February 29, 2020 - Saturday
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Davao City, Philippines

DLI builds IWG-brand workspaces in Mindanao

February 03, 2020 - Monday 6:02 PM by Judy Quiros

Article Banner Image A conducive workplace inside the Regus Damosa Topaz Tower

Work from home has become popular nowadays in the Philippines particularly in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. However, many companies still prefer to offer office-based jobs. This is why the demand for flexible workspaces from local and multinational companies keeps growing.

International Workplace Group or IWG clinched the workspace growth in Mindanao by signing an exclusive franchise partnership agreement with Damosa Land, Inc. (DLI) during a ceremony held in time for the topping off of DLI’s 15-story Diamond Tower located at Damosa IT Park on January 24.

Under the agreement, DLI will develop eight IWG centers across Mindanao in the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and General Santos. The franchise partnership agreement came after IWG established its existing center, the Regus Damosa Topaz Tower also of DLI in 2016.

(From left) Rowena Natividad, head of partnership growth of IWG Philippines, Matthew Kenley, Ricardo Lagdameo, and Lars Wittig sign the franchise partnership agreement

IWG also manages the Regus Felcris Centrale which opened in 2018. IWG has four brands of operating companies, namely Regus, Spaces, HQ, and Signature.

Lars Wittig, IWG Country Manager Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and South Korea, said the Regus Damosa Topaz Tower is “still the largest center in the country at 1,600 square meters and occupied more than 100 percent.” IWG has a total of 28 centers in the Philippines and 3,500 locations worldwide.

Speaking at a press conference after the signing ceremony, Matthew James Kenly, head of Partnership Growth IWG APAC, said the franchise partnership agreement ”brings to the next level the relationship between IWG and DLI since the opening of Regus Damosa Topaz Tower.”

Matthew James Kenley, head for partnership growth IWG APAC, and DLI first vice president Ricardo Lagdameo answer media queries

“Business here is well, we see growth opportunities for this partnership. We see the partnership as key to unlocking this region,” Kenly said.

Wittig said they started to see the growth of workspace since the establishment of Regus Damosa Topaz Tower. “Since then we have witnessed the growth in the Mindanao Region fueling demand for flexible workspaces.”

He said IWG has been carefully monitoring Davao City since 1992 and witnessed its tremendous growth in the last 10 years. It was in 2016 when IWG and DLI agreed to introduce to the market the concept of workspace business, subsequently contributing to the 8 percent growth in Mindanao which is above the 6 percent national growth, Wittig said.

Ricardo Lagdameo elaborates on the specifics of the partnership

DLI First Vice President Ricardo Lagdameo sees the franchise partnership with IWG as another milestone for DLI. “We partnered with Regus three years ago and it offered a lot of new investments to come to Davao. We see it as a perfect complement for our office leasing business. One of the directions is to really grow our office leasing business and we believe with flexible workspaces, business will continue to grow for the next couple of years. We see real growth opportunities not only here in Davao but the rest of key cities in Mindanao,” Lagdameo said.

Lagdameo is optimistic local entrepreneurs would be interested to locate to the upcoming eight IWG centers which DLI will open across Mindanao since they could develop networking with the other 28 IWG centers in the county and similarly with the 3,500 IWG centers worldwide.

IWG-brand workspaces now in Mindanao. From left, Rowena Natividad, Matthew Kenley, Ricardo Lagdameo, and Lars Wittig

He said the first IWG franchise center from DLI will be located at the Diamond Tower targeted to be finished by April this year. The seven other centers will be located across Mindanao particularly in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and General Santos.

When it comes to security, Lagdameo said the “negative perception” of Mindanao as a “war-torn” island is a thing of the past.

He said people in Manila are not that scared anymore about Mindanao. “That perception is starting to change,” he said.

He also said even at the height of the martial law days in Mindanao, DLI was able to bring foreign investors into Davao City.

For Wittig, “there’s no place safer than Davao.”

Lars Wittig, IWG country manager Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and South Korea ready for the franchise deal signing inside the Regus Damosa Topaz center

He also described as unique the educational system in Davao, changing the earlier perception of foreign investors that intelligent Filipino workers are solely found in the country’s capital Manila.

“Now, it’s the other way around. Foreign companies go down here (Davao) and shop for college graduates,” he said.