Davao City has great potential for IT hubs and business process outsourcing, given its vast resources of graduates, security, and limited cities competing in Mindanao region. But as a business locator, I personally find it hard to locate a strategic development center for small ISV company like ours here. There are only two buildings in davao that can be suited for IT business, the Pryce Tower and Landco Building.We visited Pryce Tower at Bajada, Davao City near J. P. Laurel Avenue. I was surprised how cheap it is to rent a big place here. Around 30, 000.00 PHP for a 150 sqm. office area. But like other buildings in Makati, you have to do the construction yourself, aircondition systems, the ceilings, the interior design, and everything. In other words, its one big plain box. The elevators are old and other units are not functioning (maybe just that time we’re there :)). I also doubt if their centralized aircondition systems works good. Also to my surprise, their internet service lines is exclusive only for PLDT!! For a small team, its not so smart.
Just few meters from Pryce Tower is the Landco Building. Its a modern-design tower with facilities comparable to that of Makati. Fast and nice elevators built at center of city. Easy access to taxi, multi-cabs/jeep, resto and fast food shops. Rental price for a 150 sqm area is almost the same with Pryce. The time we visited, they have no smaller units available. Bad bad bad…
To see these two business centers and more information about davao city. click here. http://www.davaocity.gov.ph/about/index.htm
What we have considered in finding location.
Area. A small office area, around 50-75 sqm, fully painted and furnished with basic furniture and fixtures. We like that we can just buy good tables and chairs and move in in less than a month.
Noise. It has to be silent and preferably situated in a not busy street or elevated by at least 2 floors. Software engineers hate disturbance from unneccesary noise and visitors. Better be its an area in isolation hehe.
Power Supply. Good supply of electricity with back-up generator system. Btw, Davao Light is the electrictiy provider here and from what I have heard, they are nice and fast. I have learned also the electrcity here is cheaper than other cities.
Water Supply. Well designed water tubing. I have visited some office spaces in Manila were water supply system was badly designed. No built-in lines to supply water for airconditioners.
Aircondition. Its nice if the aircondition system is centralized but I think its hard to find a place like that here. We prefer some spaces that is for split-type aircons. Its more silent and cleaner compare to wall mounted and floor mounted units.
Security. Area must be secured by stationed guard most specially at night.
Location. Its nice if its not too far from city proper and access to basic services like passenger jeepneys, taxis, fast food restaurants and bars is easy.
Telecommunication. I think this one of most important. The building or office should support other internet providers and availability of DSL lines in the area or else, its an outright no way :).
Feng Sui. If a place has good feng sui, that would be really nice. lol.
Davao maybe behind Cebu, Makati, or Quezon City but this may not be for long because by end of this year, the first Davao IT park will be completed. SM Development Corp. is also developing an IT park in Ecoland and some groups are planning to create Incubation offices here. Lets just wait what more this progressive city can offer.