I have been involved in the Philippine Market, predominantly Manila, where I have operated in the technology space where I have been part of a team that grew a company in the Airline B2C market, EB2 International Limited. I also formed a company in Manila for ITRS Group Ltd who provide 8 of the 10 top worldwide Investment Banks with monitoring their entire IT infrastructure, see www.itrsgroup.com. My work with ITRS has encompassed the legal formation of the company, search and selection of office premises, PEZA Registration, recruitment of staff incorporating a General Manager, Admin staff C++ and Java Developers, and Quality Assurance personnel, setting up of bank accounts, engagement of Accountants, Lawyers, Builders and various suppliers of IT equipment.
Having been involved in two Hi-Tech start-ups in Manila my advice to anyone considering doing the same is to be very clear in your internal presentation as to the benefits as well as the challenges that you will encounter in starting the project.
I believe that there is a highly educated potential workforce for employers in my space and this has been reinforced by NYSE, HSBC, JPMorgan, Thomson Reuters and Wells Fargo establishing a large presence in metro Manila. There are also some very good universities such as De la Salle, Santo Tomas and Ateno de Manila. We have worked closely with the UKTI staff in the Embassy in Manila to establish a very successful intern programme over the past 12 months. Joining the chamber of Commerce was also a useful method for networking.
If I was to offer one piece of advice to anyone considering this route it is ‘PATIENCE’. You are about to work in a different country with a different culture and being sensitive to that will reap rewards in the long term. Also, you must understand that some of the benefits in respect of lower salaries must also be tempered with the time and energy that your company must engage in order to make your local company a success. Ignore this at your peril!
When selecting partners to help you in the process of legal, accounting and HR work be very clear in your offer documentation otherwise items that you have assumed are part of the quote will not be included.