The Philippines: The best location for your offshore program

The Philippines has been a major location for offshoring and outsourcing for a very long time. As one of the biggest contributors to the country’s GDP, it is wholly supported by the Philippine government. They’ve even gone to the lengths of setting up particular economic zones in different cities for businesses to receive tax incentives and assistance; Simply put, it’s a great place for businesses to have an offshore program.

Yes, countries like India and Malaysia are just as invested in offshoring and outsourcing as the Philippines is. And sure, they heavily position themselves as the best offshore location for your offshore program but, if you take the time to look at the elements that form a good offshore program, you’ll realise that the Philippines, more specifically, Metro Manila, is the best choice for your business.

Let’s take a closer look at the elements that make it such a great strategic location for your offshore team.

Cultural Influences

As a result of American colonization in the early 20th century, the Philippines has been heavily influenced by western culture. This influence means they are more easily assimilated into your business as they are very westernised. Consider that India and other countries have significant cultural differences which can impact on the success of your offshore program.

English Speakers

Because of the above cultural influences, many Filipinos are well-spoken when it comes to the English language. In fact, the Philippines has one of the highest English literacy rates in Asia at 94%. They are easily understood, meaning they will interact with your local team members and customers easily, reducing the chance of a negative experience.

Location

Getting the location right is vital. With a short, two-hour time difference between The Philippines and Australia, you offshore team will be working at essentially the same time as your local team members. Rosters can be designed to fit with your local team members and customers, making their experience a seamless one. With the breakdown in geographical barriers via advanced digital communication technology, communicating with your offshore team has never been so easy! And, with the reliable and well-developed infrastructure in Metro Manila, you can rest assured that your offshore team will be able to deliver when it counts.

Getting the location right is also important when it comes to accessing the vast talent pool The Philippines has to offer. Choosing well-established metro areas like Makati City or BGC gives your business access to a highly-skilled and engaged workforce. Other countries simply do not have access to the well-educated and highly English literate workforce the Philippines has.

A People Oriented Team

Many companies that have adopted offshoring often say the same thing about their Filipino staff: that they are some of the most personable, engaging and hardworking staff members available. This is because of cultural influences that are uniquely Filipino which are not as obvious in other countries. When dealing with your staff in the Philippines, you will more than likely see their strong commitment to their families. Values of respect, hard work and loyalty are heavily influenced by their personal relationships with their families and these carry over to their professional lives.

Diversify has been fully on board with the Philippines as the most ideal location for your offshoring team. We believe in the country’s ability to provide clients with the quality services and functions that they look for in an offshoring team. We also strive to cultivate an engaging and highly communicative environment so that you not only get the most out of your staff members, but also the best people for the job. If you’re ready to make offshoring part of your business strategy, contact us today.


Why consider the Philippines for your offshore program: From a Filipino perspective

The Philippines is one of the fastest growing countries in the APAC region (well on its way to becoming Asia’s Fifth Tiger). The country offers an eclectic mix of culture, history and tradition infused with a Western influence. This is complemented by a friendly, welcoming population, unbelievable tourism and a stable, thriving economy.

Business Opportunities in Manila

Metro Manila is considered the home of opportunity in the Philippines. Both local and international companies have established themselves in Manila because of its superior infrastructure, availability of resources and access to skilled staff members. It has a reputation of being a thriving business hub. Many Filipinos know that working in Metro Manila provides them with the widest professional opportunities. It is also why many of those living in provinces travel to Manila to find better career opportunities.

The Thriving Expat Community

If you decide to visit the Philippines, don’t be surprised to see plenty of expats during your stay and enjoying themselves. Whether they are there for business or on vacation, many expats in the Philippines often never want to leave. Some even call it their second home! The Philippines it provides them a unique experience amidst the challenges that come with moving to a new country.

Diversify CEO Angela Vidler spent two months living in the Philippines and even though there were usual problems like traffic congestion and being out of a familiar comfort zone, it was an overall fulfilling experience where she was able to tackle challenges head on and learn much about herself.

Our Marketing Manager Mark Evans also recently stayed with us when he first commenced with the business. Over a one week period, he was able to experience day to day life within Metro Manila. He was amazed at how busy and vibrant the CBD was and found it incredibly safe. He regularly walked around at night looking for a new place to have dinner.

Recently, we held a launch party for our brand new office in Bonifacio Global City. Many of our clients, business partners and directors of Diversify were invited to open our new facility. They were also taken on a tour of the city and experienced the Philippines first hand. Metro Manila is currently experiencing a development boom and is now considered a safe and strategically viable place to do business!

I invite you to check out our new corporate video which showcases both Bonifacio Global City and our exciting new office. It also focuses on our employees’ day at the office and what it’s like working in Metro Manila.

Tourist destinations

In recent years, there has been a push from the Government to promote tourism in the Philippines. The aim is to get both locals and visitors to visit other locations in the country. The tourism department’s slogan of “It’s more fun in the Philippines” certainly encourages a sense of exploration for anyone in the country. Whether for business or recreational purposes, there will always be something to discover and admire wherever you are in the Philippines.

Working in the Philippines

I am lucky enough to work at our new office in Bonifacio Global City. It’s a great place to come in to each day because of the new and innovative workspace. Most of all, I get to work with some awesome people on a day-to-day basis. Our location gives us access to great restaurants, cafes and entertainment precincts which are important in my work/life balance.

We’re also well serviced by a seamless public transport system. Although the traffic can be a bit troublesome, I get home to my family safe and sound every night! The Philippines is a great place to work in and I’m proud to call it home. Many clients that have visited our new facility have been amazed at the bustling city it is located within. Many have even said it reminds them of some of the larger Australian cities. With the huge level of development underway, BGC will only get better as my work destination.

Safety Comes First

All visitors to the country must be mindful that the Philippines is a developing country. As such, being vigilant and taking safety measures is always important. As with any country, there are areas that visitors should not visit – those most commonly impacted by crime mainly in regional and provincial locations that are affected by crime.

You may see much in the press about the Philippines and security. But I can assure you, as a Filipino, the country is incredibly safe and accessible. Areas like Metro Manila are as safe as any first world city. It has all of the infrastructure and technology required to take your business to new heights. Although it is on a rapid path to being a more prosperous country, it is still developing.

Overall, the Philippines is an wonderful country that is as rich and diverse as its culture. Filipino hospitality and kindness are second to none, and you will feel immediately welcome even as a first time visitor. By knowing particular aspects of the country and certain cultural intricacies that are distinctly Filipino, you will gain a better understanding of who we are and what make us great to engage with!

If you’re ready to begin your offshoring strategy with a high performing team in the Philippines, Diversify can help you get started. Drop us a line today to see if you are ready to take on this new challenge.


Two months in Manila: A CEO’s journey

A bit of background…

I have visited the Philippines in the past, traversing Metro Manila and particularly Makati in a tourist like manner whilst visiting the Diversify office. This time, my visit was different with completely different goals. My previous visits were as a Diversify client where the purpose was to understand how the office worked and to forge relationships with my offshore team. How simple and easy it was back then; I saw the exceptional facilities, the happy staff and the positive culture Diversify had developed and then I went home satisfied in the knowledge that our offshoring journey was working. I now visit as the new CEO of Diversify with the objective of immersing myself into the business, its culture and the environment that the business operates in.

I am here for two months (the long haul), with the family in tow and a directive to determine and drive the best way forward for Diversify.

The pressures and weight of expectation are daunting yet exciting, and working as the CEO of a rapidly growing Australian business in an innovative and exciting industry is a challenge I am embracing. There are no rose coloured glasses this time and it is time to get down and dirty and to truly understand the good and bad aspects of our amazing business.

So what have I learnt so far? I have learnt that the Diversify office has 200 incredibly intelligent, friendly, loyal and genuine individuals with passion, energy and a strong work ethic. To this group of people, Diversify is not only a job; it is their second home, their extended family and their future. They genuinely care about the business and its success as much as we do and they are riding the wave of growth and development with us. The belief and pride that the Diversify family has means that our clients deal with happy, engaged and satisfied team members that will grow with them. Simply put, as our clients grow, we grow.

I must say that I was the ultimate cynic before I delved into this two-month odyssey.

When I spoke to our Managing Director Robert Hynes, I wondered whether it was all marketing fluff. The decision to work from our Makati office for an extended period time has completely changed my perspective and I now realize that what Rob was trying to explain to me is actually how it is…

Manila has a high-quality hospital system

I mentioned previously that I decided to bring my family along for this journey, comprising of my four-year-old daughter Mia and one-year-old son, Oliver. My trepidation and concern as to what may happen if they were hurt or fell sick were tested when they both fell ill within two days of arriving in Manila. We found ourselves at Makati Medical Centre (the main hospital in Makati) at 10pm on the first Tuesday of my visit and spent two days at the centre. What international trip wouldn’t be complete without a hospital stay? Any concerns that I did hold were dispelled as I learnt that Makati has an incredible hospital system with facilities comparable to what we have in Australia. The hospital was modern, the doctors were attentive and communicative and the facilities were comfortable and clean. When the children fell ill, I experienced firsthand just how genuine and caring the Diversify team is. I was in a new country, with sick children and a limited support network. The team rallied around me to make sure we had everything we needed and most importantly, that we did not feel isolated or alone.

Their empathy towards my situation was truly heart-warming and I felt like a real part of another family.

The food…

I have also learnt that nothing can beat the fresh food we have access to at home.

I hate to say it but food has been one of my biggest battles so far. Food here seems very ‘heavy’ and the most easily accessible options have a strong American influence.

As an example, I have yet to find somewhere that actually makes a ham and salad sandwich! Although my experience regarding food has not been the best, there are a range of beautiful restaurants and eating precincts in Makati that would rival any of our precincts at home, but the lack of easily accessible food is the thing I have found most challenging.

Traffic – it is congested, busy and stressful!

Finally, I have learnt that the best way to tackle this city is on foot! Do not waste your time (or if you are anything like me, anxiety) on battling the traffic here. I have never seen anything like it in any country I have traveled to. On a positive note, Makati was designed with pedestrians in mind, with plenty of under and over paths and shopping mall connections that allow you to navigate the city.

Key takeaways

So key takeaways for my first few weeks (for all of you considering a visit as part of your offshoring journey):

  • Filipinos are warm and welcoming and will go out of their way to make you feel at home.
  • Manila’s hospitals and healthcare system are of high quality.
  • Be prepared for a lack of fresh food and easily available meal options.
  • The traffic is horrendous! Make sure you consider an offshoring provider with a presence in Metro Manila so you can walk everywhere.