Predicted by global experts to grow by nine percent in 2018, the BPO industry in the Philippines continues to be a driver of the Metro Manila office market despite earlier apprehensions.
Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) recently confirmed that firms in the BPO industry continue to take up spaces in Metro Manila’s business districts. Consequently, competitive office developers have responded by offering properties that keenly serve the needs of locators.
“In this market, BPO locators have become more conscious of running more efficient operations,” said Miguel Manipol, associate director of LPC. LPC is the exclusive leasing agent of St. Francis Square offering over 11,600 sqm of office space in a visible and accessible Ortigas Center location.
In a BPO setup, the key to maximizing operating costs are buildings with large floor plates.
“It means you can comfortably fit more work stations in a floor. A big floor plate also means managers are equipped to oversee more people than if employees were spread out over several floors of a building with a smaller floor plate,” observed Manipol.
Mainly for this reason, the recently completed St. Francis Square is now being considered by a number of international BPO firms. The building, offering two floors with a floor plate of 4,332 sqm each, among the largest in the Ortigas area, recently received accreditation from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to extend locators tax incentives. It is also leasing out another floor with a floor plate of 2,882 sqm.
Located on Bank Drive corner corner Julia Vargas, St. Francis Square is within the same complex as the BSA Twin Towers Hotel.
In addition to offering retail in its ground and lower floors, the building is also just across SM Megamall and a short stroll from EDSA.
It is within a high energy location offering locators a range of dining and retail options and accessibility to transport hubs such as those in SM Megamall. Those location-related advantages have always been big attractions to BPO locators.
On top of this, a single large locator will have the opportunity to have their company’s branding on the building façade — an advantage few other buildings in the area can offer.
Still another benefit identified by potential St. Francis locators is that a firm that takes up all 11,648 sqm offered by the building with VRF air-conditioning and 100 percent backup power will not need to share the space with other BPO companies.
Manipol explained that employee poaching among BPO firms remains a constant threat with the industry predicted to keep annually growing by nine percent for the next five years and to create a total of seven million new jobs. Buildings offering firms a stand-alone location with visible branding opportunities are at a decided advantage.