Fil-Am comes home to invest in
country's human capital
page B3 of the April 23, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily
FILIPINO-American Michael "Mike" Rivera came back to the Philippines
last September and was floored by the country's teeming talent that
he decided to put up the first offshore company that exclusively
catered to employee benefits administration here.
Rivera is the president of ProView Global, a company under the
US-based ProView Administration, one of the leading employee
benefits outsourcing firms in the United States whose clients
include leading hospitals, hotels, and manufacturing and real estate
He was in that industry for over 17 years and has helped developed
one of the United States' first systems for HMO Management, working
extensively with Fortune 500 companies for over a decade.
"I realized that there was an incredible amount of untapped human
capital here," says Rivera, who left the country in 1979. "I read
and witnessed the exodus of talent from this country, as I refer to
as 'brain drain' in search of better opportunities. That's when I
realized that what this country needed were investments to create
better job opportunities."
When his family first migrated to Seattle, Washington, he
experienced the stigma of racial discrimination as he and his
siblings were the only Asian kids in their community.
"I overcame this by focusing on my education," Rivera says. "I
remember feeling particularly proud in receiving high honors for US
History and English. In a way, I wanted to prove to everybody that I
could be better at their own language and their own history."
When he finally finished high school, Rivera's family couldn't
afford to send him through college.
"I got a partial scholarship in computer science in one of the
smaller colleges in the Seattle, Washington, but I had to turn it
down. I just felt that it wasn't the thing for me," he says.
As fate would have it, Rivera made the right decision since he
eventually got the opportunity to get the college degree he wanted.
Rivera joined the Marines at 17 despite his mother's objections.
Out of the 160 recruits, only 80 of them graduated. "And I was at
the top of my class," Rivera says.
It was this experience in the Marines, he says, that taught him
discipline, goal setting, and determination.
Right after college, Rivera was hired as an administrative assistant
for an insurance company and eventually went on to work for a firm
that handled employee benefits management, one of the biggest
industries in the United States right now.
Employee benefits administration involves the handling of the
insurance benefits of a company's workforce. In the United States,
much like here, medical and other benefits are generally provided
for by employers, and the cost of administering these benefits can
be quite high. These benefits range from the traditional medical and
dental benefits to the more complex Consolidated Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act (Cobra) that provide a continuation of health
care coverage even after an employee has left a company.
Prior to joining ProView, Rivera was the National Leader of Supply
Chain Management for the Group and Health Care practice at Watson
Last year, Rivera decided to come home for the first time in over 20
"I was reading some business papers that time and I realized that
the country had a significant amount of intellectual capital here,"
This made him decide to create what he calls a "win-win" situation
for both ProView and his (home) country.
"Employee benefits administration is highly labor-intensive. Seeing
that the Filipinos here can replicate if not surpass the quality of
work that we have in the US, I decided that I'd wanted to provide
opportunities for the talent here," Rivera says.
And he is not just talking about providing opportunities for his
countrymen, but giving them better salary deals as well.
"I wanted to make sure that ProView paid more than the prevailing
wages. Our staff's salaries, depending on the role, can be as much
as 30% more than the current market average compensation rates. Our
human capital strategy is to attract the highest caliber of talent,
who will provide more quality service to our customers and at the
same time create a much more loyal human capital asset base. The way
you take care of your employees will exactly be the same they would
take care of your clients.," Rivera explains, adding that he is
aware that most business process outsourcing companies in the
country have a relatively high turnover rate, something he is
looking to change.
ProView, which has started operations about a month ago, currently
has 20 employees whose ages range from 20 to 45.
Proview Global and Mike Rivera are
represented by Guzman Taņedo & Acain Law Firm.
You're invited to call us to discuss
your Outsourcing concerns. We shall be glad to talk with you over
the telephone, or in our office or yours, whichever is easiest for
you. You can also e-mail us at
firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall get back to you
GUZMAN TAŅEDO & ACAIN
Mile Long Building 316