Unlike India which has launched quite a number of successful global IT firms, mostly in the BPO (business process outsourcing) sector, the Philippines seems to be content in merely hosting multinational companies in the country.
A cursory glance at the composition of the largest tech firms in the country would reveal that the majority, if not all, of them are foreign-owned. Even in the field of outsourcing where the Philippines has made some inroads, the biggest names are still those from the United States, United Kingdom, and yes, India.
Sure, there are some Filipino-owned BPO firms which have expanded into foreign shores, but none of them have approximated the level of prominence or success the likes of India's Infosys, and even Satyam, have achieved--just the mention of these company names would earn recognition of their country of origin.
Sadly, that's not the case with the Philippines. While the country has somehow been able to market itself as a viable offshore destination, there are no homegrown icons to speak of that can serve as IT ambassadors for the country.
Of course, this is not to say that the Philippines is lacking in talent. It is precisely because of the world-class IT knowledge of Filipinos that multinational firms have come flocking to set up shop here. Perhaps, it is in the marketing aspect that we Pinoys have come up short.
Currently, I can only think of three locally-bred tech firms that have "known" overseas operations-–BayanTrade, G2iX, and Gurango Software Corp (GSC). BayanTrade, which labels itself as a KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) company, recently expanded its business to Indonesia. It also reported it has just been granted an international ISO certification.
Meanwhile, G2iX, an open source solutions developer, had just come back from its participation in the Hong Kong International ICT Expo where it offered its products to global companies. On the other hand, GSC, which has subsidiaries in Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Western Europe and North America, recently announced plans to formally establish a software academy that will initially offer an intensive three-month course to programmers.
Hopefully, the small steps these firms are taking will take them-–and the country, as well–-to the global stage.
Rigodon Update While the local IT sector awaits the effect of the surprise acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle, here are some personnel movements that have transpired recently:
-- Anthony Agustin, who used to handle the storage product line of Sun Microsystems Philippines, has jumped over to HP Philippines. He's handling the same task at HP since January.
-- Jerry Lacson, the marketing guy of Samsung Philippines for the last 12 years, is now with Dell Philippines.