By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

SOFTWARE development and IT solutions provider Multisys Technologies Corp. is preparing to expand to three countries before the end of the year.

The Filipino company, where PLDT, Inc. has a minority stake (45.73%), said it is eyeing to enter new markets outside the Philippines by the fourth quarter of 2019.

“Actually may expansion kami [we have an expansion] this year for three countries. Not to mention (where exactly) siguro muna [for now], but Asia, Southeast Asia,” Multisys President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David L. Almirol, Jr. said in an interview with BusinessWorld last week.

“We will be working remotely. But our partners in those countries, they’ll be the ones to expand our products. Basically just repeating what we have done in the Philippines,” he added, but declined to name the three partners it tapped for the expansion.

Mr. Almirol said the five-year-old Multisys has been expanding exponentially since its formation, and is expecting to generate billions in revenues by end-2019.

“We expect this year, at the end of the year, ’yung growth namin last year, triple. Triple the revenue,” he said.

Grabe ’yung speed ngayon, especially when we launched the Bayad Center mobile app. There are more than 10,000 clients inside that app eh. So if you pay your electricity, if you pay your water, your government, your cable, your telco bills, ang maganda pati ’yung schools nand’yan na rin, ’yung credit cards. ’Yun ’yung medyo malaki ngayon ang operation,” he added, noting Multisys has recurring revenue for every transaction in the software platforms it manages for its clients.

When PLDT first announced its P1.6-billion investment in Multisys last year, Chairman, President and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said he saw a big potential in the software company as it provides end-to-end solutions to its clients.

“They’re in a next-stage development, so they need a big brother like us to provide the funding… We’re happy to do that… [Y]ou can work with them in creating bespoke solutions, or bespoke platforms, to specific companies,” he had earlier said.

Mr. Almirol amplified the sentiment of the Mr. Pangilinan, noting there is a growing demand from companies for software development and digital solutions.

“I think naging trend ngayon na every company, whether big or small, talagang they would like to have a system to use. Nagsawa na rin ang tao na puro manual eh [I think there’s a trend now that every company, big or small, wants to have a system to use. They grew tired of doing everything manually],” he said.

“They discovered now, akala kasi dati ang [they used to think] system is expense eh, now they discovered that system automation is basically saving money. The more that you automate the process, the more that you expedite the activity,” Mr. Almirol added.

The Multisys founder also noted how it is challenged to beef up its pool of software developers as the demand for such talent overseas is also growing.

Nahihirapan kasi normally lahat ng programmers naga-abroad. Kaya kami mataas ang pasweldo namin. Tsaka we give everything for free [We’re challenged because normally programmers move to work abroad. So we try to provide a huge compensation and we give everything for free],” Mr. Almirol said.

Multisys currently has more than 70 programmers in its team, which the company houses in dorms in its multipurpose office in Parañaque City.

Karamihan kasi sa companies ngayon [Most companies now], they do one programmer, one system. But ang expertise ng Multisys, we’re able to build a team such that in one project, multiple programmers are doing it. Kaya ang bilis gawin [That’s why we work fast],” Mr. Almirol said. He noted this allows Multisys to finish a four-year project in only a couple of weeks.

Mr. Almirol said PLDT’s investment in the company is helping Multisys boost its strengths to improve its operations, as it now handles more than a thousand clients.

“Since the cash infusion is there, medyo na-amplify ngayon ’yung kaya namin. And we’re hiring more people na rin. We can triple our speed as well,” he said.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.