Guest: Fred Chua
Presenter: Henry Acosta
Guest Bio: Fred Chua, an Electronics and Communication Engineering Graduate at the University of the Philippines, is the Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Solutions Outsourcing, Inc., 600-seat Call Center & BPO company that was established in 2005. He’s also the President of My3D Concepts Corp “3D2gO” which is the 1st End-to-End 3D Scanning, Prototyping and Printing Service provider for the mainstream consumer and corporate markets. As an advocate of local entrepreneurship in the country, he heads Philcall, which is the association of locally owned SME Call Centers in the Philippines, as its current President. Its advocacy is to help Filipino entrepreneurs succeed in the huge call center and BPO industry which can eventually create more job opportunities in the country, especially in the countryside.
Segment overview: Magellan Solutions Outsourcing, Inc. started in 2005, the company started very small with 14 people and now they are up to a 600 seat calls and operation. Majority of their clients are foreign owned companies, around 80% of are USA based. They also have some clients also in Europe and Australia and fairly very, very little domestic clients. According to Fred, in order for the Philippines to be competitive they have to continuously improve on their competencies, go up the food chain instead of just working on very basic entry level customer service, order taking. They should focus more on knowledge process outsourcing, process outsourcing, selfcare outsourcing, focus on the specialized industries.
Address: Order Taking Philippines 33rd Floor, Summit One Tower, 530 Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
- US 1-800-371-6224
- INTL 1-650-204-3191
- AU 1-800-247-724
To know more about Magellan Solutions Outsourcing, Inc., listen to the podcast below.
The interview will start at 1:45 mark of the podcast episode.
Henry Acosta: Hello and welcome to Outsourcing and Offshoring in the Philippines podcast. This is Henry Acosta, your host and today we have Fred Chua an Electronics and Communications Engineering graduate at the University of the Philippines, Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Solutions. He’s also the President of My3D Concepts Corporation which is the first end-to-end 3D scanning, protyping and printing service provider for the mainstream consumer and corporate market. Welcome to the show Fred.
Fred Chua: Well thank you for having me as well.
Henry: So can you give us a quick introduction about who you are and what you do for Magellan Solutions?
Fred: Okay, so Magellan, so when I worked in a call center before a long time ago back in early 2000 specifically Telecare as a Call Center Agent myself eventually I decided to setup my own Call Center, so gotten approval back in 2003 eventually got it up and running in operation in 2005 and I guess that’s how we started. We started very small, we started with like 14 people now we’re up to a 600 seat calls and operation and we’re doing okay. I think BPO industry is pretty good with us. There’s a huge potential, a huge market and I want to be, we’re in the right industry I guess.
Henry: That sounds awesome. What’s your history with the company?
Fred: So it was a company that I set up from scratch. Again we started with 14 agents, now we’re up to 600, majority of our clients are pretty much foreign owned companies, so around 80% of our clients are USA based. We do have some clients also in Europe and Australia that we cater to. We have fairly very, very little domestic clients, so most of our clients were really foreign clients. And what else, went through a lot of growth pains, we learned a lot over the years, we’ve been operating for the past 11 years now so right now I think we’re kind of like concentrated in that industry. We’re not as big as the likes of Convergys and the Teleperformance and the Teletech stuff, I think I’m on the … level, they’re pretty experienced already in this industry.
Henry: Awesome, that sounds good and what do you think makes the Philippines different compared to other countries to service offshore-outsourcing?
Fred: Well the Philippines is a very promising country I think and I actually did a presentation just yesterday with the Philippine-Australian Business Council and one of the things if you highlight it was that the Philippines really has a very big advantage right now especially on the communication aspect because we have a very close cultural affinity to the US, to the UK, even to Australia more so than in our main competitor which is India. That sets us apart from all the other countries right now, given our cultural affinity to them and it’s a huge potential but of course that’s only the initial stage of development. But I think for us, for the Philippines to be competitive they have to continuously improve on their competencies, go up the food chain instead of just working on very basic entry level customer service, order taking. They should focus more on knowledge process outsourcing, process outsourcing, selfcare outsourcing, focus on the specialized industries like…and that’s where I think the industry, the Philippine industry’s gonna be headed towards. We’re in the right mark, I think we’re growing in a year to year, the industry is growing year to year of 15 – 20% and I think it’s gonna be a steady pathway for the next 3 to 5-6 years. So there’s a huge potential right now.
Henry: I see and how’s your experience so far with the western clients?
Fred: Pretty good. I think the Americans, western, European clients, Australian clients, at the end of the day the most critical factor to understand is that they’re very straightforward. If Filipinos tend to beat around the bush before they want to say something, if we talk about Americans, we talk about British and Australians they’re very upfront, they’re very straightforward. And as long as you know how to deal with them, you know their culture, you deal with them fairly, justly and pretty much in black and white you will have a very good relationship with them.
Henry: I see and can you provide us an anecdote or a noteworthy experience you had with your company so far?
Fred: That’s a very good… For me I think being in this company, starting it up and growing it has been a very huge learning experience also for me. This has been my first company to start and it’s already a BPO company so I think, I’m proud of that and of course I did learn a lot from this industry, I’ve learned a lot to deal with people because BPOs and call centers are very people centered so you have to able to deal with different types of people, passive people, straightforward people, aggressive people and I think that has made me evolve throughout the years in how to manage them and how to relate with other people. So I think it’s a very, very good learning experience, it’s an evolution for me, it’s an evolution for the company and I’m pretty sure it’s also the same case for other companies in the BPO sector, they’ve learned a lot and I think you have to go through that learning period and that growing pains and once you’ve surpassed those growing pains and I think your company will go out a lot more solid, a lot more mature and a lot more developed I guess.
Henry: So with your experiences so far with regards to growing the company, can you say that the businesses of your clients have grown considerably well as well as your company?
Fred: Yes, I think we have grown, I don’t think we’ve grown enough. I think we’ve suffered all sorts in the past couple of years and hopefully we could grow later on…I think it’s a matter of getting the right people, employees, making sure that everything is in order, being on top of things and I think eventually once we get passed all the hurdles, our company is destined to grow.
Henry: I see and so can you give us the common misconceptions that you’ve tackled about outsourcing here in the Philippines?
Fred: Misconceptions, I think it’s not. There are two aspects both on the as a foreign client that wants to outsource to the Philippines, the critical factor is to understand the culture as well. If you don’t understand the culture, it’s gonna be very difficult to work sometimes you have some challenges in terms of outsourcing in the Philippines but you have to understand the culture. Filipinos tend to be more passive in terms of how they react so they’re not as straightforward but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not able to do the work or they’re not doing the work or they’re not focused on the work, it’s their general culture to be like that. So I think it’s just understanding the culture of the Filipinos in essence from there, you’d learn a lot. And once you understand it then you can outsource to the Philippines more effectively, choose the right company, again cost, usually another misconception is that it’s all about cost but it’s not. To a certain extent you have to be able to get the right partner for you, for a company, for a client and that entails making sure that you…everything in the open, making sure that you get all the KPIs and of course make sure that the metrics are aligned with the outsourcing company in the Philippines so that the expectations are…I think it just have to be like that to avoid any misconceptions because sometimes the cause for misconception is that there’s a bit of lack of transparency and you just have to be able to be open and share things and really better with your…in the Philippines to make it work.
Henry: Well that’s all the questions I have and thank you for your time Mr. Fred Chua.
Fred: Okay. Thank you as well for having me again.
Henry: Awesome and if you want to listen to our podcast you can subscribe to our SoundCloud, iTunes and TuneIn. If you want to read a copy of this podcast, go to talkers.fm.