Feed a Child and Build a Nation

The Ateneo de Manila University is launching a feeding program called Feed a Child and Build a Nation SY 2011-2012. Its objective is to feed at least 4,000 students in four elementary schools in Quezon City:

  1. Commonwealth Elementary School
  2. San Diego Elementary School
  3. Dona Juana Elementary School
  4. Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School

It requires Php 11.50 to feed one student per day. It is a 130-day feeding program, so per year will amount to Php 1,500. To feed at least 10 students for one year, an amount of Php 15,000 is needed.  Their initial target as a class for cash donations is Php 15,000.

For more information, you can check out these sites:

There are many participants/companies who will support this program. Among the many private donations, also corporations like Novartis or KMC MAG Group supporting this project.  If you like to support, there are a lot of ways you can participate:

  • Financial contribution
  • Site visits (date to be announced)
  • Volunteer work (activities to be announced)
  • Donations for kitchen equipment and feeding supplies
  • Linking Blueplate with possible partners

For those who would like to donate funds, you can access through:

  • Cash/checks payable to Ateneo de Manila University, give directly to:
    APS Cashier OR Ms. Angie Cruz, ASst. to the AGSB Dean
  • Direct deposit to Metrobank:
    Company name: Ateneo de Manila University
    Subscriber Name: Name of donor
    Subscriber No: 500 (3-digit Center Code assigned to AGSB)

The smallest good deed is worth a thousand grand intentions. Help and support Ateneo de Manila University’s feeding program to make it possible!

Successful Foreign National Entrepreneurs in the Philippines Under 40

By: Jahzeel Abihail G. Cruz

The recipe for running a successful enterprise doesn’t necessarily include membership in a related high school club or being voted “Most Likely to Succeed”. What it does include, though, is an expertise in something of personal interest and balance between risk-taking and business sense. And the earlier these factors converge in life, the better. Having enjoyed the perks of being their own bosses before the middle age of 40, these expat entrepreneurs would know.

Teaming with Talent

Mr. Gregory Kittelson

Mr. Gregory Kittelson

It may not been much for Gregory Kittelson looking back, but dreams of putting up his own Mexican restaurant and a nightclub in his native Rhode Island in the US now seem providential. Self-made at 37, and a foreign country to boot, Greg is co-founder of two Philippine-based companies: Kittelson & Carpo Consulting and the KMC MAG Group real estate brokerage firm.

“It’s really the people that make the Philippines attractive [for business],” he stresses. He found himself in the country seven years ago, assisting in managing a software outsourcing company, and had prior sales and business development work experience in San Francisco. With these and the burgeoning business process outsourcing (BPO) industry here, Greg found himself at the right place at the right time.

Finding the right people was the clincher, and for that, the Philippines were a gold mine. He first partnered with friend and seasoned corporate tax lawyer Amanda Carpo to put up Kittelson and Carpo Consulting three years ago. Today the consulting firm is a thriving team of lawyers, recruiters and accountants, which has provided business set-up services for some 200 foreign companies to date.

It was sister company KMC MAG Group that was more a child traditional business school principles. When Greg and his partner saw an evolution in their clients’ needs to include securing leased office space, they jumped at the opportunity to address the high demand and secure the niche.

It’s not all business for Greg, though. “Your overall focus has to be on your business, but it’s important to have social outlets,” says this health buff. How he has time for travelling, boxing, muay Thai, and dancing the salsa and meringue are bewildering, but he insists it’s a matter of balancing these with company concerns.

When called for, however, Greg puts his astute business mind to work by collaborating with people in his workplace. As if to reiterate the importance of skilled personnel, he doles out praise for the team s he has assembled here in the Philippines. “I have a very talented local team that can interface and execute for our clients, and that’s something we’re very proud of,” he says.

Self-Teaching through Experience

Mr. Michael McCullough

Mr. Michael McCullough

“According to a poll by the HR, I’m relaxed and easy to approach, and talk to,” says Michael McCullough, which may not come as surprise after finding out he hails from Southern California in the US. But don’t be fooled by his approach to management: At 28, he co-manages the KMC MAG Group, a company he launched with Kittelson and Carpo Consulting’s Greg.

Michael initially started out as an IT Consultant for Greg’s consulting firm, a position he held after stints in Silicon Valley and the Cambria Corporation, a custom software development firm. The latter brought him to the Philippines in 2007 to open a subsidiary company, and it’s felt like home here for him ever since.

That’s not to say that success came effortlessly for him. “We were never taken seriously by a lot of landlords at first, so establish a name is kind difficult here,” recalls Michael. But in its 13 months of operation, KMC MAG went from unsure to unperturbed, closing several significant accounts and establishing itself as a real estate player to stay.

The company prides itself in providing immediate solutions, usually for the brisk BPO industry, creating a niche in a country where red tape can be frustrating, Michael says. Triumphs such as providing large-scale serviced office for two clients on a floor of coveted Ayala Avenue building space (“I think we’re one of the first companies to do something like this on a large scale, specially at the price point,” he notes) have sincere created deserved buzz among industry higher ups.

Nonchalant about his achievements for his age, Michael looks at his business a continuing education. Incidentally, he chose entrepreneurship over graduate school, opting to experience learning rather that paying for it. “All of our clients are very seasoned CEO’s, so when they come to our office, I do nothing but listen and try to learn from them,” he says.

KMC MAG has since branched out to offer more solutions for its clients, from staff leasing to condominium brokerage. And Michael is living it up in the Philippines, unleashing the water lover in him on weekend getaways. “ I feel like is the 51st state of the US. I feel comfortable here.

Attuned to Business Weather

Mr. Sebastien Caudron

Mr. Sebastien Caudron

Browse the online materials of some of the most ubiquitous names in business here, and not a few will be the handiwork of NetBooster Asia. This online advertising and marketing agency’s successes were not without constant fine-tuning, however. For his part, company president Sebastien Caudron believes,” [Business] is evolving. You just follow trends and follow what’s working.

NetBooster Asia’s history owes a revisit to one of its predecessors: Yellowasp. Sebastien’s first venture in the Philippines in 2000, Yellowasp is a software services company offering offshore development services. Noticing that web services were increasingly becoming professionalized, Yellowasp eventually began re-branding as a web services provider.

Partnering with French web solutions group NetBooster around three years ago marked yet another shift, this time the creation of a full blown online agency offering creative services and online marketing solutions to companies across Asia. Sebastien shares, “Instead of trying to sell them a website or traffic, we went to very basic commercial talk to make them realize that internet has big potential for them.”

It helps that the Frenchman himself is young; at 36, he’s in touch with a generation that is internet-savvy. As for where he’d eventually set up business, Asia was always on his radar; a joint-venture project in the 1990’s in Manila sealed the deal, and he stayed ever since. The Philippines, with its large, young and English-literate population, provided both the ideal labor pool and target market for NetBooster Asia.

Sebastian started his first company here at the age of 25, and ten years into the business, he says he’s happy he started early. “If you’ve experienced the comfort and low stress of getting monthly salary, I think it’s difficult to accept the risk of not earning as much on regular basis,” he reasons. Still he notes some changes in perspective that come with experience: “You realize that the independence of an entrepreneur is also not real, because you have to report your clients.”

NetBooster Asia, with Sebastien at the helm, now looks to be the agency of choice for clients that aim to advertise regionally. “The idea is to be the first and largest digital agency network in Southeast Asia. We want to create value by offering a network,” so his forecast goes.

Taking the Leap

It helps for the enterprising hopeful to be well-educated: Greg studied in Mexico and Spain, Michael in Denmark and Sebastien in Scotland. But also like these three, the successful entrepreneur is ultimately the risk taker. Once the plunge is taken, however, there is so much to do to avoid a free fall. “Then it comes down to focus on your business,” Greg advices those setting up business on soil foreign to them.

“Trust your instinct, make sure you have enough investment, trust top people and include them in the business so they follow you and stick to you,” adds Sebastien. And if all goes well, dividends will not only be in the form of finances, but fulfillment as well. Michael would know: “I remember receiving my very first commission of Php 100,000, and it’s an indescribable feeling.

Real estate industry rides on boom in BPO sector

Vacancy rates on the decline

from Philippine Daily Inquirer

By Abigail L. Ho

The real estate sector continues to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the boom in the business process outsourcing sector, as vacancy rates drop and the need to construct more office, and even residential, spaces increases.

In an interview with the Inquirer, David Young, managing director of real estate services provider Colliers International in the Philippines, said the BPO sector’s aim to add another 500,000 to its employee base over the next five years translated to the need to build close to 3 million square meters of office space.

“This industry, on its own, can fill up all office space in Ortigas. Real estate developers have a lot to thank this industry for, as it has spurred not just commercial development but residential development as well. BPO employees are either getting their own or leasing condo units,” he said.

He said the surge in the number of BPO employees, many of whom had to work outside their hometowns, had given rise to the establishment of condominium buildings with studio and one-bedroom units that are well suited to these individuals.

Mall developers have also cashed in on the BPO trend, he said, by constructing buildings with more floors and leasing the top stories to BPO companies.

Developers of office spaces reaped the most benefit from the surge in BPO activities, as opportunities opened for them to move into suburban areas and the province, away from the already crowded Makati and Ortigas business districts, he said.

“Makati and Ortigas are not really suited for BPO operations. Also, the vacancy rate in Makati is down to just 4 percent and in Ortigas to only 6 percent, with no more room to grow. The movement is toward suburban areas like Eastwood and the (University of the Philippines-Ayala Land TechnoHub), as well as to the Fort (in Taguig),” he said.

Rates have also started to pick up. He related that office space in Makati would cost around P750 per square meter for prime buildings such as 6750, RCBC and Ayala Tower One. The rate is P100 per square meter cheaper in Ortigas at P650 for buildings such as Wynsum and Orient Square. In Alabang, Eastwood, and UP, lease rates range from P400 to P500 a square meter.

As vacancies go down and rates go up, Gregory Kittelson, chairman of real estate brokerage firm KMC MAG Group, advised BPO firms, particularly start-ups and small and medium operators, to try the serviced offices approach.

Managing Director and Business Consultant of KMC MAG GROUP

Chairman of KMC MAG GROUP

“Developers are building large offices to be leased to large companies, but some companies are also looking for small spaces, especially when they’re starting out,” he said in a separate interview. “There’s a massive need for serviced offices that can serve as incubation spaces for start-ups or as temporary offices for expanding small and medium BPO firms. These serviced offices can cater to operations with 5-100 seats.”

He said KMC MAG Group last year assisted more than 100 companies in setting up shop here using the serviced offices approach. Around 50-60 percent of these companies were from the BPO sector.

“There are not enough temporary office spaces now. All we have are big offices. This is an opportunity for developers as well,” he said.

KMC MAG GROUP Commercial Real Estate & Property Broker

KMC MAG GROUP Commercial Real Estate & Property Broker

KMC MAG Group is the fastest growing commercial and residential real estate brokerage company in the Philippines.  Founded and managed by two Americans and a Philippine corporate lawyer, KMC provides brokerage services for commercial office space, serviced office, seat rentals, and residential properties.

KMC also operates its own serviced offices, incubation and seat leasing facilities on Ayala Ave in Makati and Fort Bonifacio

to see the page follow this link Philippine Daily Inquirer

KMC Solutions Opens Serviced Offices in Fort Bonifacio

By: Kathleen Yu

KMC Solutions, a sister company of Makati-based real estate brokerage firm, KMC MAG Group, recently opened a 1,050 square meter business center in Fort Bonifacio, Metro-Manila.  This business center was specifically created to cater to the unique needs of Philippine companies looking to avail of seat rentals and serviced offices in major Metro-Manila business districts..  KMC’s business center also targets foreign-based multinational companies setting up business operations in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. The office complex, located at the 20th floor of the Picadilly Star Building in 4th Avenue corner 27th street, Bonifacio Global City, boasts affordable rental rates and exclusive amenities, including Internet-enabled workstations, VOIP PBX for local and international calls, high-tech security systems, on-site technical support and complimentary beverages, among others.

According to Michael McCullough, Director of Manila real estate brokerage firm KMC MAG Group, “We’ve already received a lot of interest in the Picadilly Star center, with nearly 40% of the available offices having already been pre-leased. The Picadilly center is able to offer a 24/7 solution at prices up to 50% below that of the current competition.”

Standard BPO units, which may accommodate up to 10 to 100 workstations, are now available from February 1 onwards. Workstations are inclusive of desks, chairs, file cabinets and desktop computers, depending on the type of package availed of. KMC Solutions currently offers two types of standard packages to BPO units in Fort Bonifacio, both of which are operational for 9 hours a day/5 days a week and comprise 12.38 square meters of commercial leased office space. The going rate for a workstation inclusive of desk, chair and file cabinet, is Php 12,000 per month, with a special rate of Php 132,000 per month for 11 employees. Workstations that also include Core 2 duo desktop computers are priced at Php 15,000 per month, and have a special rate of Php 165,000 per month for 11 employees. Set-up fees are priced at Php 2,000 per employee, while the average lease term starts at 3 months.

Rental rates are also inclusive of the following amenities: Internet-enabled workstations, cubicles and chairs, 100% back-up power in case of outages, multiple Internet connections and gateways, 4.5 Mbps PLDT DSL connections, VOIP PBX for local and international calls, Cisco 2801 Routers and Firewalls, 4 hours per month complimentary access to conference rooms, air conditioning 24/7, high-tech security systems, on-site technical support, access to restrooms, shared pantries, and server rooms, complimentary beverages, power and water utilities, and cleaning services from Mondays to Fridays, among others.
KMC’s expansion to Picadilly Star in Fort Bonifacio makes it he 2nd largest serviced offices provider in Metro-Manila. The firm currently holds 1,000 square meters of commercial leased office space in Rufino Pacific Tower, Ayala Avenue, Makati City.