Three reasons Monday, November 5, was a good day

Michael Alan Hamlin

Posted on November 12, 2007

Fulfilling the promise

A Monday after a long holiday is expected to be a day of getting used to being in the office again, and reminding yourself of all the important stuff you are supposed to be on top of. It’s not supposed to be a hectic, event-filled day. But last Monday, November 5, broke all the rules, at least in my case. But that was a good thing, because the events I witnessed Monday all say good things about the Philippines.

The day started with a news conference for World Vision, an international Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization with 120,000 student beneficiaries in 22 cities in 44 of the Philippines’ poorest provinces (Full Disclosure: World Vision is a client of my firm). The organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the Philippines by launching a campaign called “3,000 Champions of Hope.”

The three-month campaign is intended to raise funds and recruit sponsors for 3,000 children. To help World Vision attain that objective, supporters are organizing a benefit concert, “Celebrating Life,” that will take place November 24 at the Philippine International Convention Center. World Vision celebrity endorsers Christian Bautista and Nikki Gil along with The Company and Girl Valencia are performing, and donating their usual fees to the campaign. Reymond Sajor and Sam Concepcion are also helping out.

During the news conference, I told members of the press and other guests that research shows that most consumers don’t really believe that celebrity endorsers use the products and services they endorse. But that celebrity endorsers are a good thing for a brand because they distinguish the company or organization they endorse from competitors, and make it stand out.

But the celebrity endorsers for World Vision are a different breed. And that’s not just because they are performing gratis to enable World Vision to help more young, but financial disadvantaged, children receive an education. Most of these performers also sponsor World Vision beneficiaries throughout the year with cash donations, and the few that don’t already plan to do so.

Because children are the nation’s future, and only with an education can our future leaders reach their potential, the work of World Vision and these celebrities is fundamental to building a strong and prosperous Philippines.

One news conference on a Monday would seem to be more than enough, especially since Monday is generally considered a poor day to conduct a news conference. But November 5 was a Monday like no other. As the World Vision news conference wound up, I raced across town to catch up with a news conference launching the Offshoring & Outsourcing Philippines: Roadmap 2010 Report.

Roadmap 2010 was developed by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPA/P) and McKinsey & Company (Full disclosure: BPA/P is a client of my firm). According to a statement released by BPA/P, the report represents the offshoring and outsourcing (O&O) “industry’s view of the way forward and is meant primarily to mobilize industry players, key stakeholders, and government into achieving aggressive goals for the Philippine O&O industry.”

BPA/P CEO Oscar Sanez said those goals include achieving $13 billion in revenue – equivalent to 10% of the global market – by 2010, and enabling one million jobs by the end of that year. The launch was accompanied by the introduction of a new BPA/P organizational structure and full-time management team that includes respected professionals that are expected to “drive stretch goals for the industry” according to BPA/P chairman and LiveIT CEO Fred Ayala.

The Philippines is increasingly characterized as one of two global leaders in attracting O&O investment and service delivery. BPA/P can play an important role in extending and sustaining that leadership. And it appears to be on the way to doing so.

From BPA/P, I headed to the third and final launch/news event of the day, the formal opening of the new SMX Convention Center located within the SM Central Business Park, also the location of the third-largest shopping center in the world, the Mall of Asia. SMX is not as large as many competing convention centers throughout Asia, but it is nevertheless an impressive, world-class facility.

With 34,743 square meters of leasable area, four exhibition halls, five function rooms, and nine meeting rooms, SMX will appeal to international event organizers and producers looking for a new and unusual, but global-standard event destination. SMX is already connected to the Mall of Asia, and will reasonably soon connect to a planned four-star hotel fronting the convention center, increasing its attractiveness. The convention and exhibition industry is a powerful generator of foreign investment and visitor revenues, and SMX will help make the Philippine a real industry player.

These three events provide the reason Monday was a good day. All three seek not just to leverage the promise of the Philippines, but to contribute to its fulfillment.

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