On 10th year in PH, Convergys to open first M’dnao site

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With the unofficial title as the country?s largest private employer still under its belt, BPO firm Convergys is setting out to clinch a few more milestones as it marks its 10th anniversary this year.

The company, which initially set out to employ a maximum of 7,000 employees but is now approaching 36,000, is opening its first site in Mindanao this September. The new facility will initially hire 400 agents.

Top Convergys execs (from left) Marife Zamora, Andrea Ayers, and Ivic Mueco

Convergys, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, has 21 call center facilities in key cities nationwide, with Davao set to become the 22nd site. The Philippines is the largest geography for its global operations, with the bulk ? about 44 percent — of its 80,000 employees based in the country.

In fact, its expansion in the country is the main driver that is fuelling the company?s growth globally, according to Convergys CEO and president Andrea Ayers, who flew into the country to take part in the festivities marking a decade of existence for Convergys in the Philippines.

?We’ve been growing in double digits since we started here,? exclaimed Ayers in a press briefing with Marife Zamora, senior vice president and managing director for Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa (AP and EMEA) and Ivic Mueco, vice president and country manager for the Philippines.

Asked on what point the call centers would become obsolete, Ayers said she can?t see that happening in the near future. ?Call center won?t become obsolete. We just have to address the issues confronting the industry now,? she said.

Also at the press event, Zamora noted the top-quality work being done in the country as she related an incident in which Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent a commendation letter to one of its agents based in Cebu for providing exemplary service.

?Contrary to what critics say, the voice service being provided by Convergys is not low-level. It’s actually complicated and high-level,? added Mueco.

Mueco also revealed that the company?s attrition rate has also gone down to 50 percent, which is better than the industry average of 70 percent. ?We believe in diversity and equal opportunity. We don’t look at your lineage or age. We give chance to everybody,? she said.

To cultivate the local talent pool, she said the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), to which Convergys is a member, has partnered with the academe to develop a 21-unit minor course called the Service Management Program (SMP).

?CHED accredited this for offering in college last February, so it will be offered as part of the curriculum in college or in Grades 11-12 under the new K-12 Program. The program includes a 400-hour immersion in a BPO,? she said.

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