Top 10 Best Investment Ideas in the Philippines 2017

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If I could describe 2016 in one word it would be “unpredictable.” A close runner up would be “strange.” 2016 is a year of change and the events so far, have influenced my picks for top 10 best investment ideas in the Philippines for 2017.

“Change” was a by-word and it manifested in the electoral processes in the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Change in political ideology in the United Kingdom; political leadership in the Philippines and the United States has taken these countries off-course and toward uncharted waters.

In a global economy, there are no more isolated incidents. What affects one region in the world affects other countries. The effects will be felt in business, immigration, prices of commodities, society and culture and peace and order. It will be reflected in the policies enacted by governments and impact our life and work.

For 2016, our forecast was simply one of continuity. It seemed back then that the business conditions in 2015 would carry over in 2016. So we put in the popular and familiar business investment ideas such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and food delivery services.

For 2017, more thought and insight were given to the business investments you should consider given the challenges and uncertainties facing the Philippines next year.

In my opinion, 2017 will be one of our most challenging years. I refuse to use the word “difficult” because challenges are meant to be overcome.

Always remember that in times of chaos, volatility, and uncertainty, opportunities will continue to exist. It will be harder to find because of all the ambiguity. But the truth is no one would want to risk capital under these conditions. For you, this only means you have less competition for those opportunities.

Here are the top 10 best investments ideas in the Philippines in 2017.

1. Resource Process Outsourcing

I believe for 2017, Resource Process Outsourcing (RPO) would be an ideal service to offer potential clients. RPO is Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO) taken to another level.

You are not just providing workforce; you are fully accountable for developing them into viable human assets.

RPO has features similar HRO specifically in the acquisition, selection and hiring of talent. The difference is that RPO takes the recruitment aspect several steps further:

  • All candidates are pre-qualified before the acquisition stage. RPO uses software to determine the cultural fitness of every applicant.
  • Selection criterion of RPO is 80% behavioral and 20% technical; the underlying principle is “everyone can be developed given the right attitude, but disruptive behavior cannot be unlearned.”
  • Successful candidates are employed but tightly scrutinized, evaluated and graded weekly, monthly and quarterly. The grading systems recognize work performance and work ethics.

The objective of RPO is to minimize the risk of employers finding potentially disruptive employees by focusing on right-fit candidates that are aligned with company values, purpose, and vision.

I went through RPO training and orientation and found it fascinating. I am convinced RPO is the next evolution of HRO. It is a process that maximizes the value of the human asset.

If you have a background in Behavioral Psychiatry, experience in HR and believe in the importance of company culture, you should consider RPO as a business. The challenge here is getting local clients because Philippine companies have yet to overcome their fears and biases against employees.

But given the Duterte administration’s plan to eliminate contractualization, now is the time for companies to embrace and indoctrinate themselves in the principles of RPO!

2. Leadership Development Academy

Company culture is a growing phenomenon in developed economies. The focus is to allow a culture with productive elements to thrive. If you have people who are consistently performing above par, you should develop them as future leaders in the company.

The value of leadership training is that it helps people accept accountability in their decisions. Employees are afraid of accountability because they cannot accept the consequences of a wrong decision. But a decision can also be the right one.

Leadership training teaches people how to approach the decision-making process and what to do should the result be contrary to expectations. Leaders can foresee change before it happens and institute revisions to strategy. They see opportunity where others see none because they are no longer afraid of making mistakes.

A company that invests in leadership training can move faster because decisions are constantly being made. If you’re familiar with Tony Hsieh’s “Holocracy” ideology at Zappos, it is exactly about developing leaders within the organization.

Some companies offer Leadership Development training. Most of their clients are US companies and those engaged in BPO. These companies conduct monthly seminars and provide retention services.

If you want to start a Leadership Development Academy, you should have the following qualifications:

  • Experience in HR, Personnel Development Training
  • Degree in Psychology
  • Certified in Leadership Programs such as John Maxwell, Dale Carnegie or Gallup’s Strength Finder.

You can offer seminars, monthly re-orientation and skills development programs, e-books, online based modules and customized training programs.

2017 remains a year of uncertainty because we do not know how the changes in foreign policy will affect business conditions. For sure, there will be a period of adjustment – a cycle of unlearning and learning. Companies will greatly benefit from leadership training services.

3. IT and Software Development

The worsening traffic conditions and the ineptitude of those in authority will continue to be a burden on business. Back in the 1990’s when conditions were not this bad; the office would not accept “traffic” as an excuse for tardiness.

Today it is no longer an excuse but a part of everyday life. It does not matter how early you leave the house or where you live. Traffic will get you. It has become extremely unpredictable.

With time becoming a more valuable asset, businesses will be made more dependent on technology to get things done on time. We need more applications that can help us run tasks from remote locations.

In one of the PHILVENCAP forums, I attended, many young, smart and entrepreneurial people presented IT frameworks and systems that would allow more home-based instruction. Students could stay home, and classes would be conducted online.

I asked if the system could be applied to offices and businesses. Theoretically, yes but there would be issues on server systems and high-level encryption.

But can you imagine if students did home-based instruction and employees worked remotely three days a week? There would be reduced traffic because there would be fewer cars on the road!

So rather that coming up with these useless coding schemes why not just subsidize or incentivize investments in IT and Software development to support remote study and work?

Home based work for small businesses is easy to set up, but large corporations with Big Data have well-founded concerns. I do know of one big company that has started to experiment with telecommuting their employees.

Software apps like Uber and GrabTaxi are helping people cope with the transportation debacle. But we need more investments in IT to keep the country progressive in the event business conditions continue to deteriorate.
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