Merger of eTelecare and Stream to Benefit Bacolod

Bacolod City councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said Thursday she hoped that the recent merging of two of the world’s giant business process outsourcing (BPO) companies – eTelecare and Stream – would benefit Bacolod, which is one of the country’s top BPO destinations today and home of some of the biggest call center firms in Western Visayas.

Recently, Ayala Corporation-backed eTelecare Global Solutions Inc. and Stream Global Services, Inc. combined their forces with the aim to build a giant call center firm. They are targeting to hire 30,000 agents nationwide as the merging would create a $ 1-billion operation fund.

Sigue, chair of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (Benefit) Inc., said there is a big chance for Negrenses and Bacolodnons to be part of the 30,000 agents targeted to be hired as Ilonggos are considered among the best call center agents in the country. Proof of that is the growing numbers of global BPO companies choosing to have their business here.

“It cannot be denied that BPO firms prefer to make business in Bacolod because of the talents and quality of (call center) agents here,” said Sigue. “Ilonggo talents are local that are giving big impacts on the global BPO stage and that’s what we are very proud of,” added the councilor.

Sigue, who will be seeking the seat for the lone congressional district of Bacolod in the 2010 election, also said that it was not impossible for the merged BPO companies to decide to expand its branch here.

Bacolod today has some of the world’s top performing and giant BPO firms, including TeleTech, Convergys, Teleperformance, Focus Pacific, Alliance Call Centre, and the newly-opened Transcom Asia.

“The strategy of the national government in partnering with the Business Process Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) to boost the IT-BPO industry is the same model that should be followed by local government units with Benefit extending its support to the local job generation campaign, especially in the midst of the global economic crisis,” Batapa stressed.

Stream Global Services, Inc. is operating on a $ 523-million revenue, while eTelecare is at $ 229-million. The BPO would bear the name of Stream on the international market but would operate under the name of eTelecare here in the Philippines. (PNA) LAP/ajp/GMDelaCruz/vlo

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