In the past, regional managers generally chose to locate regional offices in
Singapore and Hong Kong where work
environments and lifestyles are similar to those of their home
Over the past decade, however, these
cities have become 2 of the most expensive places to
do business on the planet and cost has become a serious
concern. Regional managers are therefore starting to move
their regional head offices, or components of them, to less
expensive cities like Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
Successful transfers have yielded tremendous savings -- easily half the operating costs of running
a regional head office.
Another more strategic reason behind the trend has to do with economic
growth. It is reasonable to say that the bulk of the opportunities in
Asia are in countries where the bulk of the population lives.
Relocating a head office puts senior staff in better touch with
economic opportunities as they unfold.
Because of advancements in technology and other reasons,
responsibilities for 2 or even senior positions are more often
being combined under one manager. Typical examples
include: finance and IT, HR and communications, HR and legal,
finance and logistics, and so forth. In some mid-sized
companies, finance, HR and all other support functions are being
combined under the title Head of Administration.
The trend seems to have great
potential in Southeast Asia where economies are somewhat small
by global standards.
Asia: This Season's Fashion
For most multinational companies, Asia currently accounts for less than
15% of total revenues but a disproportionate share of its growth.
Global managers see slower growth ahead in so-called advanced
economies of Europe, North America and Japan. Countries in Asia were taught tough lessons about fiscal
prudence during the Asian Crisis of the late 1990's and are now poised
for strong sustainable growth in the coming years. Asia is currently a prominent focus for
future investment of global companies.
The result is that today's global
managers are keen to garner experience in Asia and managers
without it risk not being called global.
Key Trend 4:
In 2015, the ASEAN countries are scheduled for integration of
many key aspects of their economies. This is an important
step since the entire GDP of countries like Philippines, Thailand or even Singapore is about one-third that of
individual cities like Paris or Dallas-Fort Worth. Despite their fast economic
countries in Southeast Asia are still economically small and global
managers often consider them as an economic group already.
Rather than employ Country Managers for single countries, more
companies assign managers to handle multiple countries in a hands-on
operating capacity. Dividing time among 2 or 4 countries gives an
adequate return to the employer and a more significant opportunity to
the manager. The only downside is extra wear-and-tear on managers due
to increased travel requirements.
Key Trend 5:
of Asian Multinationals
In the past, Asian-owned companies were perceived to be closely
controlled and run as family businesses by patriarchs. More often today, large Asian
companies are run by a younger generation of managers with
impressive education credentials, international mind-set and
global experience. These Asian enterprises are also cash rich and ready for
aggressive expansion at a time when many multinationals are slow
to move or pulling back.
Wealthy Asian business owners who in the past may have invested their funds in
real estate or financial investments in the west, today feel
there are better opportunities closer to home. The result is that Asian
companies are becoming realistic career opportunities for experienced
Run by Asians
It took some time but today virtually all multinational organizations have
come to the realization that Asians are suitable to lead
other Asians. The majority of multinational organizations that have not
already done so have plans to migrate senior management roles to Asian
nationals in the near future.
There are 2 main reasons behind this trend. The first is obvious. Asian
managers bring is local knowledge. Business in Asia is
traditionally considered more relationship driven than in the
west and it is reasonable to say that someone who grew up in a
local environment will be better off than someone who is new to
The second reasons has to do with
the cost of expatriate managers. Base compensation levels for
locals and expatriates have mainly converged in most industries,
but expatriates have traditionally been provided with expensive
benefits such as executive housing, international schooling for
children, annual fly-backs and so on. This “expat package” adds tremendously to the overall cost for
Key Trend 7:
Demand for Expatriates
The enormous depth and quality of Asian workforces and high-growth
markets is inspiring global companies to open new operations and expand
existing ones. Expatriates are required in many countries where
adequate supplies of local managers with specific skills have yet to be developed to meet
Across Southeast Asia, there are different needs depending on the
country. In Singapore, expatriate managers are said to be required in
creative industries like media and advertising. In Philippines, the
booming phenomenon known as Business Process Outsourcing is responsible
for large demand. In Indonesia, it’s infrastructure. In
Vietnam and Myanmar, expats are required in many sectors.
Vanishing Expat Package
In the good old days, it was standard for expatriates to be provided
with luxurious benefits to keep them comfortable during “hardship
postings” in Asia. These included executive housing,
automobile & driver, expensive international schooling for
children, annual fly-backs for the entire family, country club
memberships and even a “hardship bonus” that by itself added 10% - 30% to
Except for a few hold-outs, the traditional “expat package” has steadily been eroded over the past decade. Far from being
considered an expatriate’s right, today everything is negotiable.
Companies often still provide financial support to their relocated
managers but the amounts and types are gradually being reduced. A notable
exception to this very advanced trend are public sector employers
such as embassies and development agencies.
Most Asians still think expatriates earn more than they do but
the fact is that most of these differences have already been
minimized. Equal-pay-for-equal-work has become a reality for
some time in advances economies such as Singapore and Hong Kong. In emerging
countries, the situation is still evolving but the trend is well
advanced even there.
Across Asia, local managers in growth sectors have seen relentless
salary increases and many earn as much these days as any expatriate
could ever hope for.
Cross Postings Open to All
It used to be that overseas executive postings were top down in nature.
Managers were sent from head-quarters to far-flung country offices to
gain international experience. They would spend 3 or 4 years dictating
company operating procedures to local staff whose performance was
measured by how well they complied. There was little opportunity for
“locals” to aspire to senior management within their own country let
alone outside it.
Today, Indians, Filipinos, Malaysians and Singaporeans all can be
considered for the top jobs in their own countries and have the same
cross posting opportunities in other countries as well.
this e-book to learn all you need to know to
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A global manager's failsafe
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Associates provides its Executive Search and Recruiting services throughout the emerging countries of the Asia Pacific
region with specific focus on Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos.
proactive and well known in our sectors of focus. Regional
Managers use us to help bridge the gap between local environments and
the world-class requirements of multinational corporations.
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CEO Forum presented by PLDT ALPHA Enterprise is the largest
regular business event in Philippines and considered one of the
most important in the Southeast Asia region. The forum serves as a
hub for the spreading of ideas that help executive managers
overseeing enterprises across the Asia Pacific region.
Attendees are both expatriate and Asian management personnel
overseeing multinational and regional organizations. Held in
Philippines, presenters are leaders in their industries and
engaged in momentous pursuits of significance to the entire
CEO Forum is operated as a CSR (Corporate Social
Responsibility) activity of Chalre Associates, one of Southeast
Asia's most prominent senior management executive search firms, to
promote Philippines as a premier business destination in the Asia
Here to go to Asia
CEO Forum now!
CEO Awards presented by Aseana City represents the
grandest alliance of local and international business people ever
created to promote Philippines on the world stage. As one of the
largest events of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, it is
considered a must-attend occasion for business leaders active in
The star-studded Board of Judges of Asia CEO Awards give
away 10 awards to many of the most accomplished leadership teams
and individuals currently operating in Philippines and the region.
The awards recognize extraordinary leaders who have demonstrated
outstanding achievement for their organizations and contributions
As one of the fastest growing nations on the planet, the world's
business leaders have their eyes on Philippines like never before.
The annual gala was established as a natural outgrowth of Asia
CEO Forum, the largest regular networking event for the
business community in Philippines.
to go to Asia
CEO Awards now!
throughout the world call upon the Principals of Chalre Associates for thought leadership.
Below are some examples of published material written by our
consultants or international journalists who refer to them. For a complete list of published work,
Getting Ready For The
Deluge: Outsourcing in Philippines
Chalre Associates senior staff
Economist Intelligence Unit of the Economist magazine
asked Chalre Associates' Chairman, Richard Mills,
to write a chapter about the Philippine outsourcing sector
in its annual Business Guide Book. The material
provides a Executive Briefing on the progress and major
issues facing this industry that is certainly one of most
significant growth stories in the world.
Asia Pacific Mining
Conference 2007 - Report
Chalre Associates senior staff
The 7th Asia Pacific Mining Conference put on by the Asean
Federation of Mining Associations was perhaps the largest
such event in the region. Richard Mills, Chairman of Chalre Associates
gave this report on what was said by the prominent mining
people who presented.
State of BPO in Philippines: Dan Reyes Speaks
Chalre Associates senior staff
Mills, Chairman of Chalre Associates,
interviewed Dan Reyes of Sitel for ComputerWorld (US) recently to get
his views on the state of the BPO industry in Philippines. Dan
presented US readers with compelling information to support his view
that Philippines is currently seen as the "Number 1" option by global
companies sending BPO work to offshore destinations.
Dan Reyes is easily one of most experienced Business Process
Outsourcing (BPO) managers in the Asia Pacific region and the world. He
is head of the extremely successful Philippine operations of Sitel, the
world's largest call center organization. Among other things, he is a
founder and former president of the Business Processing Association of
the Philippines. more