Japan IT firm Sansan expands in Cebu, pursues local tech trailblazers

John Sitchon

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Japan IT firm Sansan expands in Cebu, pursues local tech trailblazers

TECH FIRM. The "San" in Sansan Incorporated refers to the Japanese honorific used in conversations between people.

Sansan Global Development Center Inc.

(1st UPDATE) Sansan Incorporated makes its way to the Queen City of the South in Cebu in search of 100 talented software developers

CEBU, Philippines – Japanese cloud-based solutions provider Sansan Incorporated officially opened its Sansan Global Development Center in Cebu City on Thursday, December 7.

“We are committed to nurturing local talent and providing education and technological exchange,” Sansan Director and Co-Founder Kenji Shiomi said during the opening ceremony.

Founded in 2007, the Japanese tech firm takes its root from the experiences of its founder Chika Terada, a former “salaryman” who saw the challenges in finding talented personnel.  

Terada established Sansan in order to address gaps in finding connections that often cause “redundant efforts and missed opportunities,” said the company on its website.

With Cebu’s rich source of software developers, the company plans to further expand its workforce from around 35 employees to a team of 100 tech experts by May 2024.

Pool of talent

Sansan Global Development Center’s country manager is Jay Pegarido, a Dipolog-born computer engineer who found home in the province of Cebu after 22 years of working with Japan-based tech firms.

According to him, Cebu is known for its high-performing IT schools, which he shared was the reason why he left his hometown [in Dipolog City] to study there [in Cebu], and its “bigger pool” of tech talent.

Japan’s digital workforce population is estimated to be at least one million, with a possible shortage of 2.3 million workers by 2026, according to a Nikkei Asia article

Based on a survey by Germany-based research firm Statista, as of July 3, the Philippines had around six million people working in the digital economy sector in 2022. 

“The only problem now is that since there are so many new IT graduates, they are going to need training,” Pegarido said.

The computer engineer urged private companies to invest in building linkages with universities on providing realistic and practical training to students so as to close gaps in knowledge.

Approaching the norm

For Pegarido, the province of Cebu, especially its central IT hub located in Cebu I.T. Park, should consider ways to move itself towards the international norm, such as pursuing more tech events like software conferences and IT forums.

“Sansan does a lot of tech events in Japan and hopefully, we can do that here as well,” the country manager said.

Pegarido said they are looking into organizing special events alongside expansion plans in other cities in the country.

He added that there should also be attempts to improve local tech journalism, from the average product reviews to discussions on new forms of software technologies and concepts. –

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