Knowledge Center Article

The History of Call Center Services

By Maigne Cantos / 28 September 2017

What is the history of call center services?

  1. 1992 – Frank Holz established the first contact center in the Philippines.
  2. 1997 – The first multinational account was first established.
  3. 1999 – Jim Franke and Derek Holley founded the first call center of the Philippines.
  4. 2000 – The BPO Industry accounted for 0.075% of the country’s GDP.
  5. 2010 – The Philippines was known as the world’s BPO capital.
  6. 2011– 638,000 employees have been hired.
  7. 2012Call center services accounted for 5.4% of the country’s GDP.
  8. 2013 – 900,000 employees have been hired.
  9. 2016 – BPO is expected to produce 1.3 million new jobs with an annual growth of 17%.


Nowadays, there’s no doubt that call center services in the Philippines have done its fair share of contributions to the country’s economy and labor force. Thousands and thousands of applicants have ventured into this field of employment due to the perks one can get, as well as the benefits one may gain from this line of work. In short, the BPO industry has given people from all walks of life the chance to earn for themselves and for their families. But when did all this start?

For those wishing to venture into this field, then this piece is definitely for you. If you’re looking for what started this professional phenomenon, here are some key aspects that detail the history of call center services:


Call Center Services in the Philippines back in 1990s

Call Center Services in the Philippines back in 1990s

If you think that the call center service scene in the Philippines is something new, you may be mistaken. In fact, the industry as a whole has been around since the early 90s.

In 1992, the first instance of BPO was started by a man named Frank Holz. He set up the first contact center here in the Philippines. This event is seen as the stepping stone in establishing the industry people know and love today.

However, it wasn’t until 1997 when the first multinational account was established, further advancing the state of telecommunication and over-the-phone customer services in the country. But it was only in 1999, when two individuals named Jim Franke and Derek Holley founded the very first professionally accepted call center company in the Philippines.


The BPO Industry in the 2000s

The BPO Industry in the 2000s

Call center services, especially in the Philippines, just made the leap of faith that it needed in this era. Before the founding of numerous call centers in the country, it was in this particular period that the entire essence of BPO has had its foundations set in stone.

In the year 2000, the contribution of the BPO industry the country’s gross domestic product, otherwise known as GDP, was accounted for at 0.075%. Though it may have been small at the time, the percentage has risen over the years, with it reaching up to 2.4% in 2005.

In 2001, a US-based outsourcing center decided to move some parts of their operations to the Philippines, providing as much as 8,400 new jobs in the process. Two years later, one of the biggest names in the Philippines’ call center service industry opened up two call centers. At this time, Jack Frecker – who was the president of this company, chose the Philippines and India as the locations for their new centers as part of their plan for international expansion.


Call Centers Services Today

Call Centers Services Today

 In modern times, call center services have provided people coming from different places with a lot of opportunities to establish their own personal income. Thanks to these companies, the workers are also being provided with numerous benefits that they could personally use (or gift to their families as well), which brought joy to many Filipinos.

In 2010, the Philippines was hailed as the world’s BPO capital. It was in this year that the entire industry was projected to rise in terms of revenue and growth. Furthermore, the reputation the BPO industry is establishing has helped increase the attraction of foreign investors and negotiators to the country.

Truth be told, other reasons also play a huge part in making the country the capital in the world of BPO and call center services. The number of graduates the nation is producing every year is one other factor. Foreign investors, together with their companies, saw this as a huge sign that the Filipino worker is globally competent.

Because of this, 2011 and 2012 saw another increase in the revenues of call center services all over the Philippines, with a net worth amounting to $11,000,000,000 and 638,000 employees working for the industry. Also, BPO grew by 46% on an annual basis and contributed to the rise of the country’s GDP, with it being 5.4% at the time.

As time passed by, particularly in the year 2013, employment in this line of work has increased tenfold, with 900,000 people being employed. As of 2016, various call center services in the country are expected to produce at least 1.3 million new jobs, with an annual growth of at least 17%.

Key Takeaway

 Knowing the history of something can help in your ability to make decisions, especially in terms of work. With the history of call center services, it’s undeniable that this line of work is a force to be reckoned with compared to other industries in the country.

Key Contact
John Maczynski


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