Posts Tagged ‘Asia’

Philippine-Based BPO Company Named Top Company to Work for in Asia

November 9th, 2015

SPi Global, the pioneering leader in the Philippine Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry was named as the Top Company to Work for in Asia at the recent Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability (ACES) Awards held in Singapore.outsourcing23

The ACES Awards is a two-year-old program organized by the MORS Group, which champions revolutionary leadership and sustainability in companies operating in the Asian region. SPi Global was cited for its people-centric approach, and for demonstrating the highest commitment towards employee empowerment and enrichment as seen through its umbrella program called E3 (Enhancing Employee Experience).

“To be selected as the Top Company to Work for in Asia, among great companies in the region, is truly an honor,” said Maulik Parekh, President and CEO, SPi Global. “This is a proud moment for our 22,000 employees, whose hard work and dedication continues to inspire success for the clients and communities we serve.”

The E3 program is anchored in SPi Global’s mission of “Enriching the Lives of Employees, through a Culture of Excellence.” The program was designed to help curb attrition and improve retention — a common challenge among BPO companies wanting a piece of the pie in a tough and highly competitive talents market.

One of the most noteworthy programs under E3 is aSPire University, which offers a targeted developmental training program to help employees take their careers to the next level. Another program is StepUp, which gives employees an opportunity to be an SPi Global ambassador — by joining the company’s annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Day and volunteering to make a difference in the lives of thousands of children in their respective host communities.

MORS Group underscored the impressive results of SPi Global’s people-centric initiative, having reduced the company’s annual attrition rate. In an industry where the average attrition is at 60% to 90%, SPi Global is at the top spot for keeping its attrition at 45%. The E3 initiative likewise ushered an overall employee satisfaction rating of 83% for SPi Global.

“This award will truly inspire us to keep investing in our people and continue fostering a culture that maximizes the potential of our employees,” Parekh said.


India still the top destination for outsourced jobs

September 17th, 2014

Asian countries, particularly those in South-east Asia, continue to be favoured picks among companies looking to contract out business processes offshore. India remains the top outsourcing destination, with its unrivalled advantages in scale and people skills, said the 2014 Global Services Location Index (GSLI) released by A.T. Kearney. China and Malaysia are second and third respectively.
The GSLI, which tracks offshoring patterns to low-cost developing countries and the rise of new locations, measures the underlying fundamentals of 51 countries based on metrics in three broad categories; these are financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, and business environment.

The GSLI, published since 2004, revealed that leading IT-services firms in India, to whom IT-related functions were outsourced, are expanding their traditional offerings to include research and development, product development and other niche services. The line between IT and business-process outsourcing there is blurring, as players offer bundles and specialized services to their clients and are developing skills in niche domains.

The GSLI identified another trend – that of multinationals reassessing their outsourcing strategies, after having aggressively outsourced back office operations in the mid-2000s; it has been noted that some firms are beginning to reclaim some of these functions and undertaking them in-house again. This is particularly so in IT, the strategic importance of which has vastly expanded in the past decade with the advance of digitization.


Asia IT pros need to improve admin account management

August 16th, 2013

More than one-third of Asia Pacific IT executives have no idea how long it takes to discover attacks of their privileged accounts, said security firm Cyber-Ark Software recently when releasing results of a survey.

Privileged accounts are powerful administrator accounts within the IT infrastructure, which includes default and hardcoded passwords and application accounts. These accounts often provide access to the enterprises’ core IT infrastructure or sensitive corporate data.

The study surveyed 989 IT executives across the world earlier this year, with 200 of them from the Asia Pacific region. While 25% of the regional IT leaders indicate they could detect attack on privileged accounts within hours or minutes, 37% stated they don’t know how long it’d take.

“These privileged accounts are often targets of the cyber attackers because of the information they could access,” said Cyber-Ark CEO Udi Mokady. “But if enterprises don’t monitor activities of these accounts, it’s not surprised that they don’t know when these accounts are being compromised.”

The study also indicates more than half (52%) of the Asia IT executives believe cyber attackers — including phishing and malware — is currently in the network or breached the network in the past year.

Integration creates vulnerability

Despite a high level of cyberattacks and the criticality of these privileged accounts, enterprises still share passwords among employees within the IT team. Mokady said that some enterprises even share the IT infrastructure administrator accounts information with their outsourcing providers. To enable integration across multiple databases and applications, password to access the database is often embedded into the code.

“This is often necessary and it’s part of the process,” Dan Dinnar, vice president sales Asia Pacific noted. “If passwords are changed, enterprises need to re-code the applications, so often these passwords remain unchanged for decades.”

Aiming to manage privilege accounts and monitor activities related to each of them, Cyber-Ark provides a management platform, which creates a personalized account for each person — both IT staff and outsourcing providers’ employees–to monitor their access and activities in using these privileged accounts.

He added that some outsourcing and cloud providers are also using their products to raise the security level and monitor capability for their customers. But in Asia, Mokady said most of the interest’s from enterprises.

He said organizations focused their security investment on the perimeter in the past few years, but awareness of internal attacks is raised again with the Snowden incident.

“More enterprises and organizations are realizing there could be a Snowden within their own company,” Mokady said. “That person could be accessing the enterprises most critical data one day, but using the administrator accounts for malicious activities on the other.”


Gildan Activewear looks to expand outsourcing business to companies fleeing Asia

May 3rd, 2013

Gildan Activewear hopes to become an outsourcing supplier of choice to major clothing branded companies worried about poor working conditions in Asia.

The apparel company said Thursday that its growing facilities in Honduras can lure companies that are looking to repatriate their production to the Western Hemisphere following a building collapse in Bangladesh last week that killed more than 400 and a recent fire.outsourcing19

“The last thing in the world they want is for their brands to be compromised or tainted by sourcing from suppliers that don’t have proper working conditions,” chief administrative and financial officer Laurence Sellyn said in an interview.

Gildan already supplies T-Shirts to brands such as Nike, Reebok and Addidas following its acquisition of Anvil and hopes to significantly expand that relationship and expand into other products it makes.

It is also talking to Under Armour, which last week said it was going to focus on suppliers that can provide fast service, in addition to low prices. Gildan is the company’s exclusive U.S. supplier of socks and hopes to add other products.

“We see that as a base for significant growth (and) potentially becoming a very material part of our business,” Sellyn said.

Virtually debt-free and producing lots of cash, Sellyn said Gildan doesn’t have to cut corners on safety and is able to make capital investments in good working conditions.

It is spending $15 million over the next two years on its plant in Honduras.

By owning its low-cost manufacturing facilities, Gildan has the advantage of being able to control labour practices, production quality and costs.

Although its wages in Honduras are low by Western standards, he said they exceed local norms.

Even as it seeks to expand this part of its business, Gildan said its very optimistic about the growth potential of its core businesses.

Gildan (TSX:GIL) earned “record results” for the second quarter of its 2013 financial year and upgraded its outlook for the year as a whole.

“We’re not counting any chicken but we’re feeling very confident and optimistic about all these opportunities that we have,” Sellyn added.

The clothing manufacturer which reports in U.S. dollars said Thursday it earned $72.3 million or 59 cents per share on a diluted basis for the period ended March 31, exceeding its earlier guidance of 54 to 57 cents per share.

Comparable earnings in the same 2012 quarter were $26.9 million or 22 cents per share.

Net sales rose 8.4 per cent to $503 million from $482.6 million in the 2012 period.

Gildan said the growth in earnings was due to significantly lower cotton costs together with higher sales volumes and a more favourable product mix for branded apparel.

That was partially offset by lower selling prices for printwear, higher manufacturing costs and a charge for the discontinuation of Anvil product lines. The company also cited higher selling, general and administrative expenses and higher income taxes.

In its outlook, net sales revenue for its 2013 financial year are now projected to be slightly in excess of $2.15 billion, while full-year adjusted earnings per share are expected to come in at between $2.65 and $2.70 — the upper end of its previous guidance range of $2.60-$2.70 per share.

Analyst Chase Bethel of Desjardins Capital Markets said the better-than-expected results were driven by strong gross margins, which reached nearly 29 per cent.

“We continue to believe that Gildan’s strong financial position accords the company the flexibility to aggressively pursue growth opportunities while also withstanding macroeconomic headwinds,” the analyst wrote in a report.

Gildan expects more than $100 million of new product lines destined for retailers during the remainder of the year will help its push to grow its branded apparel business, which had $700 million of sales last year.

“We believe we are at a major inflection point in Gildan’s history as we evolve from being the most successful trade brand into a consumer brand with the same brand positioning and competitor strength,” Sellyn told analysts during a conference call.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Gildan’s shares hit a new 52-week high at $42.52 before closed at $41.46, up 41 cents in Thursday trading.


Trans-Asia inks deals with 2 Ayala firms

April 19th, 2013

Phinma-led Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. has signed separate agreements with two units of the Ayala group.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, Trans-Asia said it had signed a power purchase agreement with power-generation firm South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp. and a contract for the sale of electricity with DirectPower Services Inc., a retail electricity supplier.outsourcing8

Under the first deal, Trans-Asia will purchase the electricity to be generated by South Luzon Thermal’s second 135-megawatt coal unit, which is expected to be completed by 2016. The agreement is valid for 13 years.

South Luzon Thermal is a partnership between Trans-Asia and the Ayala group’s AC Energy Holdings Inc.

In a separate disclosure, Trans-Asia said the deal with DirectPower involved the supply of 106.71 MW to the latter for 11 years. The contract will take effect on June 26, 2013, or at the start of the retail competition and open access regime.

DirectPower has a license to sell, broker or market electricity to qualified customers.

Based on its submission to the ERC, DirectPower plans to supply power mainly to Ayala-owned and managed malls, office buildings, business process outsourcing (BPO), hotels and affiliates across the country.


Outsourcing Hits Record High in Asia Pacific

February 1st, 2013

Information Services Group (ISG) (NASDAQ: III), a leading technology insights, market intelligence and advisory services company, today released data showing that the value of the outsourcing market in the Asia Pacific region surged to its highest level on record in 2012.

The Asia Pacific TPI Index, which measures commercial outsourcing contracts valued at $5 million or more, recorded annual contract value (ACV) during 2012 of $3.1 billion, a 55 percent increase over the previous year. The steep rise was driven by new scope awards, which accounted for 88 percent of the contracts awarded, as well as record performances by emerging markets and business process outsourcing (BPO).

The number of outsourcing contracts awarded in the region also climbed, rising 6 percent year-over-year to 134. Asia Pacific was the only region of the world in which either ACV or contract counts increased during 2012.

‘Asia Pacific’s robust 2012 performance contrasted sharply with the wider global picture in which Europe struggled and the Americas remained flat,’ said Sid Pai, Partner & President, ISG Asia Pacific. ‘Moreover, in contrast to peaks and troughs recorded in the other regions, the number of contract awards here has followed a pattern of consistent growth.’

The TPI Index, presented by ISG, provides a quarterly snapshot of the sourcing industry for clients, service providers, analysts and the media. For more than a decade, it has been the industry’s authoritative source for marketplace intelligence related to outsourcing transaction structures and terms, industry adoption, geographic prevalence and service provider metrics.

By scope, business process outsourcing (BPO) had its best year ever in 2012. The $1.4 billion of ACV in the segment represented a 133 percent rise over 2011, led by contracts for Contact Center and Industry-Specific BPO. The total number of BPO contracts awarded in Asia Pacific has doubled since 2007.

IT outsourcing (ITO) accounted for $1.7 billion of the region’s ACV, a rise of 21 percent year-on-year. The number of contracts awarded rose 16 percent to 87, the highest count for ITO in Asia Pacific since 2009.

By country, the emerging markets in Asia Pacific also experienced record activity in 2012. India and South Asia increased their ACV 175 percent to $1.5 billion, China’s ACV more than tripled year-over-year to $400 million, and the ASEAN countries more than doubled their ACV to $220 million.

In fact, every country registered growth in 2012 except Australia/New Zealand (ANZ). The region’s most mature market saw ACV drop 40 percent to $690 million for the year, enabling India and South Asia to surpass it as the largest market in Asia Pacific.

‘Within Asia Pacific, we see some mixed signals that make it difficult to predict market performance in the next half year,’ Pai said. ‘The rise in BPO activity in the region has been remarkable, as has the growth in the emerging markets. However, economic factors affecting the rest of the world are beginning to be felt in the region – especially in Australia and India – so it remains to be seen whether 2013 can sustain 2012’s robust levels.’


Cold chain outsourcing growth anticipated in Asia, Latin America

December 6th, 2012

As the pharmaceutical industry seeks to outsource non-core activities, it creates a great opportunity for innovative solution providers to go beyond basic freight management.

“Outsourcing has been called ‘one of the greatest organizational and industry structure shifts of the century,’ with special influence in the pharma industry, where pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are outsourcing at almost every stage of the value chain,” said Pharma IQ columnist Cristina Falcão.Air shipment iStock_000014291528XSmall

In her column, “Pharmaceutical Outsourcing, Where Do You Draw The Line?” she highlights the merits outsourcing in pharmaceutical logistics and distribution. “Outsourcing supply chain operations to a third-party logistics [3PL] provider allows pharmaceutical companies to retain competitive advantage and overcome the counterfeiting issue. The outsourced partner must have cold chain management specialists, securing biotech and pharmaceutical companies’ strict regulatory compliance and product control, and concur to supply chain visibility and control,” she said.

In a recent interview, Cold Chain IQ asked Carlos Castro, transportation/cold chain project manager at Bayer Healthcare where he expected to see the most growth in the temperature-controlled freight forwarding market in the next five to 10 years.

He said, “From my experience, I think the biggest growth I’ve seen is Asia Pacific, as well as Latin America. There’s been some growth in the Middle East and I believe North Africa will also have a great increase, but I suspect that the biggest increase will continue to be in Asia Pacific and Latin America, if you look at the so-called BRIC countries we’re talking about—Asia Pacific, Latin America, and then some of Eastern Europe.”

Castro recently commented on the increased movement of freight forwarders into emerging regions. He said: “As companies are moving to emerging countries, so are freight forwarders. Freight forwarders and carriers are quickly developing expertise to remain competitive because most companies prefer to deal with one to two freight forwarders to handle distribution to all countries.”

Due to increased regulatory scrutiny, it can be difficult to find the right outsourcing partner in emerging markets, as they must also comply with new regulations and ensure supply chain integrity and visibility.


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