Service center offers startups office spaces

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014


WITH the increasing presence of local and foreign startups in the country, a homegrown service office in the Cebu Business Park is offering ready-to-occupy offices where startups can immediately start their businesses.

Global Hub Serviced Offices, Inc., a 300-square meter office on the 12th floor of Keppel Center, offers 30 enclosed spaces ranging from a one-man, two-man to four-man offices.

Global Hub chief executive officer Fritzie Kon said the serviced office business, although already a decade-old industry, is still a new concept in the local scene.

Global Hub said it is one of the few Filipino-owned serviced offices in the country.

The company initially invested P8 million for Global Hub. It celebrated its first year anniversary on Monday.

Kon said that aside from the growing number of Filipino startups, the demand is also reinforced by many offshore companies that are eyeing to expand their business operation in Cebu yet want to start “small” with only a few employees at the onset.

Professional

“We would like to help starting entrepreneurs have an office in a professional environment,” Kon said.

Global Hub says it has a “business and professional environment” where starting entrepreneurs can accommodate local and foreign clients. The offices are already equipped with necessary furniture and amenities like 24/7 internet connectivity, IP telephone systems, executive chairs, and free-flowing coffee. There are also conference rooms that tenants can use when conducting conferences.

Kon said some startups have also set up a virtual office in Global Hub where they can make use of the company’s business address and avail themselves of its mail handling services.

“When startups deal with international clients, usually they would ask where is your office or business address. They are not so familiar with how we are structured here.

If you are situated in a professional sounding business address, they then consider it as a legitimate business,” said Kon on the importance of having a business office.

She said Cebuanos are very aggressive in having offices as this will help them “compete globally.”

The occupancy rate in Global Hub is now at 70 percent. Tenants are a mix of those who are into web development, e-commerce, language training, fitness and travel.

Global Hub general manager Cedric N. Tumulak III said half of their tenants are locals and the other half foreign-run businesses.

Networking

The small environment of Global Hub, according to Kon, also fosters business networking among tenants. She said the presence of a “natural support group” where businesses help each other and create deals among themselves have helped the startups to grow.

“Global Hub is actually a business incubator,” said sales and marketing executive Jay Yrogirog.

Kon said its first set of tenants have already outgrown them and moved to bigger office spaces.

In just six months since it opened an office in Global Hub, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company that started with only eight employees have already grown to 50 employees now. A Japanese company has also moved to another location when it grew to 30 employees.

Travel agency Lanzy Travel and Tours, which moved to Global Hub just yesterday, is optimistic with its new business address. Its proprietor Melanie D. Quirante and operations head Hope V. Taboada said they are eyeing to attract more clients with their new office considering that Global Hub is situated near big business centers.

Lanzy Travel and Tours previously held office in Talamban, Cebu City.

Aside from the facilities, the Global Hub management is also conducting seminars for their clients on stress management and basic accounting among others. Monthly rental fee at Global Hub starts at P12,000 and goes up to P50,000.

Kon said Global Hub is eyeing to expand in the IT Park in Lahug. It is also planning to put up another office in Manila before yearend.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 12, 2014.

Business

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