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World’s biggest data collection company sets up shop in Davao

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (3 April) — Western Wats, the biggest data collection company in the world will start operation by mid July 2008 in Davao City.

The company last year had negotiations for locating in Cagayan de Oro City decided opted to settle in Davao City instead because Davao can supply double the manpower requirements they need said Western Wats Philippines president Jose Antonio San Gabriel in an interview after the Contact Signing held yesterday between their company and NCCC Mall Davao.

“We’d rather be where the source is,” he said. Western Wats is considered as the preferred company for market research by the top 500 corporations of the world as named by Fortune magazine.

But he feared that the academe may not be able to supply the need of the industry in the next three years as many BPO (business process outsourcing) companies are looking at the Philippines to expand their operations.

He said many companies operating in India are locating in the Philippines and they fear of a demand and supply situation for manpower in the future.

Gabriel said they are willing to partner with the academe and conduct strategic planning in order for these universities come up with the right module that would produce graduates with skills that fit into the need of the ICT industry.

He clarified however that it is not the schools that has a problem but the individual himself and this has to be addressed.

He said Filipinos really are already known for its good command of English and the moment the worker is trained on the right accent nobody would notice whether they are talking with a call center agent from the Philippines or in America.

With a kick off investment of P70 million Derek Rice, operations director of Western Wats said they already are finishing the infrastructure requirements and will start recruitment by May. They need for 2008 about 500 agents, he said.

Rice said their company provides survey research data collection and specializes in quantitative research data collection via live telephone interview, automated telephony and the web.

The Western Wats based in Utah, USA will have Davao as its second branch in the Philippines next to Cebu that was opened six years ago.

The Western Wats’ 300 clients ranges from government agencies, auto manufacturing firms, advertising outfits, media organizations, print publications and universities, to mid-sized grocers, small private businesses, non-profit groups.

Gabriel meanwhile said that they are open to expansion of which they had an initial five-year contract with NCCC Mall and an extension for six years.

On the other hand Gabriel emphasized that the hiring rate of the agents would be higher than the P8,000 rate that other call center operators are giving to their workers. And passing their standard qualifications they could train these workers become call center agents within three days.

Gabriel also said that their clients are allowed to monitor the survey and even listen to the conduct of the survey by the call center agents.

“Presumably all our clients mostly in the US are satisfied with the way call center agents deliver the work. They also noted that the Filipinos are more patient,” he said.

Filed under: Davao BPO Industry, Davao Business Updates

15 Responses

  1. Western Wats is among the “pioneer” (BPO) company here in Cebu. However, in December 2007, many were surprised with the massive lay-offs of its employees.

    Some “ineffective” employees in any call center will be terminated. In any company, it happens that “ineffective” employees have to be terminated. However, what happened to Western Wats was very shocking because it was mass lay-off and according to reports, there was no clear reason for such mass lay-off.

    Bobby Nalzaro (GMA-Cebu) wrote in Sun Star Cebu:

    “Though Western Wats is an American firm, its management should follow our labor laws. There are rules to be followed in terminating employees but company officials, some of whom are Filipinos, refused to follow them. They dropped their kababayans like hot potatoes. This is oppression.”

    Please visit this link:
    http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/ceb/2008/01/12/oped/bobby.nalzaro.saksi.html

  2. Neolle says:

    I have been to Western Watts – Mactan a couple of weeks ago. They told us of their plans of establishing a new facility here in Davao this year. This is really good news for Davaoenoes – more jobs with competitive salary, benefits and training.

  3. derickpt says:

    Hi,
    Do you guys know if Wester Wats has started hirng already?

    I cannot wait to go back home.

    Thanks!

  4. gurl says:

    I had worked with western wats for four years and i can say it’s not a good comapny..goodluck to all who are interested!

  5. xtin says:

    read nyo mabuti ang contracts nila! kung gusto nyo pa ma-try ibang call centers, wag na kayo apply sa WW, di na kayo tatanggapin ng ubang CC’s once nakapag-sign kayo ng contract with them.

  6. gud girl says:

    nag pasa na ako ng resume sa WW dun sa gmall booth nila! grabe! on the spot interview agad! pinababalik aku sa both nila sa nccc mall after 2 weeks! sana matanngap ako!

  7. mondre says:

    Hi guys!!

    Is there anyone who works in Wats who might want to share the kind of work you do there. What are the accounts and campaigns? What is the working shift?

    Thank you very much

  8. hay ambot says:

    BEWARE AGENT WHO WANT TO APPLY WITH WESTERN WATS IN NCCC MALLL DAVAO. MY FRIEND SAY ITS A SHIT COMPANY. THEIR AGENT WERE FORCE TO RESIGN BECAUSE THEY DONT HAVE PROJECTS ANYMORE AND THEY WANTS TO CUT THEIR LOSES. MY FRIEND SAID THAT OTHER AGENTS JUST WANT TO RESIGN BECAUSE THEY WERE FORCED TO GO ON HALF DAY EVEN IF THEY DONT WANT TOO. ITS REALLY A BULLSHIT COMPANY. OTHERS AGENTS AY NAGRERESIGN NA KC DI NA NILA MATAKE A WESTERN. GINAMIT LANG SILA PARA SA SURVEY NOONG ELECTION LAST OCTOBER TO NOVEMBER. HINAHANAPAN KA DAW NG BUTAS PARA MATANGGAL LANG. GRABE TALAGA

    SO BEWARE…………

  9. feline says:

    i am from western wats cebu. and been with wwpi for more than 3 years. US IS EXPERIENCING RECESSION. EVEN AMERICANS ARE LOOSING THEIR JOBS. WESTERN WATS IS NOT SPARED WITH THAT AND SO OTHER BPO COMPANIES. IT’S A REALITY WE HAVE TO ACCEPT WORKING FROM A US BASED COMPANY. YOU CANT BE BITTER ABOUT IT. INSTEAD BE MORE POSITIVE AND TAKE IT AS A CHALLENGE TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE IN OTHER CENTERS.

  10. wats says:

    true. a reality to accept in deed.

    but do it in such a inhumane manner?? i dont think its good.

  11. wats says:

    true. a reality to accept indeed.

    but do it in such an inhumane manner?? i dont think its good.

  12. What does this worldwide standardization mean to you and me? Well, thanks to ISO, we can get cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) in New York City, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires or Moscow. The format of the credit cards, phone cards and smart cards is based on a series of ISO standards. The use of these standards, which outlines features such as the size and thickness of the card as well as the location and data format on the magnetic strip, means that all ATMs, telephones and other card machines throughout the world can read the cards. Since its establishment, ISO has focused primarily on the development of product-specific standards. However, in the mid 1980s, ISO started its work on systems-related standards. This direction later resulted in the well-known ISO 9000 series of standards, ISO 13485, ISO 14001 and others.

  13. ba ba black ship says:

    hi.. oh really? what a mess.. as a fresh grad call center was my first option of a job. geesssee, na discouraged ako. my gosh, i did not expected na ganyan pala ang WW, hanep..

  14. ^_^hello! i would like to apply in your call center agency, but how?? where did i submit my resume here??

  15. Gebby says:

    This coming Wednesday is my interview for WESTERN WATS FORMERLY OPINIONOLOGY.. im super excited and never believe in that rumor stuff. I want to make an experience rather than listening in your negative thoughts..🙂

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