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Business Agenda

Nestlé to help grow cassava industry

Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé and its Philippine subsidiary has helped coffee growers as part of its Nescafe “shared value” creation efforts. With its P2-billion Milo malt plant now rising at its Batangas facility, it will do the same thing with the country’s cassava farmers. Cassava, along with barley, is the raw material for protomalt extract, the key ingredient in Milo. Nestle Philippines chairman and CEO Jacques Reber in a recent press briefing revealed plans of actively looking at using cassava sourced from local farmers to create shared value. It’s a “move that is expected to help improve livelihood, further boost agriculture, and uplift the cassava industry” in the country. Reber said the company has already began the prequalifying process of cassava farmers in Mindanao and that he “hopes that more farmers …

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IT-BPO exports’ growth is sustainable – BSP

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in its most recent Survey of Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) Services said that in 2013, earnings from exports of services went up by 13.4 percent to $14.2 billion from $12.5 billion in 2012. The BSP noted higher export-to-revenue ratios in some segments such as  software development which went up from 91.7 percent to 93.9 percent and “other BPOs” (backroom operations, data processing, database activities among others) from 93.6 percent to 96.9 percent on a year-on-year basis. However, the other sub-sectors recorded decreases in export-to-revenue ratios, indicating increases in the share of services provided to domestic clients, explained the BSP. The industry’s export receipts comprised 92.6 percent of its total revenues of $15.3 billion during the period, slightly lower compared to 2012’s 93 percent. Of this total, …

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IT-BPM attrition rate dramatically improves

Attrition rate in the IT-BPM industry has dramatically improved for the first time to an average of 50 percent from a high of 70 percent. This improvement could be attributed to various factors from continuous education, training, salary, government intervention, and a discovery that, indeed, there is a career path for young people in this industry. People are what make this industry great, in the same manner that it is its biggest challenge. In a labor-intensive industry, Benedict Hernandez, president of Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), said continuous education is a must to upscale, upskill, and build capabilities. This improved attrition rate may also be traced to the improved skills of the industry and workers. From mere data entry and directory assistance tasks, the IT-BPM industry has moved up to the mid-level …

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How the Philippine ambassador in Mexico educated my daughter

My family’s recent visit to Mexico City was incidental, one that took many twists and turns. It has, nonetheless, proved to be providential. See, my wife and I have one year left to enjoy the company of our only daughter before she studies college abroad. Yes, we will be empty nesters soon. While we are excited that our little girl will soon spread her wings, we also dread the thought of not having her around us anymore. That’s life. We have to learn to let go and let her find her place in the world. As for us, we must learn how it is to live as a single couple all over again. We are fortunate that our kid has the smarts. She is in the International Baccalaureate program and doing quite …

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Amex BPO expansion banking on PH’s great talents

It’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 …

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Understanding the Mexico of today

Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the relationship of the Philippines and Mexico was akin to our relationship with ASEAN today. We served as each other’s strongest political allies and were the closest of trading partners. Culturally, we shared intimate relations, each infusing customs and traditions relating to religion, social behavior, and yes even inter-marrying one another. For 400 years, we helped each other make the most of the Spanish occupation, despite its many drawbacks. When the clamor for independence came, we helped each other in our revolutionary efforts. We were kindred nations, so intimately intertwined in a multitude of ways. But like siblings seeking their own destinies, we have both gone our separate ways. After quashing the Spanish sovereign stronghold, Mexico went on to wage a territorial war with America, a …

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Entrepreneur rides on K to 12 program

Entrepreneurs Camilo and Rina Fernandez, owner of Creative Science Exhibit, Inc. (CSEI), has proven to be a name to beat when it comes to educational theme park concepts in the country. From the previous 2 Seriland and Creative Thinker, CSEI has now Raya Park and Elite Techno Park, the first technology park in the country. Hatched two long years ago, these parks are anchored on the implementation of the K to 12 educational program of the Department of Education (DepEd). The two parks, each housed in separate buildings, are located at the Liwasang Darangen in the CCP Complex. Raya Park is designed for kids while the Elite Techno Park is for the senior high school and college students. Rina, vice president and general manager of CSEI, explained that the two interactive parks are …

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Salary is biggest factor for jobseekers in PH

Salary figured as the most significant factor among jobseekers as they also chose to apply in companies known for their generous salary packages than their industry peers, survey results showed. According to the latest report by online job portal JobStreet.com, jobseekers have shifted their preferences to basic salary, perks and benefits, and training and development programs. In the 2015 report, benefits and incentives topped as the most important factor to jobseekers. In terms of preferred employers, the report showed that the top three most desirable firms are food and beverage giant San Miguel Corporation (SMC), and nutrition and wellness multinational Nestlé Philippines, and business process outsourcing leader Accenture in the Philippines maintain their lead. Two Henry Sy-led companies, BDO Unibank and SM Investments Corp. maintained their strong presence in the top 10 since …

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Online shopping invades areas outside M. Manila

Online shopping is fast becoming a part of the Filipino lifestyle, invading the provincial areas which now account for 60 percent of the total sales of Zalora, the country's largest online fashion store. As such, the company now plans to open new pop-up stores in major cities Cebu and Davao and expansion of its warehouse facility to sustain this momentum. Paulo Campos, Zalora Philippines co-founder and CEO, revealed the company’s plans at the launch of its second pop-up store in Bonifacio Hi-Street in BGC recently. The first Zalora pop up store located in  Shangri-La Mall Edsa was so successful that its run was extended to six months from only 3 months last year. POP-UP  "Since 60 percent of our sales come from the provinces we may open pop-up stores in Cebu and …

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Young entrepreneurs revolutionize eyewear fashion

Eyewear, whether shades or prescription glasses, has become part of fashion fueling a thriving domestic industry. Sunnies Studios is the latest entrant in the market. The group is composed of five young entrepreneurs, who are actually already engaged in the fashion scene and capitalize their unique advantage. Entrepreneurs Eric and Bea Dee, Martine Cajucom and Georgina Wilson is not just making news locally with its aggressive positioning and competitive pricing. The group has been in the sunnies or the shades and sunglasses business, but it recently expanded into the prescription glasses. Sunnies Specs is its optical line division. “While Sunnies is more of the adventurous kind of sunglasses, we’ve considered, due to increasing demand and queries, to broaden the brand to optical lenses. This led us to more researches and studies on the …

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