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  • Citigroup BPS partners with ExcelAsia for crucial ramp-up staffing

    July 23, 2008

    (Manila, Philippines, July 23, 2008) – Getting the right people within a limited sourcing period is a challenge for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, particularly those that undertake ramp-ups for new client projects several times a year. 

    Citigroup Business Process Solutions Pte. Ltd. (Citigroup BPS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Citibank Overseas Investment Corp. (COI), is one of those BPOs. COI is a member of the Citigroup financial group of companies which operates internationally. It is common for new and existing clients within Citigroup to make urgent requests for new or expanded customer support services, according to Citigroup BPS executives.

    In order to quickly respond to such requests, Citigroup BPS partnered with human resource solutions provider ExcelAsia for agent-level staffing support in January of this year. Citigroup BPS Philippines currently employs 1,200 customer service agents in the Philippines.

    “Since Citigroup BPS caters to almost all products offered Citibank, both locally and internationally, we regularly deal with significant staffing and hiring requirements. That’s why we decided that it is advisable and practical for us to engage a recruitment partner who will help us ensure 100% successful completion of ramp-ups,” Citigroup BPS Sourcing Officer Maurice Ryan Bevera said.

    Citigroup BPS, headquartered in Singapore, provides full-scale customer services support for Citibank and its international client base in the consumer and institutional banking, global cards, and wealth management segments. Citigroup BPS Philippines offers business process outsourcing, call center, and other IT-enabled support services.

    Mr. Bevera worked with ExcelAsia prior to his appointment to Citigroup BPS. “I know that they can really deliver and, at the same time, meet the performance targets that are given to them,” Mr. Bevera said.

    Mr. Bevera commended the quality of candidates endorsed by ExcelAsia since the manpower engagement began. “They always endorse qualified candidates to ensure the completion of all our hiring requirements. The ExcelAsia team is also very flexible and proactive, especially when we have urgent hiring requests.” Mr. Bevera said. “So really, we know that we made the right decision in making ExcelAsia an accredited partner of Citigroup BPS.”

    ExcelAsia provides human resource solutions to multinational clients mostly in the BPO industry. Aside from sourcing and recruitment services, ExcelAsia provides training to candidates who demonstrate some skills essential to BPO and contact center jobs, but need further training, at no cost to the candidates. Called “near-hires,” these aspiring contact center workers are immersed in communications and basic computer skills and customer service training under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP). 

    After the “near-hires” complete the training program, ExcelAsia endorses the trainees to their clients. On average, ExcelAsia makes 100 near-hire endorsements monthly to its BPO clients.

    According to Rita Trillo-Ugarte, ExcelAsia president, training near-hires is an effective strategy for meeting the manpower demands of her company’s BPO clients. “Through our partnership with TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) and BPA/P (Business Process Association of the Philippines), which administer TWSP, we are able to provide free skills training for near-hires.

    “We give these individuals a chance they wouldn’t otherwise have to pursue a career in the BPO industry while maintaining a steady pool of endorsable candidates ready for our clients.” Trillo-Ugarte said.

    ExcelAsia has worked with TESDA and BPAP since 2006 to train near-hires under TWSP.