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‘Beyond Gadgets and Selfies,’ and then some

/ 04:43 AM December 12, 2015

THE IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (Ibpap) and the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) held a careers and OJT Fair last Nov. 24 at the SM Megatrade Hall.

Cathy Ileto of Sutherland, Robert Policarpio and Gigi Alcasid of PMAP, and Jomari Mercado and Penny Bongato of Ibpap arrived early to welcome several hundred students from state-funded higher education institutions (HEIs) like the Laguna State Polytechnic University, Cavite State University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Batangas State University.

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I also saw students from private HEIs like the Far Eastern University, University of Makati,

De La Salle College of St. Benilde, College of

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St. Catherine QC, Central Colleges of the Philippines, Lyceum of the Philippines Laguna, and University of Batangas. I’m sure there were students from other schools as well.

Twenty-four companies—15 of them from the IT BPM (business process management) industry—had set up information booths to give the students a better idea of what it’s like to work in a modern, tech-driven workplace and to answer their inquiries on internship and on-the-job training arrangements.

Titled “Beyond Gadgets & Selfies,” the career and OJT fair was part of a series of culminating activities organized by Ibpap as the Commission on Higher Education’s Service Management Program implementation partner for the IT BPM Growth Area Project involving 17 state universities and colleges nationwide.

Students milled around in small groups to talk with representatives of big-name global companies and a number of mid-size high-performing ones. Later in the day, entertainer Ogie Alcasid took to the stage to inspire the students with his songs and words of encouragement.

Many parents still associate BPO (business process outsourcing) firms with bleary-eyed call center agents responding to inane phone calls and working menial, dead-end jobs. The truth is, the work ethic, communication abilities and technical skill of a typical IT BPM industry professional are world-class, even at the entry level.

The rapid advances in the information and communications technology now enable globally positioned companies to seek out and hire the best talent wherever they can find it, and Philippines schools have been showing tremendous, but largely untapped, potential.

At this writing, hiring figures among IT BPM companies hover between 7 and 10 percent. The healthcare and shared services subsectors (graduates with medical backgrounds for the former, finance and accounting majors for the latter) are expected to grow significantly within months.

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Here’s an idea of the nature and size of the IT BPM companies that are here today.

Accenture does management consulting, technology services and process outsourcing for clients in 120 countries. Startek has extensive experience in managing business processes, including customer care, technical support, fulfillment and full cycle order management.

SPI Global has 19,000 employees worldwide delivering a wide range of solutions in customer relationship management, content and healthcare.

Cognizant had 75 delivery centers worldwide and some 187,400 employees as of June 30, 2014.

Sitel has 60,000 associates providing customer interaction outsourcing solutions to more than 140 domestic, nearshore and offshore call centers in 26 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and the Asia-Pacific.

Genpact has around 65,000 employees worldwide managing finance and accounting, banking and insurance, procurement and supply chain, collections and customer service, enterprise application services, and IT infrastructure in more than 30 languages from a network of over 70 operations centers in 25 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific. It has generated a total of $22 billion business impact for over 700 enterprises globally.

Sutherland Global Services is one of the world’s largest independent BPO companies employing over 30,000 professionals in more than 40 operation centers and business operations in Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Philippines.

The United Health Group (UHG) is the most diversified healthcare firm in the United States, with core capabilities in clinical care resources, and IT. UHG Philippines is just one of a number of Health Information Management companies looking to hire more graduates with nursing or medical backgrounds for an anticipated surge in medical coding demand due to the shift to International Classification of Diseases Version 10 last October.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with the big players is Pointwest Technologies Corp., voted Best Mid-sized Locally Owned BPO Company of the year in the 2008 International ICT Awards and Most Progressive Homegrown IT Service Company in the 2008 e-Services Awards. Pointwest is a software and applications development company for clients in transportation, healthcare, banking, retail, utilities and broadcasting.

The other Ibpap members who joined the event were Ibex, VXI, HP, Ingram Micro, Thomson Reuters, Johnson and Johnson, and Startek.

A similar event was held at the SM Iloilo Convention Center last Dec. 10 with Startek, SPI Global, WNS and Teletech playing host to a hall packed with hundreds of students, and a number of faculty for good measure.

Ibpap’s partner event organizer for both activities were Grande Evenement (Event Organizers) and the BPO Career Hub.

Butch Hernandez ([email protected]) is the executive director of the Eggie Apostol Foundation and education lead for talent development at Ibpap.

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TAGS: Business Process Association of the Philippines, IBPAP, People Management Association of the Philippines, PMAP
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