BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY

Homeking is ready to serve as gateway to mainland China market

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Did you know that there are around 2 million Filipinos working abroad as household service attendant?

But while this may be their ticket to a better life, a lot of them—particularly those in the Middle East, have to deal with vulgar and abusive employers.

“They need more protection and perhaps, an even better job environment,” Homeking Philippines Inc. CEO Mr. Seung Moo Yoo explained. “These issues inspired Homeking of China to embark on an endeavor that would soon enable Filipino household service attendants, who will be further trained and employed by Homeking, to have a chance to work in mainland China.”

Indeed, with a continually improving consumption level, mainland Chinese consumers are fast becoming an attractive point for foreign household service attendants as well as top-tier household products providers that Homeking Philippines Inc. will soon offer.

With mainland China’s middle class expanding at an unprecedented pace, increase in income is expected in a few years. In fact, by 2030, their consumer spending will reach a new level now seen in the European Union, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, which cited that about 35 percent of mainland China’s population is expected to have in excess of US$10,000 of annual disposable income, a 10 percent rise of what they have today.

Upper middle-income consumers are defined as those living in China’s first and second-tier cities, with wealth of at least US$28,000 and are able to purchase cars, branded goods and properties. Over 109 million of them are now in mainland China. In comparison, high-income individuals are those who can afford financial services, overseas travel and high-end consumer goods and services.

Number 1 in mainland China

Established in 2010, Homeking is now the largest household service provider in mainland China with a customer base of over 3 million families, 30 branch companies and just last year, a revenue amounting to close to RMB 1 billion (US$150 million).

“With over 660,000 household service companies in China, what distinguish Homeking from the rest are the privileges its staff enjoy,” Yoo said. “Unlike others, a Homeking household service attendant (HSA) is an employee of the company and thus, enjoy stable salary, follow an 8-hour working day, with complete insurance protection and follow a promotion system similar to those working in white-collar jobs. Homeking has even inaugurated August 9th as HSA’s holiday in China. Now, Homeking is bringing its experience to the Philippines by establishing Homeking Philippines Inc.”

Major springboard

Homeking Philippines announced today that besides tapping premium household service market in the Philippines, it will make itself a major springboard for the mainland Chinese market will be able to have access to the best quality and dependable household service professionals. Yoo said, “The company strongly believes in our thrust, ‘Global Sourcing for World Services.’’’

As Yoo explained, the said thrust conveys two things. First, by global sourcing, Homeking will seek all the best resources from all over the world in order to provide the highest standard in domestic (household) service industry. Among the services provided are the best education and training resources in house cleaning, care taking, nanny, butler, best business model, best products for household use, such as kitchen ware, toiletries and other lifestyle products.

Second, Homeking intends bring into the world all these top level services and products together with its mature business and management model. In an era of information, international and industrial division of labor have become more diversified since our pace of life and work is faster, and people all over the world are more and more relying on outsourcing services.

Homeking has chosen the Philippines as the 1st station of its global sourcing thrust. Yoo stated, “Filipino household service attendants as been known the world over for their good character and our Chinese clients will find that they are very professional, diligent and discreet, thanks to the well-established training and certification system here in the Philippines. Not only are we looking forward to introducing into mainland China HSAs but also the training and certification system we will develop here.”

Partnerships

To take the first step, Homeking has entered into a partnership with Filhigh GNS Inc. and Ikon Solutions Asia Inc. Both prominent manpower recruitment and deployment agencies are based in Metro Manila.

This partnership will not only include recruiting and dispatching high quality Filipino household service attendants, English teachers and care takers to mainland China in the future but also involve establishing training camps with local educational institutions, enrolling Chinese participants in courses such as housekeeping, food and beverage service, and cookery, among others. The aim is to produce high quality domestic service professional that could better serve Chinese clients.

The company also intends to tap household service markets in Hong Kong, Macao and Middle East countries while employing Homeking’s mature business model where these two local partners have strong connection. In the end, Homeking aims to provide an even better protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“After successful pilot run in Manila, we now look forward to establishing similar training camps in Cebu and Davao, enrolling both Chinese and Filipino nationals, and teaching them both Homeking and TESDA courses,” Yoo said. “We will be elevating their skills, foster their attitudes and at the same time protect them as they will be working under the tutelage of Homeking’s full-time employment, ensuring that they get the salary their deserve and on time. At the same time, they will be able to enjoy the proper treatment from the families they will be assigned to.”

Homeking believed its efforts will soon attract more Filipino domestic service professionals to consider mainland China and will think twice before going to countries in the Middle East where they are often employed by vulgar and abusive individuals and families.

It should be remembered that last year, Philippine labor secretary Silvestre Bello III revealed that despite the ban and hefty penalties involved up to 200,000 were already working as domestic helpers in mainland China illegally. These families from mainland China were attracted by Filipinos’ culture and their proficiency in English, which they believed, could help their children with their studies.

This situation will soon improve. Even Chinese President Xi Jinping sees the potential of household service.

“Household service is a sunrise industry, especially considering the broad employment demand in the country, people from everywhere wants join household service whenever they come to the cities, which is just what local residents need,” the Chinese President was quoted saying during the latest 2018 National People’s Congress in China. “Service classification and training will professionalize job and satisfy various demands. This work is very important, it shall create a win-win situation if we do it right.”

Other tie-ups

For the past eight years, Homeking has distinguished itself as a leader in household service industry in China. However, the challenge at the moment is how to remain a step ahead of the competition.

“It is not enough to simply expand our housekeeping business, we have to upgrade our service by utilizing the increasing trust of our customers that we have accumulated over time, from housekeeping to articles sorting, to interior design, and eventually to health care of our customers’ family,” Yoo revealed. “These are the so called elevation stairs of customer’s demand as well as sequence of customer’s trust, and we have to climb each of these steps.”

For this end, Homeking is seeking to integrate the most-trusted household services from all over the world. Besides the Philippines, the company also looks to Japan and the United Kingdom as its possible next stations for article sorting, care taking of senior people and toddlers.

Moreover, Homeking is seeking to introduce high quality lifestyle products from independent designers worldwide as well, another gesture to acquire more business from its existing customers. The first Homeking store opened in January 2018 in Xiamen City, where Homeking’s headquarters located. A total of 100 stores are to be opened in China in the coming years.

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