Why The Philippines
Years of experience and 'frustrations' in outsourcing software projects (both near‐ and offshore) made us realize where the hurtles were.
In all honesty we can state that it is not easy to guide a remote team, both near- as offshore, even with a decent background in outsourcing. If problems arise and both parties don't master thoroughly the English language a solution is further away than ever.
Usually first hand communications is done by email or instant messaging (chat). If guidelines are not clear and more detailed issues need to be discussed, a phone or video conference is needed.
You can put as much effort as you want in your Software Design Document but if at this stage fluent knowledge and pronunciation of the English language is lacking, your project will have a high failure rate.
After investigating more than 10 potential locations (Ukraïne, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and others) The Philippines were the best of class considering all variables ( labor cost, education, connectivity, language, culture, etc.).
The proper English knowledge, the cultural similarities, the relative low labor cost ( +/- 50% of near shore), relative stable environment and government, business laws that follow international standards combined with a relative good education and a reasonable time difference with Europe made us decide to set up Gemango in the Philippines.
Our normal business hours in the Philippines are from 1 pm to 9 pm giving it an overlapping window from 6am to 3pm in the GMT+1 region and staff is not required to render night shifts to support their quality of life.
The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is saturated already with international companies, the labor costs are around 30% higher, office space rentals are expensive and more shortage on highly skilled staff.
The second largest economy, Cebu, with a lot of growth potential is located in the central part of the Philippines, surrounded by other islands that act as a buffer for natural disasters compared to Luzon, the island where Manila is located, that almost every year during hurricane season is affected seriously by floodings, seriously disrupting business operations.
Although Cebu city is well established already with state of the art shopping malls, business parks, restaurants and other lifestyle commodities you don’t get a real feeling of overpopulation, massive traffic, high criminal rates and pollution. The nearby (10 to 30 mins drive) beach resorts offer a quick getaway after a hard day at the office and gives Cebu its unique work/leisure combination.
Cebu can be reached by plane from all major hubs in the area by daily flights( Singapore, Hong-Kong, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Dubai, etc.)