IT outsourcing giant Accenture formally inaugurated on Friday, March 4, its latest site in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, making Northern Luzon the location of its third delivery center.
The company?s first two delivery centers are Metro Manila and Cebu, with the former hosting 18 facilities and the latter having four centers. The Ilocos facility is the 23rd overall for Accenture.
The launch, which was attended by top executives of Accenture as well as local officials, was held just one year after a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted in the sprawling business compound in San Nicolas, which sits next to Laoag City.
Accenture worked with the compound?s owner and developer, Venvi Group of Companies, in building the brand new facility. Like all of its locations in the country, Accenture is renting the facility for an unspecified number of years.
The center, which has been operating for at least a month, has a pioneering team of more than 200 employees, pushing Accenture?s headcount to 45,000 in the country.
The employees in the site are initially providing health administration BPO, finance, and accounting BPO services to the company?s global clients across Europe and North America.
Benedict Hernandez, service delivery operations lead at Accenture Philippines, said the San Nicolas hub can accommodate up to 800 to 1,000 employees.
This means that the company will have to expand the facility at least five times its current capacity if it intends to achieve its goal of scaling its headcount to 5,000 in the next few years, Hernandez said.
Hernandez said the company scoured and happily stumbled on Ilocos Norte after Manish Sharma, Accenture?s global delivery lead and senior managing director, urged him to look for a ?green field? location for Accenture?s expansion.
Hernandez , a pioneering BPO executive who has headed the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) and International Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), said what ultimately pushed Accenture to go north is the tremendous talent pool in the region.
?Based on our indicators, the performance of our employees here in Ilocos Norte for the last month was at par, if not better, than our teams in Metro Manila and Cebu,? he said, enthusiastically telling guests that Ilocos Norte is the local BPO industry?s ?best-kept secret?.
For their part, Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos and San Nicolas mayor Melanie Grace Valdez said Accenture?s arrival in Ilocos Norte will mitigate the effects of outward migration as this will allow the local population to gain employment within their locality.
On top of boosting employment in Ilocos, the company, through Accenture Corporate Citizenship, also emphasized its commitment to the province?s environment and education sectors.
Sharma and Hernandez led a tree planting ceremony near the Ilocos delivery center to symbolize the company?s pledge to preserve and protect the environment.
Meanwhile, in support of Accenture?s Skills to Succeed initiative, Accenture employees conducted a computer skills training program among select grade school students of Pasion Barangay Elementary School of San Nicolas to further enhance their knowledge and skills in basic computer applications.