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Outsourcing Industry in SEA Adopting New Technologies



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Singapore-based BPO company TDCX is using artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies to streamline its hiring process, according to CEO and founder Laurent Junique. The move has enabled the company to sign 41 new clients in 2022 and attract more business from industries such as fintech and streaming, Junique said.


The technology used by TDCX includes Flash Hire, an AI-powered software that reduces the hiring process to less than half the time it typically takes, according to TDCX’s Chief Human Resource Officer, Chee Gay Lim. Lim said the technology had made TDCX’s internal processes more efficient, allowing the company to save time and money while also speeding up its hiring process.

The BPO industry, which provides outsourcing services to businesses worldwide, has long been a hub for call centres and other service providers in Southeast Asia. Despite facing challenges such as talent retention and automation, the industry has remained resilient by adopting new technologies and shifting to more efficient work setups, according to experts.

For example, the Philippines’ outsourcing industry recorded a revenue of $32.5 billion in 2022, with over 1.57 million staff. The industry’s goal is to reach $59 billion and a workforce of 2.5 million by 2028. However, the industry must address issues such as talent retention and automation to continue growing, according to experts.

To combat these challenges, sectors like the government should create ways to support the industry. The Philippine government, for example, has allowed permanent remote setups for employees while still providing tax holidays.

Derek Gallimore, founder of Outsource Accelerator said that BPO companies must continually look for new technologies to remain competitive. “For BPO companies to remain a competitive force in the industry, they must look into new technologies like automating their processes,” he said.

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TDCX’s use of AI and automation technologies is an example of how the industry can remain resilient in the face of challenges, experts said. By adopting these technologies, BPO companies can retain low operating costs, making their services affordable for businesses of all sizes. This will help the industry remain resilient even in the face of possible recessions and waves of layoffs.

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