On Why Google’s Coming Is A Boon To Local Businesses in the Philippines

Last January 23, Google launched the opening of its new office in the Philippines. This is a momentous event whose significance I wish to emphasize. The capitalization of the new office is relatively small compared to the billions put up by other investors, but the long-term impact on our economy would be huge. Google, as most people already know, is the world’s leading Internet search engine.
While Google has already had presence here for several years, as far as I know it was only a one-man operation and there was no office. Its rapid growth required a larger workforce.
Google’s office here is led by their country manager, Narciso Reyes, a Google veteran who was previously Google Sales Head for the Philippines. With their office now in place, what are the possible benefits we could expect? Here’s an initial list:
More relevant content tailored to the Philippines. It is likely that more Google content will be coming from our country. As Google develops its product and service offerings, there would be more adaptation to our market. The needs of our Internet users would be better addressed as more feedback would be channelled to Google.
More high-quality jobs. Google is regularly voted as one of the best companies to work for. For now, I have heard that the focus would be hiring staff to support their sales functions. Still, the perks of being a Google employee are legendary. They allegedly aspire “to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world.” This has the potential to influence how other leading companies manage their employees here. I have also read that their office interiors abroad are one of the most fascinating, with employees given more leeway on how to make their workplace more conducive to higher productivity.
Improvement in our Internet marketing skills. It is but natural for the number one Internet company to bring our Internet marketing skills to a higher level. Since it is more efficient to market online, this would be a boost to our economy especially if we could successfully tap the international market. Already, many of our Internet marketers are being trained under Google’s Engage program. The bulk of Google’s earnings come from placing advertisements in websites and when you use their search engine. The use of their marketing platform called Adwords requires a certain level of knowledge which they will now be in a position to better propagate. Filipino website owners may also earn from their website using Google’s Adsense, wherein they pay you for showing their advertisements on your site.
More savings from Google’s productivity tools. While the Philippines, like most of the world, is still Microsoft Office-dominated, the presence of Google here would likely mean a stronger push for their Google Apps—an Internet-based competitor of MS Office. Google Apps’ Office Suite is free, at least initially. Google is able to offer many services for free because they are able to earn from showing advertisements. Even if you do not choose to change your current software, more competition would improve your bargaining leverage and would likely make pricing more affordable.
Faster access to new Google services and products. With Google’s greater commitment to our country, there is likely to be a faster rollout for their products and services here. This would mean that our market would be better able to keep up with new developments that may be useful in enhancing both our work and entertainment. Besides Internet services, Google is also into making smart phones through their Motorola acquisition.
There are many more benefits that will result from the establishment of Google’s Philippine office. These are exciting times not only for the Philippines’ Internet industry, but also for the millions of Internet users here. The entry of Google would serve as a refreshing stimulus not only to those in the Internet business, but to the entire economy.

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, April 7, 2013. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.