PH entrepreneurs urged to try 'virtual office'

by Vincent Paul A. Garcia,

Posted at Sep 22 2013 01:35 PM | Updated as of Sep 22 2013 09:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Australia-based virtual office provider vOffice opened its first branch in the country on Tuesday, with an eye on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

vOffice offers services that gives Filipino SMEs and young professionals access to business facilities, eliminating the cost of setting up an office themselves.

"It is an effective solution for small and medium businesses who want to start their business inexpensively," said vOffice CEO Albert Goh during the launch. "If you have an idea today, you can start tomorrow.

And it was Goh's experience as a small business owner himself, running his own car wash in addition to his responsibilities as a student, that drove him to focus on helping SMEs.

"It came to me while I was in a class at Melbourne. I required someone to answer phone calls while I was in class," he admitted.

"When we started, I had ten telephones in front of me and I was answering all the calls myself," Goh said.

Today, vOffice has 22 offices and over 18,000 clients worldwide.

With the help of vOffice, SMEs can also gain access to these virtual offices in countries like the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia.

"You can rapidly expand your presence in all the major cities, globally without having to physically be there," said Alexandra Katindig, sales manager for vOffice Philippines.

The Australia-based company can also provide interested customers with a business address, an office phone number and unlimited call transfers locally and abroad for as low as P1,750.

vOffice also offers accounting and bookkeeping services, telemarketing services, graphic and web designs and printing services. The company also has a 24/7, round-the-clock service unique to the Philippines.

"What before was accessible to our foreign businessmen, because a virtual office used to be really expensive, is now available to the Filipinos, or our Juans," added Katindig.

In addition to their inaugural branch in Taguig, vOffice also plans to open branches in Makati and regions like Visayas and Mindanao.

"We are planning to cover the whole Philippines, even in Visayas and Mindanao, which will start in 2014," said Donna Rugay, regional sales manager for vOffice Philippines.

vOffice, as part of their company's corporate social responsibility and in partnership with the local government unit of Taguig, is giving away five million pesos worth of virtual office services to local entrepreneurs of Taguig City.

During the launch, Goh presented a check of P555,000 worth of vOffice services to livelihood and technology training center NegoSkwela.

"We are not focusing on our own progress, we aim to educate the young Filipino entrepreneurs and mold them. We believe that Filipinos have this natural talent and this would help them become their own boss," said Rugay.