language, but language diversity among Filipinos to speak Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, French, and German has prompted Bosch Group, a German-owned global industrial firm, to set up its 500,000-Euro Asia -Pacific communications hub here.

The choice of location for its high-end IT help desk in Bonifacio Global City was narrowed down to three – Manila, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur – from 16 locations, but Manila won hands down because of the linguistic diversity, strong BPO infrastructure and cost friendliness, said Kaycee Crisostomo, communications manager of Robert Bosch Inc. (Philippines), told reporters during a press conference for the newly established Robert Bosch Communications Center Inc. (RBCCI).

The Philippines would be its 16th location worldwide and its fourth IT help desk project globally. RBCCI would serve as the technical support center initially catering for the internal Bosch Group’s needs. Eventually, RBCCI will cater to external clients in the Asia Pacific region.

This global project has already been implemented in the European and American markets by teams in Berlin, Buenos Aires and Timisoara, Romania.

Aside from English-speaking agents, the 200 agents of RBCCI would include Mandarin, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, French and German speakers.

“We don’t have a problem hiring agents who can speak other Asian and European languages, except for Mandarin speaking,” said Crisostomo noting that they are importing a few Mandarin agents from China in the meantime. “Most of the Chinese here speak other Chinese dialects and those that speak the Mandarin language are not so keen on having a career in the BPO industry, so it is a challenge,” Cristomo said.

But, the Philippines has also a good pool of Korean, Japanese, French and German-speaking people.

Also as the world’s third largest English-speaking country, there are 10.5 million English-speaking Filipinos in Metro Manila alone compared to 4.5 million in Kuala Lumpur and 1.7 million in Bangkok .

RBCCI is now serving the ASEAN region and Australian and by July would be serving the Japanese market already.


  1. Filipinos are well trained in English proficiency. No wonder why there's a lot of call center Philippines

  2. The English language in the Philippines is becoming more of a second language (next to the local dialect) rather than a language used to communicate to foreigners. Since it is being taught in schools at a very early age, it is no longer a surprise that a lot of Filipinos are good at using the language.