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The Pupil of the Eye Featuring Ms. Penny Bongato

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She comes in at 9 am in the office and a series of meetings and other agendas are lined up. Asked to describe her typical day, with a smile on her face she said: “there is no such thing as a typical day for me.” Ms. Penny Bongato is IBPAP’s Executive Director of Talent Development. True enough, busy is an understatement for her. A mother of four, an executive director, a teacher, and a speaker – the list can go on. Asked about how she juggles her time for every endeavor, her reply was filled with conviction: “I love this industry to the death.”

Penny Bongato

Ms. Penny is a part-time professor at the De La Salle College of St. Benilde where she teaches Human Resource Management. She has a clear passion for partaking knowledge to others that she even considers teaching as a form of rest. “Teaching is resting for me. When you do the things you love, it doesn’t feel like work.” For her, being around with students is not as a mere transfer of knowledge but sharing – clearly, teaching is Ms. Penny’s fountain of youth.

“I have been here even before it was called a BPO, back then it was called a Global Delivery Center”

The Future of the IT-BPM Industry

It is admirable how she manages to fulfill all of her roles, and fill them propitiously at that. She bears witness to how the BPO Industry grew, “I have been here even before it was called a BPO, back then it was called a Global Delivery Center” she added. Her passion for the things she does reflects heavily on her dedication to continue to do more. Her assessment of the future of BPO Industry relies profoundly on the academe producing more globally competitive graduates. According to Ms. Penny, in a globally competitive environment, the work needs to be done regardless of who services them and where they are located. Ergo, the growth can be exponential and we have to be prepared. She recommends to bring in the needed courses in college so students can increase their competency to prepare them for the industry.

Also Read: The IBPAP HR Summit - Getting Future Ready

According to IBPAP, English Language Proficiency is one of the critical competencies employers are eyeing for in a candidate. Ms. Penny shared that aside from this, critical thinking, learning agility, problem-solving, and decision-making are deficient. “Learning agility by being able to learn and re-learn [since] the technical stuff we are learning right now may not be needed in the future”- she added.

In 2014, 1.1 M were employed by the IT-BPM Industry, 60% were in the contact center and the remaining 40% distributed in the following areas where technical expertise is a major requisite:

  • Software Development
  • IT
  • Shared Services – Insurance
  • Back Office
  • Finance and Accounting
  • HR Outsourcing
  • Game Development
  • Animation
  • Health Care

She pointed out that the Health Care and Back Office industries are the two main industries that are currently booming and implicates a very promising future.

Penny Bongato on Roadmap 2022

IBPAP has presently secured the services of Frost and Sullivan, a renowned global consulting company and they are working together to fortify the industry. “We are working with them to know what path to take [and] we need a validation of where we are going, and check what has been done by other countries and what we can do differently to further strengthen the industry and grow even faster.”

She pointed out the significance of technology and its role in progress and modernization highlighting the fields of automation and robotics. On this note, her view is to make the Philippines equipped and ready for change. “Our only limitation to growth is to attract, hire, motivate, and retain talents. And if we are able to attract [and] have the right talents and skill, and we retain them, we can continue to grow intensely.”

Vilma Santos lookalike? She is often teased by her friends with the Star for All Seasons that this photo actually went viral on social media.

What Would You Have Done Differently?

Her love for the industry is in a level where passion meets life. Her endeavors, however, does not stop there. “I want to continue to grow, which will make me more credible when I face the academe [in terms of] teacher training and development.”

Having her own school is an agenda she should have wanted to pursue if given the chance to turn back time. “I would have put up a school bombarded with English, customer service, and, critical thinking.” Her grand idea is to prepare students for the journey ahead and highlight communication skills among others. Sadly, the core competencies she wants to underscore are often overlooked by the academe and the student populace. She reiterated that everywhere you go, no matter what industry, one needs to be well equipped and at par with global competition.

“There are a lot of things that I need to do with my life. There are a lot of opportunities to learn, and we should not stop learning”

Her thirst for knowledge is truly remarkable, she is also, by the way, a Jack Canfield certified success trainer. Asked whether there are still things she wants to do, her response was astonishing: “There are a lot of things that I need to do with my life. There are a lot of opportunities to learn, and we should not stop learning. I want to be an international public speaker – still doing my learning by enhancing and there is always room for improvement.”

Check out the other featured leaders:

Joji Aguila of HGS

Jeffrey Johnson of TelePerformance

Karen Chiang of Pearson


About TDS Global Solutions (formerly TeleDevelopment Services Inc.)

TDS has established key partnerships with organizations to serve and stimulate growth in the IT-BPM industry. It has spent decades providing outsourcing solutions, management consulting services,talent assessments, executive recruitment, and vendors election &management  for crucial departments of call center operations. For more info, please email TDS at or dial US number(1-888) 788-4441.

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