#Asia We were sold on the potential of Philippine talent: PSG Global Solutions

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PSG Global Solutions, an offshore recruitment process outsourcing company, believes that the Philippines has yet to harness the full potential of its talented workforce; e27 investigates.

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Brian Cotter (left) and Vivek Padmanabhan (right) of PSG Global Solutions

It has been a recent popular belief that the Philippines has emerged as the hub for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. According to a 2015 LA Times article, the Philippines should be rightly named the “call-center capital of the world” as batches of fresh graduates flock to sign up for such jobs.

Two entrepreneurs, Vivek Padmanabhan and Brian Cotter, believe that while call centres may be crucial to the growth of the Philippine BPO industry, a subset of that industry called recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), has yet to be fully tapped by any Philippine-based company. This realisation led them to create their company, PSG Global Solutions (PSG). e27 sat down with the co-founders to talk about their story.

BPO, IPO then RPO

Padmanabhan and Cotter started off their partnership at eTelecare, a Philippine-based BPO company which was among the first in the country to develop a delivery location for handling sales, technical support, and customer service calls for the American market. Both Padmanabhan and Cotter met as senior executives who had a similar vision of building their own company in the Philippines, but first wanted real experience at scaling one.

Four years passed with eTelecare experiencing a massive amount of growth, with revenues to US$200M and an IPO on the NASDAQ. Padmanabhan and Cotter, confident that they had gained enough exposure to both the Philippine market and the BPO industry, created PSG Global Solutions as co-founders and co-presidents; the founder of eTelecare joined the two in helping build the new company.

“We were sold on the potential of Philippine talent,” Padmanabhan tells e27. “We knew that the Philippines could do something beyond call centres. There were close to a million people we could put to work meaningful jobs, and so there were a bunch of industries we had to explore for outsourcing opportunities.”

Also Read: How to outsource development for a startup on a budget

From February to October 2008, the co-founders explored various industries, starting with healthcare, media, legal processes, before finally settling on RPO. They saw the US staffing industry as a huge market with US$100B in revenue, yet heavily fragmented and with a lot of pricing pressure.

Knowing this, they found the US staffing industry favourable for an offshore platform like PSG. It was a clear opportunity for them to tackle the RPO market, coupled with their added experience in eTelecare running a successful recruiting department; now Padmanabhan and Cotter could take PSG to a broader marketplace in the US.

The company initially started with ten employees and ended 2015 with 900 RPO-trained employees.

RPO 101: A Brief Breakdown

As a subset of BPO, the process that gets outsourced in RPO is the recruitment. With traditional models, US companies naturally have their own internal recruitment departments who run through candidates’ applications and conduct hiring services.

With RPO in place, the only difference is that these recruitment departments are located offshore, – in PSG’s example, the Philippines – whose recruiters then use technology to continue connecting, screening, and selecting candidates based on the company’s given criteria. The candidates who pass this criteria are then sent to the companies for final checks, who then may choose to give the selected candidates a final interview or accept them.

For PSG, the company does provide different types of RPO services depending on their clients, as some may require PSG to provide a longer end-to-end recruitment service for their company than others who would want theirs shorter. That being said, PSG offers a standard contract to their clients who sign up for their services, but dissuade clients who need RPO services for project work.

The logic? “We want to be clear that signing up for our services is a fundamental business transformation in delivering people to their clients.” Padmanabhan explains. “This is a long-term commitment, so we encourage clients to think of us in those terms.”

Also Read: Squadzip seed funding marks first Plug and Play investment in Philippines

According to PSG, most of the clients who do sign up for PSG’s services are in fact large corporations. PSG prides its RPO services on strong internal HR practices alongside rigorous training and development of staff, resulting in materially lower than average absenteeism and attrition rates.

With a loyal client base among corporations and SMEs, PSG has continuously grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 40% for the past seven years and project that they plan to maintain that growth in the next years to come.

To Future Endeavors

Early December 2015, PSG was also selected as the Philippines’ second Endeavor Entrepreneur Company during Endeavor’s 62nd International Selection Panel held in Mexico City. Endeavor is a global nonprofit that supports high-impact entrepreneurs to create and sustain a robust ecosystem of entrepreneurship.

“Panelists were impressed by the duo’s ability to execute business strategy as they combined their US market experience and their knowledge of the Philippines BPO industry,” Manny Ayala, Managing Director of Endeavor Philippines said.

Both PSG co-founders went through a rigorous screening process with mentors and board members in the Philippines over the last six months. Having been successfully selected, PSG will be receiving global and local business mentors, professional services, strategic mentoring, and access to capital provided by the Endeavor network.

“Being selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs have given us the opportunity to interact with global mentors and entrepreneurs. This experience has pushed us to consider PSG’s potential in providing even more jobs and opportunities for the Philippines,” Cotter said.

The future looks bright for PSG, as both co-founders plan on strengthening its base in the Philippines by setting up a new subsidiary in the country while growing its sales and account offices in the US. PSG intends to also explore both the UK and Australia markets and see if there are business opportunities worth visiting in those countries.

The post We were sold on the potential of Philippine talent: PSG Global Solutions appeared first on e27.

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