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To challenge the notion that startup founders should have a background in tech to build a startup, the iPrice Group conducted a focused study on SEA markets. The study seeks to determine if fields of study and level of education influence founders’ success.

In the Philippine startup scene, the results suggest that business and social sciences are the two most common fields of study among founders. And interestingly, most of them took their bachelor’s degree from the top four universities in the country then pursued a higher degree abroad.

Read more: Successful founders in the Philippines did not study tech, says this research

MANILA, Philippines — The automation of the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) industry will create the need for mid-skilled jobs and high-skilled services, industry groups said.

Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) president Rey Untal said while experts are predicting that the local workforce is in danger of being replaced by automation, it would also enable the sector to produce mid-skilled and high-skilled jobs

“What is often overlooked about automation is that while it is expected to impact certain jobs in the sector, this will also enable the IT-BPM industry to move up the value chain, resulting in an increase in mid-skilled jobs and high-skilled services,” Untal said.

Read more: Automation to create additional jobs for IT-BPM

Henry "Big Boy" Sy Jr., son of the Philippines' richest man, and technology entrepreneur Diosdado Banatao are backing a startup that is building a technology with the potential to help Philippine call centers cope with the rise of job-threatening robotic process automation (RPA), according to Forbes Philippines magazine.

Founded by Filipino-Canadian computer engineer George Yang, the startup, called AI Pros, is conducting field tests for what it calls "augmented intelligence" technology among several call centers in the Philippines. The startup has operations in Silicon Valley in southern California as well as Manila in the Philippines. (Yang is not related to the Chinese-Filipino tycoon with the same name who brought McDonald's to the Philippines.)

One of the field tests involves a call center that makes outbound calls to sell travel packages and magazine subscriptions worth at least $1,000. Relying on Yang's AI technology, agents of the call center were able to increase sales by 80 percent making cold calls to potential US customers.

Read more: Henry Sy Jr, Dado Banatao Back Startup to Help BPOs Cope with Automation Threat

MANILA, Philippines – The country's business process outsourcing (BPO) industry expects annual growth to slow down to 9% until 2022, due to its larger scale, sluggish industry growth globally, and security headwinds in the Philippines.

This is much slower compared to the local compound annual growth rate of 17% it saw in the past 6 years. (READ: A history of the BPO industry in numbers)

"[G]iven that we already have this much scale and further leading to maturity, the growth leading to 2022 is slower. Before, annual growth was in the mid-teens at 15% to 16%. When we forecasted it for [our] most recent roadmap, we projected growth revenue-wise to be around 9%," Rey Untal, president and chief executive officer of the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), said in a media briefing in Makati City on Wednesday, September 27.

Read more: Philippines' BPO industry sees slower annual growth of 9% until 2022

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector started to see the need to heighten efforts to address the possible impact of what is described as “disruptive technological headwinds” — such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and robotics — to the industry’s Filipino workforce.

This, while the sector is now projected to only grow by 9 percent annually starting this year until 2022 in terms of revenues, which is slower than the “mid-teen” growth it experienced in previous years.

Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President Rey Untal said that with the “looming threat of AI and automation” to the BPO sector, their organization decided to elevate the discussion on this issue during the upcoming 9th International IT-BPM Summit in October.

“Many experts are predicting that the workforce is in danger of being replaced by automation but that is simply not the case. What is often overlooked about automation is that while it is expected to impact certain jobs in the sector, this will also enable the IT-BPM Industry to move up the value chain, resulting in an increase in mid-skilled jobs and high skilled services,” Untal said in a briefing on Wednesday held in Makati.

Read more: BPOs heighten efforts to ease impact of AI on Filipino workforce