- Category: Regions
05 Sep 2012
- Written by Efleda P. Campos / Regions Editor
GREEN buildings will be the standard when Aegis Philippines erects structures to house its growing number of offices nationwide.
This is because the company believes in its responsibility to help sustain the earth’s resources and provide a healthy work environment to its employees, said Rajiv Ahuja, president of Aegis Philippines. Ahuja is also in charge of the company’s operations in the Asean, Australian and New Zealand regions.
Simultaneous with the construction of offices friendly to the environment is the company’s plan to expand its current operations in the Philippines. It is studying the possibility of locating new offices in two to three other cities to complement its current sites in Metro Manila, Cebu and Baguio, he said.
Ahuja said the company continues to see the Philippines as a growth market in Asia as they are impressed with the country’s talent pool—which he calls among the top 3 in Asia. He cites the flexibility of the company’s local employees to adjust to the need of the times.
“Whereas before, call-center agents had to learn to speak English the American way to meet the voice-support needs of Aegis’s US clients, our Filipino employees now simply need to neutralize their accent to service our clients from other countries,” he said.
Ahuja lauds the infrastructure and other support provided by the government to the local business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
He acknowledges there are areas still lacking. For instance, he agrees with an industry assessment that in the very near future, as close as 2013, industry demand will outstrip the hirable number of Filipino call-center agents.
At present, of 100 applicants, only eight are ready to meet the requirements of the job, he said.
He said the government, through the Department of Education, is on the right track for instituting the K+12 program. More years on learning functional English are needed to produce world-quality call-center agents in the Philippines, he said. He also suggested that more at-work training be provided to better prepare Filipinos for the workplace.
Ahuja said Aegis is not discounting the possibility of starting operations in other areas in the region with the continued boom of the company’s operations.
At present, Aegis has 14,000 employees in the Philippines: 7,500 in the National Capital Region; 5,800 in Cebu City; and 700 in Baguio City. It is among the largest private employers in the country.
Aegis builts the first green building in Cebu last year, the 12-story Aegis Tower Cebu, which it inaugurated in October 2011. Before it could lay claim to the building’s green label, the company had to adhere to international safety and environmental-friendly standards, from materials and design to how to dispose of unused resources the environmentally correct way. The tower cost the company P2 billion and can accommodate 8,000 employees.
Ahuja said the company is very desirous to build a green building to house its main Philippine operations in Makati City, but the cost of real estate in the area is prohibitive.
He sees the BPO industry continuing to grow at its present pace of 15 percent yearly, with no signs of slowing down.
Ahuja said most of the company’s senior executives in the Philippines are Filipinos, underscoring the company’s belief of growing organically, from within.
“We also take pride in our being an equal opportunity employer,” he said. “We do not discriminate. As long as you are hirable, we will employ you regardless of your age, religion, physical disability.”
Headquartered in India, Aegis began operations in 2008 in the Philippines when it merged with PeopleSupport, a pioneering Philippine BPO company. It had 6,500 employees at that time.
Aegis, the international company, was founded almost 30 years ago in the US, and today is among the very few BPO companies in the world that can boast of revenues in excess of $1 billion. It is a global business-services and experience-management company committed to impacting clients’ business outcomes by focusing on end-user brand experience across all touch points and channels.
With a commercial presence in 13 countries, 55 locations, and with more than 55,000 employees, Aegis manages over a billion customer interactions every year for over 300 clients across verticals such as banking, financial services, insurance, telecom, health care, travel and hospitality, consumer goods, retail, and technology.
Aegis manages, enables, extends, and enhances business experiences for its clients and their customers across consulting, technology, outsourcing, and training and education. Aegis is wholly owned by the Essar Group, a $27-billion global conglomerate operating across diverse sectors through firms such as Essar Steel, Essar Oil, Essar Power, Essar Shipping and Essar Communications.
Aegis has been recently named the 14th-largest BPO company in the world.