• ‘Businesses need to beef up innovation strategy’

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    In today’s world where technology-led disruptions have become the new normal, the need for companies to innovate in all aspects of the business has never been more pronounced.

    “If you’re not innovating, then you’re not growing in a lot of regards,” said Scott Stavretis, CEO of global business process outsourcing (BPO) leader Acquire, whose subsidiary SHORE Solutions, Inc. is a key sponsor of this year’s Asia CEO Awards. “From my perspective, today it’s really all about growth—and in business, if you’re not growing and you’re just staying still, then it means you’re going backwards,” he avers.

    In today’s highly competitive business arena where companies aggressively pursue different avenues to achieve better efficiencies to bolster revenues, Stavretis emphasizes that growth begins with innovation. “Markets are changing a lot quicker than they ever have before, and it’s going to continue that way. You have to be nimble and constantly think of what you can do to be one step ahead of your competitors in finding new ways to break through the market,” he said.

    It’s this very philosophy that pervades throughout Acquire’s 7,000-strong global ecosystem, which now counts last year’s acquisitions SHORE Solutions, Inc. and Animation1 in its portfolio. According to Stavretis, the company’s acquisition of SHORE Solutions is consistent with Acquire’s inorganic growth model and innovation strategy.

    “We’ve been seeing the SHORE brand for a while and we’ve kind of head-to-head competed in the marketplace on a few deals. We find that SHORE has quite a unique approach to business—they don’t just offer the typical contact center products, and this acquisition has led to more innovation for our co mpany in the way of products, design, and how we engage with our clients’ needs,” Stavretis said.

    Acquire—which celebrated its 10th year of business—will continue to pursue growth by acquisition in the years to come. “We’re going full steam ahead for both sales and acquisitions,” Stavretis said. “The great part about acquisitions is you suddenly find yourself with a new pool of talent and resources to utilize. Every business has some very talented people and it’s a matter of getting in there and identifying these individuals. It’s what I love about and gets me excited about acquisitions—you get access to a lot of different systems and resources, and you get to dissect and identify which companies have the best go-to-market strategies, who’s using the best systems, and you add these ‘new’ process and ideas together to form hopefully a much stronger, larger company.”

    Innovations in the Philippine BPO sector

    Undoubtedly one of the most lucrative industries in the Philippines, there is no denying the BPO sector’s major role in providing quality jobs and sustaining the country’s economic trajectory. Once weighed down by negative perceptions of being mere ‘cost centers’ of international companies, organizations within the $18 billion BPO industry have proven to be most innovative when it comes to employee engagement—attracting over 900,000 Filipinos keen on pursuing fast-progressing careers.

    “As in every business, you fail or succeed based on your employees. It’s important that you not only attract the right employees, but that you ensure that your employees are engaged and happy,” said Stavretis, adding that Acquire steps itself away from its competitors with regard to how they engage and interact with their employees. “From the sites and facilities we provide, to fun engagement activities and making sure that all employees are treated well and looked after, as well as offering different education resources to our staff that go beyond training on their products… we recognize the pool of talent present in the Philippines and we continue to innovate in this regard to attract these individuals to join our team,” he adds.

    According to Stavretis, the Philippine BPO industry has significantly improved in the last decade, with such government bodies as PEZA putting well thought-out regulations in place to ensure the sustainability of the BPO industry. “The industry is changing, and that negative perception is changing as well. People are starting to realize that contact centers go beyond voice roles—there’s back office roles, marketing, finance, and a whole breadth of really any white collar work that can be offshored. It’s an extension of our clients’ offices and businesses, which are very prestigious roles,” he said.

    SHORE Solutions’ sponsorship of the Most Innovative Company of the Year award in the sixth Asia CEO Awards will further highlight the innovations initiated not only by enterprises within the BPO sector but in other industries as well. “Across the region there are certainly many companies introducing their own brand of innovation, and events like the Asia CEO Awards really highlight that those who are showing the skills and the capacity to innovate today will be the companies you’ll see leading in their industries in five to 10 years’ time,” Stavretis said.

    Now on its sixth year, the Asia CEO Awards shines the spotlight on management teams and individuals who have made significant contributions to help build the Philippines into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. One of the largest events of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, the Asia CEO Awards promotes leadership excellence and team-building within organizations and highlights Filipino business accomplishments to the world’s business leaders.

    10 awards will be given out this year, including SHORE Solutions Most Innovative Company of the Year; KPMG Executive Leadership Team of the Year; SyncHRony Global Top Employer of the Year; Smart Enterprise Global Filipino Executive of the Year; Jones Lang LaSalle Expatriate Executive of the Year; ADP Service Excellence Company of the Year; Capital One Young Leader of the Year; ADEC Innovations Green Company of the Year; Technology Company of the Year; and I-Remit Heart for OFWs Company of the Year.

    Winners will be revealed at the annual gala on November 11, 2015 at the grand ballroom of the Marriott Hotel Manila. This celebration of achievement is being presented by Alpha PLDT Enterprise.

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