Cushman & Wakefield, a global commercial real estate services firm, has recently opened a Shared Services Center (SSC) in Manila, Philippines. The center, which was inaugurated on February 6, by Samarjeet Salvi, Head of Strategy & Transformation at Cushman & Wakefield, is located at the 32nd floor of the BDO Ecotower along 9th and 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila.
The opening of the center was a celebratory event, and a culmination of several months of hard work put in by Samar, himself, the center’s directors, managers and the company’s existing leadership and Manila staff.
The idea for setting up an SSC came from the Global Strategy and Transformation team of Cushman & Wakefield, which aimed to move various bodies of work offshore and standardize processes. The senior leadership of Cushman & Wakefield also provided the necessary support to realize this vision.
Choosing the right location for the SSC was a lengthy process that involved scoring locations based on talent, availability of certain skills, and Cushman & Wakefield's existing footprint, among other factors.
The Philippines was chosen due to its proven track record as an excellent offshore location for creative work and work that is higher up on the value chain. The Manila SSC is responsible for handling Marketing, Production Design and Global HR services for the company. These services are headed by Jade Regaliza (Marketing), Aimee Acevedo (Production Design) and Mark Castro (Global HR).
The production design team, in particular, is a new service within Cushman & Wakefield itself. The company’s senior leaders wanted to define the processes, ideate, and grow a team that would specialize in providing broker support throughout the pre- and post-sales process. This team is focused mainly on the design and delivery of template-based print and digital multimedia marketing materials for Cushman & Wakefield’s real estate brokers across the Americas. It is anticipated that the team will expand and eventually support the EMEA and APAC markets as well.
For Samar, who had the unenviable task of setting up the Manila SSC, it was not without its challenges. But the company was able to source, interview, and staff 150 employees in five months. The physical office was also challenging but fun, with a lot to do from selecting an office space to designing and branding the office and ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations. Despite the challenges, the office now looks worthy of the herculean effort it took to get it up and running, and feedback from employees has been very positive.
The center embodies the company's values of diversity, not only in terms of people demographics but also in the varied processes it will support across EMEA, APAC, and the Americas. Like most mature organizations, Cushman & Wakefield aims to grow and start a journey of continuous improvement of its internal processes. The SSC in Manila is just the first step in this journey, and the company looks forward to leveraging the great work done to build out these SSCs.