Small Business in Asia – an example

By Peter Strong . On 28-Oct-2012

Examples of some businesses established by Jaquillard Minns in Philippines during the last 5 years.

Prepared by Phil Jaquillard, Chartered Accountant
Jaquillard Minns Chartered Accountants
Adelaide, October 2012

Contact: 0418 802 711
Web:    or

1. SuperGuardian Corporation

This was the first business we established in the Philippines.  SuperGuardian is a self managed super fund administration business, that was growing rapidly in Australia, but whose growth was restricted due to a lack of availability of staff.

An office was established in the Philippines in late 2007.  The first step was to identify a Filipino manager to help recruit and grow the business in Manila. That person was found relatively easily, and was brought to Australia to undergo a 6 week training program before returning to establish the office in Manila.

The firm has grown to 40 people in Manila over a 5 year period, and has enabled SuperGuardian in Australia to grow as well.  There have been no job losses in Australia – in fact, the Australian office has also grown.  The relationships between the Australian managers and their Filipino employees are very strong, with high levels of mutual respect.

The office in Manila is an extension of the Australian office.  This is referred to as offshoring rather than outsourcing.  The Australian owners of SuperGuardian also own the Manila company, and directly control quality, recruitment, training, systems and security.

SuperGuardian in Australia can confidently grow its business, with no fear in taking on large contracts, knowing that it can easily source excellent accounting staff in Manila.  Apart from training, the key to success has been ensuring that each office understands, tolerates and works with the cultural differences.

The company has an exchange program and has assisted two of its Filipino staff to emigrate to Australia. Both of those staff now work for the business in Australia.

2.  Pharmacy group

Based on the success of the SuperGuardian model, many clients of the accounting firm Jaquillard Minns sought assistance to also open offices in Manila. A pharmacy group, for example, established a small 5 person office in Manila to provide back office assistance with the preparation of its Australian payroll for its 700 Australia staff.

The Manila office of the pharmacy group now also assists in the preparation of accounts for each of the Australian pharmacies.

3. Dental Laboratory

An Adelaide based dental laboratory was facing increased competition for dental crowns made in China.  Their client base of dentists were sending impressions offshore to be done at lower cost, and as a result the firm was losing clients and work.

To combat this, the proprietor setup a dental laboratory in Manila. Jaquillard Minns assisted him to find a suitable location in an area with a plentiful supply of dental technicians.

He now has a service offering that can compete with the Chinese laboratories.  The benefit of course is that the Manila laboratory is Australian owned. The Australian owner controls quality and materials used, and is therefore able to provide the same guarantee to his clients as for his Australian made crowns. He is also generating new clients for his business as a result of a two tiered pricing structure.

4. Graphic Design/Publishing

The business was trading at low levels of profit due to very high cost structures, which is a typical scenario for this industry, due to its highly competitive nature.

An office was set up in Manila with three staff, with a focus on reducing the average charge out rate charged to the firms clients, to enable it to win more work.

Not only did this succeed, but it has enabled to business to acquire one of its competitors which was trading at a loss.  With new cost structures, this ‘bolt-on’ acquisition is now profitable and the clients have been fully absorbed into the merged business.

The Manila office, which was three people one year ago, is now up to 11 staff.

5.  Computer Software

The Sydney based firm was finding it very difficult to find experienced programmers.  It established an office in Manila 5 years ago developing online airline reservation software.  The firm grew to 100 staff in Manila, was generating international sales for its products, and has since sold out to a Texas based competitor.

6. Building Design

Building design and construct firm has a team in Manila trained in the Australian building code. The team of approximately 10 persons prepares drawings using CAD software for its Australian head office.

7.  Accounting firm, regional Australia

The firm has found it extremely difficult to find enough staff for its country based accounting practice.  Two years ago it established an office in Manila, employing local CPA’s.  These CPA’s have been trained in Australia taxation and now assist the firm to produce accounts and taxation returns for their clients.  The firm employs 5 staff in its Manila office.

Jaqullard Minns has offices in Australia and Manila, and assists firms with all aspects of establishing and managing an offshore office in the Philippines.

Current engagements in progress:

Photo retouching business
Accounting firm
Database management
Market research company
Software developer

About the author

Peter Strong

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