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Exporting to the world, Pinoy-owned electronics firm makes sure local expertise and practices sustainability are showcased

A Filipino-owned electronics company serving clients worldwide has shown that Filipinos possess enough expertise in science and technology and can export quality technological products and services, contributing to the growth of the country’s economy while practicing sustainability.

With its Philippine factory situated at the Laguna Technopark in Biñan City, Laguna, the Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. (IMI) focuses on “delivering innovative and flexible electronics manufacturing services (EMSs) and power semiconductor assembly and test services for diversified markets.”

Mario Bernardo Santos, IMI Head of Philippine Operations

Mario Bernardo Santos, IMI Head of Philippine Operations

“That means providing manufacturing service, building products for different OEMs (original equipment manufacturers),” IMI Head of Philippine Operations Mario Bernardo Santos said. “So the services that we provide, the value that we provide to OEMs is that they can focus on their own product in terms of technology and design.”

Each IMI factory has its own innovation group called a “technology group.”

“The trend of that evolution of technology is then affected or influenced by the business that is developed in that factory,” Santos said. “So, obviously, in the Philippines, because of the business that we have [is] mostly in automotive, in which we have now is the power module, we have a 100-percent Filipino team dedicated or working on innovations related to those kind of products.”

IMI has also established its manufacturing plants and design and engineering centers in a handful of other countries, which specialize in other competencies catering to specific needs.

The firm, which is majority owned by the Ayala Corporation and was founded in 1980, sells electronics services to its clients.

“Because of the 100-percent export that we have, many visitors or companies are now becoming more aware of the skills or capabilities of Filipino engineers, so that they even want them to work for [them] abroad,” Santos said. “So in that sense, it gives confidence to the OEMs or multinationals to set up also in the Philippines.”

TECHNOLOGY LEADER

As a purely export-oriented business, IMI Philippines possesses a client base mostly outside of the country, and aims to support various manufacturing requirements of its target clients.

“We do, build the hardware, but we also provide the software that goes into that hardware,” Santos said. “When IMI was still a small company, our vision was to become a technology leader in the Philippines… In our case, we’re a Philippine company trying to set up outside of the Philippines, or globally, such that now, we have factories in China, in Mexico, in Bulgaria, and in Czech Republic, but a Philippine company at that.”

IMI Philippines Over-all Project Manager for Power Module Operations Alex Kot forecasted that IMI will be among the most special players from Asia that will be on par with the industry’s top players.

“A lot of our products [involve] collaboration with customers. So [these] include power modules and automotive products, the beginning is always the customer engagement,” Kot said. “And then we will work with the customers on their products and requirements, and help them identify areas where IMI can add value for them.”

Kot added that IMI is also looking for opportunities to help its customers work better, and is collaborating in making products better, more reliable, and more competitive in the market.

To maintain its competitiveness, the firm hires the best people in the industry, with its human resource team going to universities and introducing the company to students each year.

IMI aims to meet the growing demand for its customers, and is being more selective on which markets and market segments it will pursue.

“We have gone through different cycles of the business, but one thing that is constant is that we keep in mind to always have this strategic direction,” Santos said.

HELPING PROPEL THE COUNTRY’S GROWTH

IMI provides employment that helps further spur the country’s economic growth, and focuses on providing more value to its customers more than on slashing the costs of its services, Santos said.

The firm is catering to various markets, such as automotive electronics, industrial electronics, medical electronics, communications, and engineering services, and boasts of around 15,000 employees and workers worldwide, some 6,000 of whom are working in the Philippines alone.

“We don’t really compete with local companies, because we’re competing regionally,” Santos said.

IMI’s Philippine EMS operations posted $204.9 million in revenues in 2014, according to the firm’s annual report for that year.

VALUING SUSTAINABILITY, WELFARE

IMI Strategic Planning and Marketing Head Frederick Blancas said that the firm has conducted best practices thru embedding sustainability in its strategies and operations.

“We have an adopted community, we provided them sewing machines… Now, they’re sub-contracting for a garment factory, supplying to one of the biggest department stores in the Philippines,” he said.

Santos added that IMI is very mindful of the environment in all the equipment and materials it produces or uses, and is emphasizing work-life balance to its employees.

“We also have activities outside of the company to help other places or groups of people where

We can provide support,” Santos said. “It’s not just all profits, it’s also how to sustain, give back.”