MANILA, 5 JANUARY 2009 - Aiming to be a major player in business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT services by 2011, Headstrong plans to expand its global workforce to 10,000, 40 per cent (4,000) of which will be stationed in the Manila Global Delivery Center (MGDC).
"Having a steady 10 per cent growth, we believe that the Philippine center has significant expansion potential and we plan to continue investing in its development," said Arjun Malhotra, CEO and chairman of Headstrong. The Manila center plans to expand its service offerings to tap opportunities in the banking, financial services, and insurance sectors, where its client base has grown rapidly in recent years. The Manila expansion is expected to result in a 15 per cent contribution to Headstrong's global revenues.
"MGDC can fill global capability gaps for customers in areas like quality assurance and testing as well as more traditional BPO and IT services. We are also looking at the Philippines to support our centers of excellence for domain technology specialization on the Microsoft Windows platform; Calypso, a financial services software provider; and business intelligence tools," said Nora Terrado, general manager of MGDC.
Headstrong currently has a global workforce of 3,000 out of which 650 are based in Manila. The expansion to 10,000 workers is tied up with the company's plan to acquire companies from the BPO and IT industries to assemble a comprehensive process solutions line-up for its clients. "By acquiring companies in these industries, we are confident that we can significantly enhance and expand our current service offerings and attain our US$500 million revenue target for 2011," shared Malhotra.
To support the expansion of its workforce, MGDC is conducting boot camps for new graduates and professionals planning career shifts with the support of a government-funded train-for-work program. According to Nora Terrado, Headstrong Philippines general manager, the company is seeking people with strong technical skills as well as professionals with financial domain knowledge and experience to staff its financial services practice.
One strategy that Headstrong is also looking into is strengthening its academe linkages to get better trained and employable people. During his recent visit to the country, Malhotra met with several colleges and institutes to explore tie-up programs.
"We are now trying to deepen our relationship with them by interacting and linking them to their counterparts in India, so that we can have an exchange of best practices, even at an academic level. So, for example, students here can go there or professors in India can come here for a year or so," Malhotra explained.
According to Malhotra, aside from language proficiency in English, another edge that Filipinos have is their process-oriented mentality and stability in terms of tenure. "MGDC staff--especially females--tend to be more disciplined, hardworking and stay longer than the average tenure of 75 months; so we have those who have been with us for 14 to 16 years already."
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