Guest: Victor Viana
Presenter: Henry Acosta
Guest Bio: Victor Viana is the Country Sales and Marketing Director at Triple i Consulting. Having lived across several countries in different continents such as Netherlands, Indonesia, Singapore and now the Philippines, Victor’s background in business and experience in Southeast Asian markets allowed him to succesful assist over 100 hundred companies to enter and grow in the Philippine market.
Philippines is a market with a huge potential but not the easiest to enter. Victor has very much enjoyed the continuous learning associated with his job. It’s a real privilege to be able to dive into so many different industries.
Segment overview: We are joined by Victor Viana of Triple i Consulting. Victor oversees all the communication and relationship between Triple i and its customers across different industries. Among the services they provide are business registration, accounting, tax consulting, environmental consulting as well. Triple i Consulting Inc. is focused in its primary consulting services in three areas: Incorporation, to assist clients with the company formation process in the Philippines and deciding the appropriate corporate entity. Immigration, to help clients choose the best visa for their needs and process applications with the Bureau of Immigration. Investment, to research areas of interest and consult on preferred investment. They aim to help investors quickly mobilize their investment within the country.
Address: Sagittarius, Dela Costa Street, Makati, Metro Manila
Contact Number: LOCAL +63 (02) 5519012
To know more about Triple i Consulting, listen to the podcast below.
The interview will start that the 1:55 mark of the podcast.
Henry Acosta: Hi, it’s Henry Acosta I’ll be your host for today. Welcome to the Outsourcing and Offshoring in the Philippines Podcast. Today we have Victor Vianna, he’s the sales and marketing director of Triple i Consulting here in the Philippines. Triple i Consulting offers a lot of business services including accounting outsourcing, corporate compliance, call center office set-up and management consulting. Victor has lived around the world in countries such as Netherlands, Indonesia, Singapore and now the Philippines. He has a diverse background and a lot of experience in South East Asian markets that allowed him to successfully assist over a hundred companies enter and grow in the Philippine market. Hi Victor welcome and a pleasure to have you on the show.
Victor Vianna: Hi Henry good afternoon, the pleasure is mine.
Henry: And for our first question to start off the interview, can you give us a quick introduction about who you are and what exactly do you do for Triple i Consulting?
Victor: Yes, as you’ve mentioned my name is Victor, I’m originally from Portugal and I have been living in the Philippines for the last 4 years. My first experience outside Portugal where I was originally from was in Indonesia where I worked for 2 years in Jakarta and working in diplomacy. I was working at the embassy of Portugal as the economic counselor and after Indonesia I moved to Netherlands where I worked in the logistics sector and then I came back to Singapore where I helped e-commerce start-ups and then I was invited to join Triple i back in 2012 which I did and it has been proven to be a great decision from my side. Triple I as you’ve said I’m the sales and marketing director and so I oversee all the communication and relationship between Triple i and its customers across different industries. You covered some of the services that we provide such as business registration, accounting, tax consulting, environmental consulting as well. Aside from overseeing the communication and relationship between Triple i and its clients we make sure that the Philippines is promoted out there and we serve as a partner for several chambers of commerce and governmental bodies that aimed to promote the Philippines outside as a country where companies should come and set up and to have their business grown in the Philippines.
Henry: What gave you the inspiration of moving here to the Philippines and working here with Triple i Consulting?
Victor: Well what attracted me to Philippines was aside from being one of the fastest growing economies in Asia was the fact that there’s so much potential in this country in so many ways and so many things still have to be done that’s for me that was very challenging I know some of the difficulties and challenges that companies from Europe or the United States or other regions face when coming to such a different area of the globe and then being part of an organization that helps these companies overcoming these challenges that they have and these hurdles that they face it’s very challenging for me and it’s a great opportunity to promote the Philippines to help companies to understand the local market and opening the door to a different country, it’s great. I mean helping so many companies to expand their business to such a different country and making them understand how the country works and the specifics of a particular culture and industry for me it’s very challenging and rewarding as well seeing how many businesses have grown starting from zero and now we see companies of ours generating millions of dollars and having hundreds of employees in their organization is obviously very rewarding for us.
Henry: What makes the Philippines different compared to other countries that service outsourcing and what are the main benefits of doing it here?
Victor: Definitely the language right? Language in the fact that English is a language that most part of the Filipinos speak brings to the Philippines a great edge over other countries. When you compare it to countries that has similar economies such as Indonesia or Vietnam, countries that are in the same level in terms of or at least similar in terms of like GDP per capita, like countries that are not that mature, developing countries. It’s definitely a great edge that Philippines has is the fact that everyone’s speaks English and aside from that you don’t have the sort of cultural shocks that you have in other countries. Everyone speaks I mean due to its history, the Philippines as we know was initially a colony from Spain then after American and so people have this similar culture and…western companies have, people are shown to be extremely friendly, hardworking, very willing to learn and develop and grow with a know how that companies bring to the Philippines and we see there’s also many Filipino companies that are right now becoming very competitive not only locally but also outside the Philippines in several industries. So yeah aside from English I would say that the fact that the cultural impact is much lower when compared to other countries and makes the Philippines a great interest to the Asian…for several companies.
Henry: So when you first moved here, were there any cultural barriers that you faced during your transition period here in the Philippines?
Victor: Well there are some. There’s always some cultural challenges no matter where you go to. I am from Portugal…which is the only country that we have a border. There will still be some cultural challenges that you’ll always face in Asia of course even more from someone coming from Europe. And in the Philippines there are definitely less cultural barriers when compared to some of its neighbors but there is some. I guess one of the issues that as Europeans mostly struggle with is the aversion to say “No” right? There is a certain lack of aversion to the word “No.” People avoid confrontation and people are always like to have a sort of like a harmonious relationship which sometimes makes it hard because coming from Europe we tend to be more straightforward but in the Philippines we have people who are very friendly and they’re sometimes shy so they rather have this sort of attitude where they would tend to always say “Yes” even if they might think the opposite or have a different opinion than you. They hesitate in showing their opinion which is something that you learn how to overcome by creating a sort of environment where you have to show that you are open to criticism and you create this sort of atmosphere where all sort of ideas kind of bubble up and everyone is open minded and they have to feel free to give their opinion and understand that nothing will really happen to them if they will they raise their concerns or their opinion even if it’s against to what the top management is saying. So yeah, I would say that those are the cultural barriers that you face in the Philippines is the aversion to the word “No” which is similar to what you encounter in Indonesia for example.
Henry: What do you think makes Triple i Consulting different from other outsourcing agencies that are already here in the Philippines?
Victor: Well I guess it’s the fact that I mean I cannot speak by my industry peers of course, what I can tell you about Triple i and what is our focus is simplifying business, okay. Philippines is not an easy country sometimes aside from the red tape, it’s not sometimes an easy country to set a company for example and we intend to simplify business and the way we simplify business is putting the client’s interest in the first place, understanding his struggles and we are here not to provide services for a one time thing project. We are here to develop long business relationships with our clients and when the entire life cycle that the company has in the Philippines and that’s why we always provide these services and we intend to be a one time shop. We want not only to serve our clients, we want to work with them, we vision clients as sort of partnership where we start working with our clients from the moment of incorporation and help them throughout his entire business in the Philippines allowing our clients purely focus in growing their business, in boosting their sales, their revenue and leaving anything related to the corporate compliance such as payrolls, such as accounting, such as any sort of corporate compliance to us. So we focus, our focus is our clients and the success of our clients is our success. That’s our vision simplifying business and helping our clients to grow their business, we are not here to have a one time sort of project with our clients we’re here to work with our clients throughout their entire cycle in the Philippines.
Henry: How has been the experience of your clients and can you give us any testimonials from them?
Victor: Well as in any other country you have successful stories, you have sad stories right? It’s business, you have companies who are successful, you have companies who fail because this is not the ideal market for them, because the market was so soon they were not ready for this market they have not studied, they don’t have the demands, they do not have the right product, they did not know how to sell the products so you have good/bad stories right? But what I can tell you is that 90% of our clients important to understand, 90% of the clients of Triple i they are foreign companies okay? Companies that are exporting to the Philippines or they are an incorporating in the Philippines for the first time, they are coming from countries such as Singapore, United States or Malaysia or Australia, from several different parts of the globe and the most part of our clients they also come from obviously from the BPO sector and it is incredible. I mean we have several companies that they started with five, ten, fifteen people in their workforce and two or three years later when they initially, if you would ask them from the beginning and they would say like ‘Yes, our plan in the first 2 or 3 years would be to grow to 50 people’ and you see now they have like a gigantic workforce of like 300 people or 400 people. Of course you have the other side of the story, you have clients that they believed that doing business in the Philippines is the same thing as doing business in the US or doing business in other countries which is not true. You need to adapt to the local market, you need to adapt to the local people, you need to understand the market, you need to understand the country, study the country before you start doing business. And then you had clients that they had gigantic plans as well and they have the right product, they just did not learn or they didn’t make the effort to understand how to sell that product considering the specifics of the Philippine customers or the Philippines’ traditions for example. So I would say that the majority of our clients, I’m not talking about individual cases here but the most part of our clients they are very, very happy with the Philippines. They are facing 2 digits growth every year, so they do not regret at all expanding their business and their operations to this country.
Henry: What is the mission and vision of Triple i Consulting?
Victor: …it’s simplifying business, allowing clients and bringing them the opportunity to focus exclusively in their business and bringing them peace of mind, letting the corporate compliance to people that understand it but I would say yes, bringing peace of mind to our clients, that’s our focus.
Henry: What is the exact process of you guys for recruiting clients?
Victor: Well most of our leads, they are generated directly from our website. However we have partnerships established with firms from different sectors in the Philippines, we’re quite often referred by Chambers of Commerce, we are members of several chambers of commerce and embassies of the Philippines abroad tend to refer Triple i to companies coming from those countries. So we build a very important brand throughout these nine years of existence and we are known as a company that focus in providing an excellent service to our clients, that is our priority. And because of that, fortunately we are often referred by as I’ve said the Foreign Affairs agencies of the Philippines spread all over the world and also by chamber of commerce and organically we also generate lots of leads throughout our website and of course nowadays you have to be very, very focused in social media which eventually also brings us some clients that want to understand more about the Philippines and they read our articles in both social media or magazines or in the press. Yes we have also a proactive approach but the majority of our clients they contact us because they were referred by companies that are already in the Philippines by chambers of commerce or by for example embassies or consulates of the Philippines all over the world.
Henry: So for employees or potential employees, what is the process they have to go through and what is it that you look for when you hire new employees?
Victor: Talented people regardless of their background, talented people and obviously everyone wants to hire smart people, qualified, efficient, hard working people that are willing to go the extra mile but in Triple i if you are someone who wants to strive in the management consulting industry and if you believe you have a background in both economics, in business feel free to contact us, send us your resume. We are as I said, we are an organization that is working 2-digits growth year on year so we are permanently expanding our workforce. So we are more than welcome to speak to you, we are more than happy to meet new people and yes most of all if you believe that you are someone that wants to build their carrier in a growing organization and have an international exposure to companies coming from very different industries, feel free to contact us and we are more than happy to speak to you and hopefully have the chance to work with you in the future or in the present.
Henry: Can you say that the businesses of your clients have grown considerably since they started working with Triple i Consulting?
Victor: As I mentioned yes I mean across different industries, so we serve clients that come from the pharmaceutical industry, renewal energy, BPO industry, what I see that there is of course BPO industry represents about 10% if I’m not mistaken of the Philippines’ GDP so of course there is always a big industry in that industry but I would say the statistics that we have been seeing a gigantic growth, a massive growth is certainly in the pharmaceutical industry and the renewal energy. We see that there is a big industry from some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and renewal energy as well. The Philippines as we know has the big potential in that area in the green energy so we see that those are two areas where we are focused and we are very motivated to promote the Philippines out there.
Henry: What are the common misconceptions that you usually face with regards to clients when they’re looking to outsource here in the Philippines?
Victor: Well if for example sometimes when you speak with a spanish company, they might think that Filipinos still speaks spanish which sometimes or most…times this is not the case anymore except some regions of the Philippines and so that is one. I would say that the fact that the lack of cultural barriers that you have in the Philippines when compared to other countries in the region and going back to what we’ve discussed, some companies they still underestimate the fact that you are in a country that has their own identity. A country that has their own ideals, okay and when coming to a different country regardless if they have the as I’ve said in the past, even if English is widespread all over the Philippines and they share that common language with you does not mean that you have a full understanding and grasp of the country. You need to still understand the culture and the type of market that you are expanding to so underestimating the difficulty when entering a new market, it often happens with some of our clients and that’s our job is to educate our client and make him understand that he cannot underestimate the hurdle that he will face when entering a new market.
Henry: Do you have any memorable experiences here in the Philippines that you can share with us?
Victor: I can tell you that I would say the first day that I arrived in the Philippines. I came from Singapore that was the country where I was working for before the Philippines and Singapore it’s a small country and people are very close in the Singaporean society. They don’t have that much contact with the outside world and the Philippines being something different and with so many islands and it’s somehow unknown for them, they would keep raising my attention to the fact that the Philippines might not be a safe as Singapore and are you really sure you want to move there, it’s not going to be something that you will regret in the future. Well in fact me having lived in several countries around the world, I know how wrong stereotypes can be and then it has been proven to me the fact, I mean from the first day that I arrived in the Philippines until now I cannot regret. There is not one single day that I regret coming to the Philippines, of course I still struggle with the traffic. I believe everyone that’s in the Philippines still does but aside from that yes I mean there is so many experiences and the best thing that the Philippines can bring you is people and obviously the amazing islands that you have out there. But yes, I mean maybe the fact that the number of flights that I got cancelled due to bad weather maybe that’s one of the bad and most memorable experience that I had was back in 2013 where we planned together with 20 friends of mine to have our Christmas and New Year in Boracay and there was a bad weather, I don’t know what was the name of the typhoon that we had back in 2013. And yes we got everything booked in Boracay and I would say at 8pm on 31st of December we were still in Manila and with everything booked to go to Boracay we convinced a friend of ours that hesitated to go to Boracay to actually fly there. His airlines that he was flying with which was AirAsia they were actually flew over there and eventually their plane overshot the runway and we were seeing his plane right in CNN and obviously we did not manage to go to Boracay but we ended up having a great New Years eve in Cebu which was truly unexpected with 20 friends of ours coming from the different parts of the globe. So yes, that was one of the vast memorable experiences that I have when travelling in the Philippines.
Henry: So for our last question, how can anyone who’s interested in Triple i Consulting get in touch with you either potential clients or employees?
Victor: So they can visit us at tripleiconsulting.com obviously we have our site and feel free to reach me directly thru either social networks, the professional networks such as LinkedIn or contact us at our general email at [email protected], we’ll be happy to have a conversation with you either if you are interested to work with us or to work for us we’ll be more than happy to speak to you. We’re always welcoming new people, new opportunities and yeah do not hesitate.
Henry: Thanks for being on the show Victor. We appreciate you for sharing all that insight and for that good story that you just shared with us.
Victor: My pleasure and thank you for the invitation as well.
Henry: Again that was Victor Vianna, he has been with Triple i Consulting since 2012 and is currently the sales and marketing director of the company. Victor has helped the company grow considerably in size and revenue since then, he’s very passionate about his work. His passion led him around the world and has worked with prestigious companies. If you’ve missed this interview you can listen to it again on offshoring.com.ph, it’s also available on SoundCloud and iTunes.