5 BPM firms eye Felcris Centrale in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 5 Nov) – Five multinational business process management (BPM) companies are eyeing to locate at the newly-opened 10-storey BPO tower and mall component of the homegrown Felcris Centrale in Davao City next year.

Felcris Centrale, which opened last February, is a mixed-use development nestled in a 5.7-hectare area located along Quimpo Boulevard here.

In an interview at the opening of the 3rd Davao Investment Conference (iCON) at the SMX Convention Center at SM Lanang Premier, Felcris Hotels and Resorts president Clark Yap told reporters that they are now in the final stage of discussion with the prospective investors, some of them are newcomers to the country while others will expand operations to the city.

“We want to cater to the best brand. We can accommodate them but we are looking for well-managed companies and with history also,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be big but it has to have a good brand.”

If the push comes to shove, Yap said they will allocate seven to eight floors of the edifice to the BPM firms, with each having a maximum of 300 seats. Each floor measures a total of 1,354 square meters, he said.

The city has been classified as a premier destination for BPM companies, topping the list of next wave cities for information technology-BPM in the Philippines, only next to the established destinations Metro Manila and Cebu City.

During the Livelihood Exchange (Livex) 2015 on August 18 to 21 at the SMX Convention Center Davao, Information Communications Technology (ICT) Davao president Samuel Matunog said the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines estimated the city has 33,000 workers, surpassing the 30,000 target for the 2015.

Based on Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 11’s consolidated report on labor market JobsFit 2015, the city’s ICT industry’s most in-demand jobs are animator, back office processing/ accounting/ admin clerk, hardware technician, technical support, IT specialist, software developer, and customer service.

Among the hard-to-fill jobs include computer programmer/service developer, web developer in all platforms, web designer, graphics designer, animator, and technical support engineer.

Both the in-demand and hard-to-fill jobs require highly specialized skills or knowledge on hardware/ software servicing, according to JobsFit 2015.

The report also found out that applicants lack effective marketing skills and communications skills as one of the reasons why some of them find hard to land opportunities in the industry.

The Felcris Centrale is one of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza)-accredited developments in the city. Others are Matina IT Park, Lanang Business Park, Felcris IT Park, Pink Walters IT Building, Ambiente Teleservices, and HAI Global Services.

The Felcris Centrale was named the city’s top investor with P838.967 worth of investments in 2012, based on the records of the City Building Office (CBO), surpassing national player Accendo Commercial Corporation, a fully-owned subsidiary of one of the country’s biggest developers Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) with P489.496 million for its 26-storey high-rise condominium Alveo, located along JP Laurel Avenue.

Although Ivy Tharyn Omo, Felcris Hotels and Resorts Corp. sales marketing head, said that the firm shelled out some P1 billion at the completion of the 10-storey BPO and mall component of Felcris Centrale.

Yap added that the construction for the hotel and residential components of the Felcris Centrale will commence next year.

He added that they already have the design and they are just waiting for the funding to start the second and third phases of the mixed-use development.

The company’s residential component will be comprised of three 38-storey high-rise condominiums, which are going to be the last in the city so far.

The entire development costs around P10 billion, including the BPO tower and mall, according to Yap.

The Yap family also owns the Davao Central Warehouse Club, the Central Convenience Store chain, and the Chimes Specialty Store.