[BLOCK] Manila: Marked for success
With preparations for AIBC Manila’s Launch in full swing, Ma. Miguelita Lopez gives BLOCK the lowdown on what expect from one of the most anticipated events on sea’s tech calendar.
Ms. Lopez has been in the gaming industry for 20 years, and currently occupies the role of sales manager with the Manila office.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your role as sales manager for the SiGMA Manila office? What makes the SiGMA squad such a great team to work with?
Part of my job as a Sales Manager is to lead and manage the newly formed Manila office. We are expanding and have since onboarded new hires. I make sure that apart from achieving goals and targets for the Sales Team, all other non-sales employees are well oriented with the company’s mission and vision. With support from our CEO and the Malta office, I aim to replicate the same best practice for the Manila squad.
The team works well together and works hard every day. One of the things I like is that everyone maintains the competitive spirit while still showing tireless support for one another.
And of course, the SiGMA Squad knows how to have some real fun.
What can we expect to see at AIBC Manila next xear, why should this event be on everyone’s radar?
AIBC Manila is the event to watch out for. There’s so much in store for exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees. We have the finest participants for next year’s event, and being an emerging industry in South East Asia, a lot of the start-ups are eager to join as well. Given that we have extra months to prepare, AIBC Manila will deliver like no other. SiGMA Group is also known to throw the best networking parties in the industry, an opportunity not to be missed.
How has COVID-19 impact the sea market, specifically the Philippines?
As expected, the market has slowed down, and business is limited. Southeast Asia nations introduced stringent measures to combat Covid-19, pushing non-essential industries to suspend operations. PAGCOR, announced the suspension of gaming operations in the Philippines and this has heavily impacted the companies’ income, displaced some employees and put a halt to major constructions for gaming.The Philippine government is continuously losing income from taxes due to the suspension of operations. But despite losses, the gaming industry has supported not only employees’ welfare but the nation’s fight against Covid-19.
How has the SiGMA Manila office adapted its work practise during the COVID-19 pandemic, how have you kept in touch during lockdown periods?
We keep our schedule as we are physically reporting daily to the Manila office. We log-in-and-out as normal and send reports regularly. Work from home is a challenge to all, but thanks to technology we reach out to each other through video conferences, group chats, and emails. I connect with the Malta office for updates and make sure that information is well distributed to the Manila team. With encouragement and support from our CEO, the whole Malta and Manila teams are taking online courses relative to their roles in the company, which greatly enhances our skillset.
What should European companies keen to do business in the Philippines be aware of? What makes the Philippines such a great location for the iGaming and tech industries?
European companies should expect changes to regulations as they evolve regularly. As the markets are still emerging in the Philippines, I think it is expected that rules and guidelines are thoroughly reviewed and if need be, reforms may be laid out.
The Philippines boasts a high literacy rate which makes a more-than-capable workforce for both industries. Most Filipinos have global experience and a skill set that includes proficiency in the English language.The Philippines is also ranked as one of the best countries to work for expats, and an ideal location for multinational companies, be it the lower cost of living, competitive workforce or the good working attitude of the locals.
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