One of the notable traits of TeleDevelopment is its experience. The BPO industry in the Philippines experienced a boom in 2005, when it gained 3 percent of the global BPO market.
TeleDevelopment’s Power Moves: CEO Jon Kaplan Talks Experience, Culture, and Expectations
By GetCRAFT Content
Made up of over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is a miscellany of cultures, mindsets, and practices. The intricacies of the country become more pronounced when nascent businesses are involved. One needs to consider different factors such as the economy, government policies, and workforce culture to ensure a successful venture.
This is where a company such as TeleDevelopment (TDS) comes in. TeleDevelopment offers a roster of services aimed at helping companies set up or expand their business in a new location. Industry players consider TeleDevelopment as one of the most experienced and reliable partners in the Philippines. Its strong presence equates its extensive reach within the industry. This is shown by its ability to provide services that range from market research to human resource strategies.
The Value of Experience
One of the notable traits of TeleDevelopment is its experience. The BPO industry in the Philippines experienced a boom in 2005, when it gained 3 percent of the global BPO market. By the time that this occurred, Jon Kaplan was already in the Philippines.
According to Kaplan, “In 1999, we worked with a company called eTelecare and designed Agent and Frontline Supervisor training programs and a Balanced Scorecard approach to quality. We sent one of our US trainers to help get them started. In 2003, I visited the Philippines and felt we needed to be there. In 2004, we registered in the Philippines. Because I’ve spent my entire career in the BPO industry before coming the Philippines, I had a good understanding of the industry.” Today, over 80 companies use TeleDevelopment services annually, Kaplan says.
Exponential growth in any industry inevitably leads to more aggressive competition, as more players realize its potential. Kaplan has seen many changes in the market trends. Voice to growth in non-growth, back office, and shared service centers are some of the ways things have morphed. Hence, seeing this evolution gives a unique insight into the way the players currently conduct business.
Global Experience, Local Expertise
“We are intimately familiar with the market,” Kaplan says. “Hence, we understand what works, what the best practices are, and thus, help mitigate risks. We share options for getting started on the right foot and what the pros and cons are for each market entry alternative. For companies looking for the proper market entry or ongoing support assistance, TeleDevelopment offers global experience and significant local expertise. For instance, HR might not be familiar with the labor laws in the Philippines or what kind of compensation packages can attract the right talent. We do.”
This experience translated to the differentiating characteristic of TeleDevelopment from its competitors: its sweeping scope of services. The company offers services such as an analysis of the labor pool as well as market conditions and industry and government support. It can connect clients with existing industry players so they gather information from their peers. Also noteworthy is that TeleDevelopment engages in industry research.
“We are not a ‘me too’ company,” says Kaplan. “It’s very niche-focused, very intentional. We offer many services, and our clients often avail of three or four of them. We have presences in Latin America, in the United States, and the Philippines. We’ve become highly regarded in the industry.”
A Community Expert
However, an expansive service menu does not equate to an impersonal experience. Kaplan is careful to point out that TeleDevelopment helps clients understand Philippine nuances. “People can’t just lift and shift their model and drop it in a location,” he says. “There are significant cultural-values differences. For instance, family values are different. In the Philippines, work family is extended family. It is not necessarily a nine-to-five job.”
Kaplan emphasizes the passion TeleDevelopment has for the business. “We are involved. We add value through research. For example, we have the digital recruitment firm WeRK, which is to help clients streamline employment and find the right staff. It morphed from being an online job board to a multi-channel and multi-platform digital recruitment marketing solutions company to help support the growth of the client. Moreover, TeleDevelopment has recently become LinkedIn’s talent solutions partner in the Philippines – selling the right products to add to our repertoire to make clients more successful. We were proud that such an astute company like LinkedIn sought out TeleDevelopment to represent them in the Philippines.”
Perhaps the most telling of the TeleDevelopment’s commitment to its role as an industry leader is how it views its relationship with its clients. “We like to believe we help support the life cycle of the business. After the start-up – the staffing, the assessment tools, training, and more – they can continue with consulting solutions to augment growth and expansion support,” Kaplan says. “Most clients have been our clients for many years and stay ahead of the curve.”