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Economy

Marikina City gets its first call center locator

February 27, 2006 12:03am
By MARICEL E. ESTAVILLO, BusinessWorld Reporter

Nasdaq-listed ICT Group, Inc. has started operation of its third site inside the Riverbanks Center in Marikina City, making it the first industry locator in the city.

For its latest site, ICT is using the 5,000-square meter office building developed by Marikina-based property developer Riverbanks Development Corp.

This used to be a factory of Universal Textile Mills, Inc., part of the 14-hectare property that Riverbanks Development bought from the textile company.

"ICT is already using one-fourth of the building, while the remaining space is still being developed," Riverbanks Development President Meneleo J. Carlos Jr. told BusinessWorld in an interview.

In a statement, ICT said the Marikina facility is expected to have up to 800 seats in operation by middle of this year.

As a pioneer call center locator in the two-hectare Riverbanks Center, ICT can leverage on the center’s strategic position.

It is currently being developed as the next business district in Metro Manila and it is also near the university area, counting Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines, Miriam College, and the Philippine School of Business Administration, among others.

ICT’s operation in Marikina City will add to the combined 1,500 seats ICT operates in its two sites in Makati City and in Ortigas Center, which began operation in April 2003 and in July 2004, respectively.

The three sites support ICT clients in the US, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

The company targets its Philippine operation to account for over 25% of its global production by the fourth quarter, an increase from 17% in the same period last year.

"We are pleased with the rapid expansion of our Philippines operations, which experienced call volume increases of over 50% in the fourth quarter of 2005 compared to the prior-year period," said John J. Brennan, chairman and chief executive of the ICT Group.

Furthermore, ICT Group said that it is now looking at opening its fourth site outside Metro Manila by middle of this year.