Embarking on an offshore outsourcing exercise requires trust. Companies need to know that their offshoring partner is mature, professional, well managed and operates in complete compliance with local laws. They need to have programs and initiatives to attract top talent, and a culture that drives loyalty and retention.
How do you know if an offshore firm has these features? The best way is to understand their origins.
Yempo is a made-up word for “Your Employees Offshore”, and came about when 2 colleagues got together in a bar in Sydney, Australia for a casual catchup. Michelle Fiegehen is a former IT professional, who had an IT career in a range of large enterprises, culminating as an IT Director for a global investment bank. While there, she met Ian Parkin, who was managing a similar team supporting global infrastructure projects. In their respective careers at the bank, Michelle was posted to the Philippines in 2009 to build an IT engineering function, while Ian was despatched at the same time to Philadelphia, then New York, then Hong Kong. During that time, Ian was consuming the very services that Michelle was building in Manila and they collaborated regularly on service delivery matters.
Fast forward to 2014 and both Michelle and Ian had left the investment bank; Ian had returned to Sydney and Michelle had taken permanent residency in the Philippines. They caught up in a George Street bar and chatted about an opportunity to set up a different type of offshore outsourcing firm (locally: BPO – Business Process Outsourcing business). They recognised that most BPOs were established by talented entrepreneurs, and usually started as call centres.
Michelle and Ian had a different perspective. They did not want to run a call centre, and they recognized that their decades of experience working for large corporations gave them a unique insight into B2B organisations, especially those servicing the corporate sector. Their careers in large enterprises meant they understood the importance of a strong people focus, the hidden costs of attrition, and their technical backgrounds meant they knew how to attract and retain IT talent. And with decades of experience working for financial services enterprises, they also had valuable insight into the talent required for this industry. They decided to launch a professional services businesses focusing on IT, Finance & Accountancy offshore outsourcing.
Yempo was established in 2015 in a humble office in Cebu. Why Cebu? Michelle and Ian were concerned that the Manila market was flooded with service providers, and they wanted to tap into a different talent market. Michelle relocated to Cebu and a small, 30 seat office was rented and fitted out in Oakridge Business Park. But they underestimated the market interest in the company they were building, and before the paint had even dried in the Cebu office, they won the business of a prestigious firm that specifically wanted to be located near the Microsoft office in Makati, Manila. So in their first year of operation, they set up a second office in Manila.
In 2017, Yempo relocated to its beautiful flagship office in Oakridge business park. Word quickly spread about this new business, not a call centre, people focused, IT & Finance centric, and both the Manila and Cebu offices grew quickly. Up until the start of 2020, Yempo prided itself on its high quality offices, large desks, big staff pantries with free cooked rice, noodles, condiments and drinks. Offices in prime locations, well serviced by public transport and filled with natural light. Yempo’s core values are visible throughout the office.
At the start of the pandemic of 2020, Yempo was on the front foot; many BPOs have their employees share desks over a 24 hour shift and share IT equipment. Yempo has always provided dedicated desks and IT equipment, so it was easy to box up the IT kit and dispatch all employees to work from home. When Yempo identified that some staff, living close to the office for convenience but far from their support networks, were struggling, they were encouraged to return to their province. As long as they had strong internet and a quiet, distraction-free place to work, Yempo and its clients were supportive of them working from wherever suited them.
With the return to office based workers, Yempo is proud to offer whatever solution suits its clients and staff best. Clients that prefer office based staff can be accommodated in our offices. Clients who are ambivalent about location – as long as work outcomes are achieved, can access more competitive pricing, and happy staff, by allowing work from home.