Tuesday, 29 November 2011 09:22
MANILA: Americans calling the customer service lines of their airlines, phone companies and banks are now more likely to speak to agents named Mark in Manila than people named Bharat in Bangalore. Over the past several years, a quiet revolution has been reshaping the call center business: the rise of the Philippines, a former US colony that has a large population of young people who speak lightly accented English and, unlike many Indians, are steeped in US culture. More Filipinos - about 400,000 - than Indians now spend their nights talking to mostly US consumers, according to industry officials, as companies like AT&T, JPMorgan Chase and Expedia have hired call centers here, or even built their own. The jobs have come from the US, Europe and, to some extent, India as outsourcers followed their clients to the Philippines. India, where offshore call centers first took off in a big way, fields as many as 350,000 call center agents, according to some industry estimates.