The Megaworld senior vice-president talks to MyProperty Magazine on why Megaworld is the undisputed leader in township development
Considered as one of today’s Philippine real estate luminaries, senior vice-president Jericho P. Go is not just one of the brains behind the continuous success of property giant Megaworld Corporation; he is also one of the pioneers of the business process outsourcing (BPO) office leasing industry and a name behind the rise of townships.
When Eastwood City was first conceptualized back in 1999, Go teamed up with the trusted business development team of Megaworld president and property mogul Andrew L. Tan to create the first information technology (IT) park in the Philippines, which paved the way for the boom of the BPO sector. But more than just providing the office space requirements of traditional and BPO companies, Megaworld has developed Bagumbayan into a top-notch go-to place in Quezon City under Go’s leadership.
As a senior vice president, Go is involved with multiple responsibilities within the company. He is in charge of the overall strategy of product development, as well as securing accounts for their BPO towers. His efforts made Megaworld the market leader in BPO office leasing in terms of office space inventory.
Megaworld’s bid to provide world-class office spaces to offshore companies from around the world, plus the talent and hard-work of Filipino workers, gave birth to one of the country’s demographic sweet spots. The local BPO sector since then has come a long way; it is now one of the biggest contributors of billions of dollars and a verifiable pillar of the Philippine economy.
Sustainable live-and-work locations
As a mover and shaker in the residential, office leasing, retail and commercial property landscape, Megaworld brought their expertise from each field to create complete township communities. The company coined the term “live-work-play,” a principle they apply to all of their developments. Utilizing their vast landbank, Megaworld to date has 21 townships all over the country.
“What continues to be exciting in building township communities is our valuable contribution not just in the lifestyle of our residents but to the well-being of nature. Walking to work and to all other everyday activities like dining, shopping, fitness, and entertainment means lesser carbon footprints. Megaworld is inspired to promote a healthy and sustainable living environment,” shared by Jericho Go.
“Furthermore, we are not stopping with just building communities, we are escalating our game by constantly adding stimulating amenities like the football field in McKinley Hill, bike lanes in McKinley West and a super club in Uptown Bonifacio,” said Jericho Go. From the very first vibrant little city of Eastwood, Megaworld has built their name across the country, adding the right element to each community to capture the specific need and unique attribute of each exciting mixed-used district.
A popular entertainment destination, Newport City in Pasay is another noteworthy township in Megaworld’s portfolio. With world-class hotels, casinos, restaurants, theaters and more, Newport is yet another example of how Megaworld creates amazing stand-alone little cities at the heart of the metro.
“But Megaworld is not limited to just constructing and managing our properties, we add the heart and soul to it by forming an interactive relationship among our tenants.” Mr. Go proudly shared, adding that that when Megaworld was just on the starting phase of this initiative, the efforts put into the project was motivating. Through tournaments like football, Frisbee and flat football, the leading developer is gradually making cohesive and unified developments, a practice they continue to do so today.
Being a leader in the BPO field, one of Megaworld’s topmost priorities is sustainability. “A number of our buildings in Metro Manila are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) developments. It is important to ensure that the best working conditions and better air quality are offered to tenants and their employees. Hence, their satisfaction is our success. We are full of pride because our hard work is paying off. Our occupancy rate is 99% filled while the remaining one percent are the small spaces vacated by our tenants who already expanded,” he enthused.
Moving forward, the senior vice president is tasked to define the track to take for Megaworld to retain its market dominance year on year. While doing his job successfully, Go sees to it that the country benefits as well. Now that he has secured more than 130 locators (and counting) in all their office buildings, Go projects that thousands of direct and indirect jobs will be provided to the Filipinos.
He calls it the multiplier effect: when a global company employs hundreds of workers, other industries that serve these employees will follow suit. Food establishments, transport services and the like will soon give various working opportunities to countless people.
“In a nutshell, Megaworld promotes a living and thriving community through interaction and accessibility. We want to provide the ease of being able to live where you work, and to entertain, play and learn within the boundaries of the township. Moreover, we are also protecting nature and nourishing the economy,” Go added.
The Philippines at par with the world
When asked about the current state of BPO and the knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) in the country, the Megaworld SVP believes that the country is going strong and can compete with the rest of the world.
“When we pioneered BPO office leasing in the 1990s, it was mostly voice, but it has transformed immensely since then. Most big players worldwide are now seeing the potential of Filipino professionals. From mostly third-party outsourcing, we are now getting more share in the captive market,” said Go.
Captives—provision of IT, BPO, call center and other services exclusively to their companies—are now largely present in the Philippines. These are the likes of Wells Fargo, HP, Deutche Bank, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citibank, and many others. These blue chip players recognize the Philippines’ highly skilled talent pool, putting the country on the map for its reliable workforce.
According to Go, the emergence of these big companies brought in sophisticated and highly technical jobs that offer better wages and require more office space. This benchmark alone is a testament that office leasing is, and will continue to be, robust and buoyant. By 2020, roughly 1.3 million square meters of office space inventory will be delivered by Megaworld and as early as today, the company has already signed contracts to lease out spaces in buildings that will be completed in 2017.
“We built a reputation and standard that is highly sought after by BPO and KPO companies. But more than that, it is our flexibility and scalability that gives us the upper hand,” the SVP shared. According to Go, Megaworld have the largest landbank in Fort Bonifacio, 105 hectares and half of which are still for future developments.
Corporate social responsibility
Beyond being a trusted real estate brand, Megaworld works hard to support the country in return. “Our 21 townships have championed the concept of reverse migration. By making first-rate, do-it-all and livable destinations, more Filipinos working abroad are coming back to the country. High-paying professionals such as architects, engineers and many others who left for better paying wage overseas are returning to their families. Families are reunited, and homes and hearts are completely filled.”
Moreover, as Megaworld recognizes the congestion problem in the metro, the company is embarking on a program that will bring advancement to provinces like Iloilo, Davao, Cebu, Bacolod, and a myriad of others. This way, people can stay where they are but still experience the modern sophisticated lifestyle usually offered in the [national] capital region. “We bring the development to them,” Go explained.
When asked about the state and future of real estate, he maintains that the industry will continue to be bullish. Office is robust, retail is flourishing, and township residential is strong.
That is why we call it Megaworld, but it is better said in Tagalog.
“Mega-galing pa ba?” he ended.
Photos by Lincoln Gasmen. This article originally appeared in the 2016 third quarter issue of the MyProperty.ph Magazine.