A JAPANESE-owned business process outsourcing (BPO) firm has expressed interest to expand its operation in Davao City and is now looking at possible partnership with local colleges and universities.

ISFnet, Japan's leading IT services and IT staff supply company, is bent on putting up a subsidiary office in the city, according to Ivan C. Cortez, officer in charge of the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC), told Sun.Star Davao in a recent interview.

"But ISFnet is still in the exploratory stage," he said, adding the company showed interest in the city after they observed that most its qualified applicants in Manila are from Davao City.

ISFnet opened its Manila branch in December 2013.

At present, ISFnet is now meeting with the city's tertiary educational institutions as possible partners for their expansion in the city, Cortez said.

"ISFnet is presently talking with Philippine Nikkie-Jin Kai School of Davao, Inc. to talk with partnership to incorporate their program like the teaching of Nihongo language to the school's curriculum," said Cortez.

He said the company will be employing graduates of Information Technology courses with knowledge on Nihongo.

He said company representatives have also vowed to give chance to applicants who are mostly not hired by other related companies that resulted to what Cortez described as as "tambays."

"The investor said that in Japan they have this 'stigma' that if you are not employed right away after graduating you will be considered as outcast in the society," he said.

ISFnet was founded in January 2000 in Tokyo, Japan by Yukiyoshi Watanabe and initially offered Internet-related consulting services. At present, it has offices in 22 cities in Japan, and subsidiaries in China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Myanmar and the Philippines.