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Amex BPO expansion banking on PH’s great talents

Bar graphIt’s not even six months after the start of its full local operations and American Express Co. (Amex), the latest US financial services giant to put up a business process outsourcing (BPO) headquarters in the Philippines, is already ramping up its investments and hiring more people.

Pradeep Kapur,  senior vice president and general manager,  Global Servicing Network of American Express, said they are “growing” their contact center operations at its Bonifacio Global City (BGC) facility which has a capacity for 1,700 employees.

The facility houses the company’s customer service and credit management teams servicing card members, merchants and enterprise partners in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

The New York-based Amex which has been in business in the Philippines since 1916, has had a “legacy that spans an entire century,” according to Kapur.

“In recent years, we have had great success working with local partners in the market, and are excited to grow our presence here at the Bonifacio facility. (Within) the first nine months of operations at the new center, we have already become an important part of the company’s global servicing network,” he said.

New location and capacity

KAPUR

KAPUR

The BGC facility is not Amex’s first location to service the BPO requirements of its customers, they were already in Plaza Moraga, UN Avenue and in Makati City. Therefore the current facility is its newest location.

Kapur said what’s keeping them more busy is attracting and developing “great talent” for their customers worldwide. “(We) are excited to expand our presence here at the Bonifacio facility. The strong culture of caring that exists in Manila lends itself to our ‘Relationship Care’ philosophy and deepening customer relationships in every interaction.”

For the moment, the BGC location which has 600 employees, is equipped enough for two shifts to provide global clients with services related to credit and fraud, said Kapur. “We are therefore confident that our operations here can handle additional services if we need to deploy them. We have the capacity to gradually build our presence here,” he added.

Kapur noted that the 600 workers they have and future hirings will be primarily front-line positions within Amex’s global service, fraud and credit operations, interacting directly with American Express card members.

“We have a number of open positions as we look to increase our capacity to service customers from this location. Our experience in Manila has been very good and we are confident that we will have a bright future here,” said Kapur.

 Hiring strategy

Kapur is quite passionate about extolling Amex as a company and employer. “As a company we go that extra mile, to on-board our new employees, by granting them access to their employee privileges and benefits from their first day of joining itself.”

Amex has several unique HR strategies, he said, and this is the Amex4You app, which is designed to familiarize and acquaint new joiners with Amex’s infrastructure, culture, and benefits.

“American Express is a company that believes in holistic health, and our global healthy living employee wellness program is designed to create a culture of a fulfilling lifestyle, whether through our health-conscious cafeteria or our onsite gym,” said Kapur.

“We strongly believe in cultivating healthy minds, and our senior leadership is approachable and takes an active interest in grooming and mentoring our professionals through regular coffee sessions, as well as play an active role in employee engagement by encouraging bottom-up ideation and feedback,” he added.

BPO outlook

The Philippines, as far as Amex’s “Relationship Care” philosophy stands, ranks very well in terms of their standards.

Kapur agrees with industry estimates of the BPO growth potential for years to come.

“The outsourcing industry is expected to grow its revenues to $25 billion and its workforce to 1.3 million this year,” said Kapur, citing data from Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines or IBPAP.

“The industry has grown to be the second largest source of dollar income for the Philippine economy (and the) booming industry and the strong culture of caring that exists in this market lends itself to our ‘Relationship Care’ philosophy and deepening customer relationships in every interaction,” remarked Kapur.