Amazed at local talent, Aussie tech firm expanding PH office

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Australian graphic design platform Canva has announced it is currently building its team of engineers for its Manila office and its executives are excited over this, having discovered a huge pool of talent in the Philippines.

Part of Canva’s Manila office

Head of people Zach Kitschke made this announcement during a media event in Canva’s Makati City office on March 8, 2018.

According to Kitschke, Canva Manila is growing very quickly with its staff now numbering to more than 90. These include Web developers, copywriters, designers, staff for marketing, finance, and support and one product engineer.

The company is now beefing up Manila’s engineering unit as they recruit software engineers for both front-end and back-end with experience in JavaScript.

“We also have various teams to work on infrastructure that use different languages,” said chief product officer Cameron Adams. “We have a whole range of skills that we’re going to look for.”

He added that the company has been around for six years and the code they have been writing from the start has become outdated. Hence, they need people to work on this as well.

At Canva, a product team is composed of one coordinator, one designer, and about four engineers. For the Manila office, they plan to hire as many engineers as they can, along with additional staff for Web development, design, support, and others.

“Originally we didn’t know a lot about the Philippines,” said Adams. “Meeting everyone and seeing the skills they have, it’s amazing to see particularly how well developed the web design scene is and we’re just now understanding how talented the engineers here are as well.”

“The talent, the enthusiasm, the energy – it’s all here in Manila,” Philippines country manager Kei San Pablo pointed out to underscore the company’s reasons for setting up shop in the country in 2014.

Canva head of people Zach Kitschke at the event briefing for media on March 8

Founded in 2012, Canva is a graphic design website and app which simplifies the design process. With its vast collection of illustrations, pictures, vectors, fonts, icons, shapes, and elements, Canva allows professional artists and non-professionals alike to create their own designs and graphics for presentations, websites, social media, marketing paraphernalia, packaging, school projects, and others.

As of the last month, the platform had more than 39 million designs, of which 1.8 million were created the day before the media event in Manila.

“The basic product is entirely free,” explained Adams. “We just have add-ons that you can purchase which can make your experience better. You can even share [your design] with other people for free. But we’ve created a bunch of functionality that helps you work within a team, so you can have shared folders, you can set up your own brand kits if you have a logo, typeface, colors, or templates that your company works from.”

Canva also features the drag and drop format, filters, and editing tools for greater convenience.

Comment on this post