IT-BPM roadmap 2028 to add 1.1M new jobs, $59B revenues

THE information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) is positioning the country as the “world’s No. 1 experience hub for digitally enabled and customer centric services” while generating an additional 1.1 million jobs and end 2028 with 2.5 million full-time employees and a US$59 billion annual revenues.

“We do want to make sure that whether it is client customer experience, user experience, and superior employee experience... anything to do with experience people will think the Philippines first,” said IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (Ibpap) chairman Benedict Hernandez, during the opening day of the 14th International Innovation Summit (IIS) held virtually Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2022.

“We want PH to become the experience capital in the world,” said Hernandez.

Themed, “The Big PH IT-BPM Leap: Growth. Resurgence. Impact. Transformation,” the IIS 2022 set the stage for how the country will continue to be at the forefront of talent, technology and transformation through the Philippine IT-BPM Industry Roadmap 2028.

With an estimated growth rate of 8.5 percent, the Philippine IT-BPM industry is expected to create up to 1.1 million direct jobs in the next six years, 54 percent of which will be in the countryside. This will bring the sector’s total headcount to 2.5 million by 2028.

Highlighting the industry’s multiplier effect, Ibpap also projects generating up to three million indirect jobs for allied sectors such as retail, hospitality, infrastructure, transportation and real estate.

The industry also has the potential to nearly double in size as its annual revenue is likely to reach $59 billion in 2028, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 10.4 percent.

“Since Roadmap 2022 was launched in 2016, we’ve seen just how significant and widespread the achievements and contributions of the IT-BPM industry are,” said Jack Madrid, Ibpap president and chief executive officer.

“By the conclusion of Roadmap 2028, we aim for the sector to create even more positive impact as we envision the Philippines to become the world’s number one experience hub for customer-centric and digitally-enabled services, while driving sustainable economic and social growth.”

Madrid said by 2028, the industry may be able to contribute up to 8.5 percent to the country’s gross domestic product.

Hernandez admitted that such goal of increasing the headcount and revenues while becoming the leading destination for outsourcing jobs is not a walk in a park and that it requires a collective hard work for these targets to be realized.

But he is optimistic that the industry could deliver its promise, especially since it has proven its resilience since the pandemic.

According to Hernandez, the 2021 figures signaled the “return of the industry to hypergrowth.” Hypergrowth is a phase of rapid expansion companies experience as they scale.

In 2021, the industry grew by 9.1 percent, or by 120,000 FTEs year-on-year, bringing the total number of IT-BPM workers in the country to 1.44 million amid the implementation of remote working setup and the continued economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It was a period of resilience with unstoppable growth,” Hernandez said.

Key areas to work on

To realize Roadmap 2028’s vision, Ibpap provided high-level recommendations for its strategic priorities.

As for policy and regulatory support, Ibpap said the government needs to enable an enhanced business-friendly environment through unambiguous and relevant policies, which are in line with global and local market macrotrends.

“We need policies that are not constantly changing and the ones that protect the ease of doing business,” Hernandez said.

Talent development is also a key area. Ibpap said to ensure sustainable supply of skilled talent by revising existing curriculum and introducing new and future-relevant educational courses including early-stage interventions like internships and work immersions.

Hernandez said the industry needs a talent pool that can handle complex and high value jobs.

The continued development and strengthening of infrastructure remain crucial to supporting IT-BPM operations in Metro Manila and other provinces.

New areas of support are also needed in infrastructure. This includes high quality commercial real estate to accommodate hybrid work needs and dedicated ‘creative hubs’ for niche industries, expansion of fiber optic networks with 5G capabilities, and easing of processes to set up towers and other related infrastructure.

To attract and drive more investors, a country rebrand will help reimagine the Philippines as a provider of high-value experience services, the Ibpap said.