Do Filipinos Have a Place in the Global Tech Industry? These OPPO Employees Think So
As the pandemic continues to disrupt the global economy, some major industries find themselves screeching to a halt. There are those, however, who manage to find opportunities amid this crisis, and soar.
Because digital ways of doing things became the norm rather than the exception, the global tech industry boomed. Now, more than ever, Filipinos should consider being part of such an industry.
Take it from these young professionals who work at one of the world’s fast-emerging smartphone brands, OPPO, which also recorded a total of 17.9% in the country’s smartphone vendors' market share last Q4 of 2020 according to a report from market-research firm International Data Corporation. That they work at an international innovations company like OPPO is a testament to the talents of young Filipinos, and their perseverance in the face of unprecedented times.
We spoke to four of OPPO’s young Filipino talents, and each gave us a unique glimpse at what it’s like to work at an innovations-first multinational:
Satiating the hunger for growth
If there’s anything employers should know about today’s younger workforce, it’s that they’re always in pursuit of stability and growth.
"OPPO’s diverse [work environment] allows you to learn about different cultures, and accept these differences throughout your everyday interactions,” says Louie Ngo, OPPO Product Specialist. “Working with an international company has allowed me to search for self-growth exponentially—something I will not have gained elsewhere in such a short span of time.”
OPPO Operator Business Manager, Nicole Ang, agrees, adding that she was, at first, afraid of the pace and scale of growth at OPPO. “The responsibilities are huge, and at first I asked myself, ‘Will I be able to fit in?’” she says. “[But] the desire to create something big was bigger than my fears. [Plus], the tech industry is a fast-paced industry, so there’s always something new to conquer.”
On the other hand, Claudine Ng, OPPO Operator Management Trainee, had already experienced working in Southeast Asian tech startups even before joining OPPO. “ I developed a fascination for the country’s ‘cool tech bro’ scene,” she says. “This eventually culminated in my university thesis, which centered around the topic of tech startups.” Ng, still in her early 20s, now works with industry leaders and conglomerate decision-makers at OPPO.
Just like most workers her age, 24-year-old Dominique Domingo, who is a Brand Officer at OPPO, had been “hungry for self-growth and greener pastures,” too. That’s when she decided to send an application to OPPO. “[At first], I wasn’t confident [that I would get a job offer] after my interview, and I was inexperienced in the consumer tech industry,” she shares. “I took a leap of faith when I signed on and joined the team. I’m still growing and learning day by day.”
Breaking barriers to thrive
Naturally, working at a fast-paced, growth-oriented, innovations-focused company comes with its challenges. For the young Filipinos we spoke to, the most difficult ones were language, different work cultures, and the shift to the new normal work setup.
“Inevitably, there are work culture differences,” explains Ng, “but I do not consider them as cons because the challenge keeps me results-oriented.” “There is emphasis on the speed at which tasks should be delivered, [and] the minor language barriers that arise are solved quickly with Google Translate.”
“[At] OPPO, the collaboration culture is highly encouraged,” says Ang, “because we all have new things to learn from each other, coming from different cultural backgrounds. This is what I love about working [at] OPPO. I get to work with different teams and come up with new ideas together.”
As for Domingo, who came from a work environment where everyone only speaks Filipino, language continues to be a challenge. “One of the challenges I continuously experience is the language barrier,” she shares. “Being a part of a global corporation where you encounter different nationalities is interesting, to say the least.”
She adds, “I have to make a conscious effort to explain things clearly, in a simple and [concise] manner. I always have this fear of being misunderstood, and not coming across the way I should.”
Working with Purpose
Despite the challenges, working in a fast-growing industry can provide young professionals with a jump-off point from which to reach their goals. For Ang, the tech industry’s innovative culture instilled in her a growth mindset. “While before, I was just content on meeting my KPIs, now I always ask myself, ‘How can I go further?’” she says. “This mindset helped me discover what else I can do. In other words, I am constantly challenged to be better.”
She applied this mindset when she decided to pursue an MBA while still employed by OPPO. With the help of her employer, which allowed her flexible working schedules for her last semester, Ang was able to achieve her postgraduate degree.
For Ngo, on the other hand, growth took the form of a new skill. He says that representing OPPO gave him “a great lift in [his] self-confidence as a public speaker,” as well as an inside look at how businesses operate in a tech-driven world.
Above all, the young talents have learned to live by OPPO's unique "Benfen" culture, which translates to one's part or duty in Chinese. The core values under Benfen include resisting pressure and temptations, challenging and grasping the essence of a problem through critical thinking, being the first one to take responsibility, taking no advantage of others, and doing what they are meant to do even after work hours if need be.
Filipinos’ future in tech
In a world that’s increasingly connected by technology, people who work at tech companies are imbued with an even greater sense of purpose. Domingo says that “one of [her] personal dreams is to see a Philippines that’s more technologically competitive and advanced like our neighboring countries.”
To achieve this in the new normal, Ngo shares that they at OPPO have been working hard to deliver quality technology accessible to all.
“People all over the world will continue to rely on technology, and this is where OPPO will play an active role in contributing to society: by providing great tech solutions to find answers to our customers’ struggles,” he explains.
Ng also shares that while our country may have several shortcomings when it comes to digital and technological infrastructure, the trajectory of tech advancement remains the same. “The pandemic also revealed the rising stars of technology, and I do consider OPPO to be on the forefront of helping Filipinos adapt and navigate through digitalization,” she adds.
Overall, these Filipino employees found their purpose and passion in technology through the opportunities made available at OPPO. By focusing on delivering humanistic technologies and innovations, OPPO continues to transform not only its customers’ lives but also its people.