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Australian investor plans MBA school venture

CEBU, Philippines – To help address Cebu’s problem on mid-management manpower shortage concerning the Business Process Outsourcing industry, an Australian investor is currently in talks with local businessmen for an International MBA school venture.

Michael Burdette, chairman and director-finance for Tech Growth Solutions Cebu Inc., said that he is currently negotiating for an International MBA School here to enable Cebu to produce that ample supply of managers and supervisors needed by the BPO sector.

Burdette added that he is willing to invest in a school facility that will also tap international MBA instructors in partnership with existing universities or colleges here.

“Cebu has huge potential for BPO investments, compared to other places in the Philippines, like Manila. Cebuanos are intelligent, hardworking, and your tech sector is good,” he said stressing that an MBA school will further boost Cebu’s edge as BPO investment magnet.

He added that his current investment here in Cebu, which provides backroom services for clients all over the world, is meant for long term, which is the reason why he is serious in working with local traders to fund or put up a world-class MBA school here.

For his company alone, he said Tech Growth Solutions is aiming to hire 2000 employees in the next few months, with a compensation package ranging from P10 thousand to P200 thousand a month.

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The friendly disposition of Cebuanos is one of the province’s greatest assets in terms of attracting BPO companies, including the strong support of local government units (LGUs), good infrastructure, and relatively good supply of entry-level manpower.

“We don’t have problem in hiring entry level people. But, just like other BPOs, we have difficulties in hiring supervisors, and managers,” Burdette said.

Tech Growth Solutions offers backroom outsourcing services such as bookkeeping, business planning, business strategy, telemarketing, among others.

Burdette spent about 1 million Australian dollars for its Cebu facility located at Cebu Asiatown IT Park, and is bent on spending more for the expansion of the company’s operation here.

He said, although Cebu is a very attractive site for BPO investment, there is something that the province should take into serious consideration, which is in putting more efforts in marketing Cebu as BPO destination all over the world.

Honestly, he said the international market does not know about Cebu. If the province will be promoted very well, there is a good chance that big BPO companies even those that have facilities in India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, will decide to transfer here.

“There is something you have to change. Start an aggressive promotion about Cebu. The international market doesn’t know Cebu. Optimize the online marketing tool, capture the huge BPO market, there are a lot of choices out there—India, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, and others,” Burdette said in an interview.

Currently, Tech Growth Solutions is providing outsourcing services to companies based in Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and others.

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