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Zendesk, PH relationship heats up

By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 12:12 AM April 30, 2017
Mikkel Svane, Zendesk Founder and CEO (left) with Tom Blackman, Director of Sales, Asia

Mikkel Svane, Zendesk Founder and CEO (left) with Tom Blackman, Director of Sales, Asia

In many ways, the relationship between American software company Zendesk, Inc. and the Philippines began like a “love affair,” according to one of its founders.

“We started out with servicing, engaging customers in this region, [and] back then, when we were a small startup, we weren’t sales-driven; it was all about customer service, giving a great experience as people tried out our product. And then Manila just became a very natural place for us to have people,” said the company’s founder and CEO Mikkel Svane. “We had people moving here, then they met more great people and built a team, and one thing led to another, and it’s like you started dating and getting serious!”

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Svane, who was in the country recently for the launch of Zendesk’s new office in Net Park Building in Bonifacio Global City, added that the love affair with the Philippines, which started in 2014, “has been reinforced because the quality of the people, the culture, the commitment they have—all these things are just so great here. So we continue to want to invest here.”

Zendesk’s new Manila office is also the company’s new headquarters for customer experience, for the Asia Pacific (Apac) region, which offers around 100 new posts across different functions in engineering, marketing and sales.

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The company, established in 2006 in Copenhagen by Svane, Alexander Aghassipour and Morten Primdahl, is focused on building simple, easy-to-use customer service software for all kinds of organizations.

To date, Zendesk services over 94,000 clients in 150 countries.

Together with the opening of Zendesk’s new office space, the company also launched the Zendesk Neighbor Foundation, its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program which allows employees to do volunteer community work which promotes workforce development and technical literacy, as well as educational improvement and professional development for underserved youth.

To connect with various nonprofit organizations, Zendesk Neighbor Foundation has partnered with Hands On Manila (HOM).

The foundation plans to provide around P4 million in grants to chosen groups, and has committed 1,000 volunteer hours that will support local causes, said Tiffany Apczynski, Zendesk vice president of public policy and social impact.

Last month, the foundation broke ground on a new daycare center for 100 children in Taguig City—a facility which doubles as a multipurpose room during weekends.

It also launched last year, through (HOM), a scholars program for underprivileged elementary and high-school students.

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“CSR is a key part of Zendesk’s culture. The launch of the Manila chapter of the global foundation continues our commitment to supporting the communities in which we operate,” said Apczynski.

“We are all about [building] relationships,” added Svane.

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TAGS: American software company, love affair, Zendesk Inc.
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