Slowdown won't affect Accenture Philippine expansion

IT consulting firm Accenture says it will continue to pursue plans to invest in and add new service delivery facilities in the Philippines.

PHILIPPINES--IT consulting firm Accenture will continue to expand its presence in the country despite the economic slowdown in the United States, with executives noting that the company's expansion plans will not be affected.

In a briefing earlier this month, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company announced it is in the process of branching out to other technology-related services and expanding its 15,000-employee headcount in the Philippines. Accenture's service offerings currently include global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing.

One area the company will focus on this year is global systems integration, according to Kevin Campbell, its group chief executive for outsourcing.

"The Philippines is Accenture's second largest delivery hub. We will continue to expand and invest in our Manila facility," Campbell said, adding that Accenture is virtually unaffected by the ongoing global economic slowdown.

He noted that Accenture will continue to deliver offshore services such as airline reservations, billing, and other outsourced services to its mostly overseas-based clients.

The consulting firm also began offering voice services last year, said Campbell, but added that bulk of its revenues still comes from software and technical services.

Beth Lui, Accenture's country managing director, said the company is looking at adding more facilities in the Philippines.

"We currently have eight facilities, and we are planning to add more," Lui said, but declined to give an exact timeline on the expansion roadmap.

"We do not see any slowdown in terms of our growth in the Philippines," she said.

The company executives, however, said staff attrition remains a challenge in Accenture's operations in the Philippines.

"The challenge for us is more on how to retain employees," Campbell said.

Lui added that to this end, Accenture has introduced worker-retention programs, particularly for its female employees who make up 50 percent of its 15,000 staff in the country.

For example, she said, one program Accenture introduced is a flexible working schedule for its female employees.

Joel D. Pinaroc is a freelance IT writer based in the Philippines.