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NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

AY 2009/2010, SEMESTER 1
NM3217: Publications Graphics and Design
Organizational Report: Servcorp Smart Office, Singapore

Done by:

Azmi Suhaimi U071772M

© 2010 by Azmi Suhaimi Page 1


Origins, early history

Servcorp was founded in 1978, in Sydney, Australia, by CEO Mr. Alf Mouffarige. (Business

Week, 2009) He had initially wanted to create a new venture of his own after personal successes in the

areas of banking and real estate, but found the associated costs of an office, receptionist and secretarial

support to be reducing his profit margin. Thus Mr. Moufarrige began investigating the sharing of office

space and office staff, dividing the costs between several businesses to reduce overheads, a service

which was nonexistent in Sydney at that time. This then led to the formation of Servcorp. (Servcorp ) It

initially opened 16 offices, one quarter of a floor, in Sydney’s MLC Centre. Owing to financial

constraints, only two offices, a receptionist/secretarial area and a single boardroom were initially

constructed. However within 12 months, Servcorp had expanded to two floors in the MLC Centre and a

floor in Melbourne. (Servcorp )

In 1980 Mr. Moufarrige pioneered the world’s first “Virtual Office”, allowing businesses to

have the presence, support and facilities of a serviced office without the cost of a 24-hour office space.

The business model gained ground and support over the years, as Servcorp expanded first into

Singapore, and then other locations in South East Asia, France and Japan. Following that, Servcorp

expanded into Belgium, the Middle East, China, India and New Zealand. In 1999, Servcorp was

publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (SRV). (Servcorp )

What the organization is today, what it does

Due to its global expansion, Servcorp’s initial formula of focussing on providing business

solutions to help save clients’ time and money on office space is now built on a converged network

which allows clients portability and flexibility to access and conduct their business globally. The in-

house creation of proprietary Information Technology and Communications systems for business such

as Smart Office, Call Manager, O.T.I.I.S. and Servcorp Hottdesk under Servcorp Online has allowed it

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to be a single focal point for delivery for all Servcorp services. (Servcorp ) (Servcorp Interactive

Profile)

Today, Servcorp has accumulated in excess of $100 million in revenue every financial year,

with revenue for AY2008 at $190.14 million, an increase of 14% on 2007. Net profit after tax also

increased - up 29% on 2007, to $33.83 million in 2008. (Servcorp ) As of 19 August 2009, Servcorp

announced a net profit before tax of $47.28 million, up 6% from 2008. (Servcorp)

Servcorp operates in 67 floors in 22 cities across 13 countries, with thousands of clients

worldwide. (Servcorp) Its current offices operate in Australia (18 floors), New Zealand (3 floors),

China & Hongkong (7 floors), South East Asia (10 floors), Japan (17 floors), India (3 floors), Europe

(6 floors) and the Middle East (6 floors). (Figure 1) (Servcorp )

(Source: Servcorp Results Presentation)

In Singapore, it operates in Level 27 of the Prudential Tower, Levels 30 & 31 of Six Battery

Road and Penthouse Level & 42 of the Suntec Tower Three. (Servcorp Handbook) Locally, it has over

100 clients in-office and an estimated 400-600 virtual clients, according to Dahlia Jainal, Client

Relations Officer, Servcorp Singapore. (Jainal, 2009)

In AY 2008, Servcorp expanded to new locations in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Doha, Beijing,

Chengdu, Wellington, Adelaide and Fukuoka. As of AY 2009, Servcorp has opened up locations in
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Qatar (March), Abu Dhabi (April) & Jeddah (May), with projections to expand into the Middle East,

selected Asia locations, the United States of America and the United Kingdom in the coming years.

(Servcorp )

Servcorp has a few franchises, namely an agreement with K. Raheja Corporation, an Indian

company, to use the Servcorp name and business systems in India and the opening up of 6 locations in

India within 3 years. Adding to the ones opened in Mumbai and Hyderabad as mentioned earlier, more

locations Mumbai, Pune, Gurgoan and Chennai are planned. Locations in New Delhi, Kolkata and

Bangalore are being explored for potential expansion. (Servcorp ) Another subsidiary is Office Squared

Ltd, which operates in Malaysia and signed a partnership agreement with MSC Malaysia (A

Government Initiative developing a project titled i-City Malaysia) to handle the technological

infrastructure of the project. (The Star, 2009)

Key Publics- With Demographics

Servcorp’s global key publics include employees, stockholders and customers (termed clients)

in all its offices worldwide. It has an employee base of an estimated 400 personnel worldwide.

(LinkedIn) As of AY2008, it has 1,072 shareholders owning 80,467,310 Ordinary shares. (Servcorp )

Sovori Pte Ltd holds the largest amount, with 48,379,753 shares (59.46%), followed by Perpetual

Limited with 11,495,603 (14.29%). JP Morgan Nominees Australia Limited also holds 9,516,098

Ordinary shares (11.83%). (Servcorp ) Its clients are key publics of the company as well, with

predominantly business-to-business services involved. Clients of Serviced/ Virtual offices include:

 Startup Companies/ Entrepreneurial - Small to medium businesses.

 Overflow – Large companies experiencing growth, with traditional leased space in the area

which it has outgrown.

 Interim - Clients who are moving from a specific location to another, and might need temporary

space.

 High tech and dot com companies.

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 New Market / Locational – Businesses which have headquarters in another region which require

a business presence in the area, or who are testing new markets.

 Project based- such as sole practitioners, financial planners, stockbrokers

(Harrison, Wheeler, & Whitehead, 2004) (The Executive Centre)

Servcorp Singapore- Key Publics

However, for the purposes of this particular public relations campaign delivery, an assessment

of Servcorp Singapore’s branch key publics is conducted to ensure effectiveness and relevance of a

public relations campaign which is tailored and targeted to our trade, cultural and societal diversity.

The identification elements of key publics are basically the same, but differ in its content. Singapore’s

total demographic as per 2008 is 4.839 million, with 3.642 Singapore residents. (Statistics Singapore,

2009) In terms of market figures, favourable and consistent communications to employees is vital due

to the high resignation rate in Singapore for the Real Estate & Leasing Services industry in recent

years. 2008 figures show a 3rd highest average monthly resignation rate among industries, at 2.9%

(Ibid.) In the interests of stakeholders, it is important to note that GDP for the business services

industry increased significantly from 30.6 billion in 2007 to 36.2 billion the next year. (Ibid.) It may

also be of interest to the shareholders and clients regarding the drop in the formation of businesses in

the Real Estate & Leasing Services from 404 in 2007 to 393 in 2008 (Ibid.) which will affect the public

relations campaign messages in the short run.

Servcorp Singapore Key Publics: 1-10 employee businesses

Statistics by IDA point towards a relatively low 76% of businesses with 1-10 employees

using computers in 2008, which is an 8% increase from 2006 figures, but which differ significantly

from 90% and above for businesses with more than 10 employees. (IDA Singapore, 2009) (Fig 2)

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(Fig 2) Source: IDA Singapore, 2009

Internet usage for businesses with 1-10 employees in 2008 is also low at 67% compared to

89% in 10-49 employee category. (IDA Singapore, 2009) This could provide an opportunity for

Servcorp Singapore to target these segmented publics and persuade potential clients to tap into

Servcorp’s reliable IT infrastructure and Virtual Office space.

Some companies utilizing Servcorp Singapore’s Serviced Space:

Och Ziff Real Estate (Asset Management Firm)

NYMEX (Commodity Exchange)

Paramount Chiropractic (Specialist Services)

Reed Personnel Services (Specialist Recruiters)

Airservices Australia (Large airservices firm)

Klinger (Sealing Fluid Manufacturer)

(Jainal, 2009)

The companies listed above are only a few of around 100 companies utilizing Servcorp Singapore’s

Serviced Office. They generally fit into the categories of Serviced Office type of clients as indicated

earlier.

Organisational Philosophy

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Servcorp’s organisational philosophy is to be the “innovators of the serviced office & virtual

office industry by developing technological driven solutions, thus benefiting business.” (Servcorp) It

prides itself on exceeding expectations and giving attention to the little things. (Ibid.) Providing the

most cost-effective office solution which allows clients to focus on their own business and not running

the office is the main tenet of the organisation. (Ibid.)

Organisation’s Mission

Servcorp’s mission is “to strive for perfection and be committed to being the World’s finest

Serviced Office and Virtual Office provider.” (Servcorp) (Sivaraman, 2009)

Organisational Culture

Servcorp has a strongly rooted organisational culture which new employees would have to

undergo on-the-job training to internalize. (Jainal, 2009) These are implemented in line with the

company’s mission to be the finest Serviced Office and Virtual Office provider. Some of them include:

 Punctuality is of vital importance: To be 5 minutes early is to be 10 minutes late.

 Presentation: In everything that Servcorp employees do, it should follow a 5-star standard,

including their presentation and the outlook of the office.

 Service Delivery: There should ALWAYS be a WOW factor in anything that Servcorp

employees do.

 Communications: Right command of English, any other languages not allowed in the office.

 Accountability: Everyone has a masterlist.

 Inventory keeping: Every document has to be dated and initialled.

 Everyone in Servcorp watches its bottomline and does not waste money, everyone is thinking of

ways to save money.

 Servcorp does not accept complacency.


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 Servcorp employees are results focused.

 Servcorp employees are competitive and protect Servcorp.

 Servcorp invests and develops technology.

 Servcorp provides great service with a smile and value for money to their clients.

 Each location has a team meeting of every 6-8 weeks.

 Servcorp hires and keeps the best.

(Ibid.)

Servcorp’s Aspirations, Goals and Objectives

Servcorp has a few goals and objectives laid out, mainly:

 Providing best management team in industry.

 Training process second to none.

 Adoption of efficient business processes.

 Provision of leading technological services.

 Always aspire to meet beyond client's needs.

 Plant that wow impression on all clients.

(Servcorp)

Public Relations Opportunity or Problem

Servcorp has been an active supporter of environmental sustainability, and has taken large

strides to protect the environment from damage. They are a Premium supporter of Australian

environmental charity, the Greenfleet program, providing promotion for the charity and also

contributing to a Carbon Offset of 2047 tonnes CO2-e in 2008. (Greenfleet, 2009) More recently,

Servcorp launched a website, the Green Offices Project, on 29 July 2009 through “Reducing” in their

workplace, “Offset” emission through planting trees and “Educating” their employees and clients about

the importance of saving the environment. (Servcorp Green Offices) Servcorp has successfully saved

half a million sheets of paper per year through the use of their online sign-up process. (Ibid.)

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A public relations opportunity presents itself when American president Barack Obama

announced that he would be speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit to be held in

Singapore, November 2009. (APEC , 2009) Mr Obama is a well-known supporter of environmental

sustainability, making climate change a national priority since he came into office. (America.gov,

2009) Mr Obama has shown a willingness to discuss about such issues globally (Huffington Post,

2009) and also recently passed a climate change bill through the House of Representatives (Guardian,

2009). Servcorp Singapore can seize the opportunity of Mr. Obama’s timely arrival in their

publications and motivate the key publics most directly involved in waste reduction, the employees, to

reduce, reuse and recycle even more by aligning their publications campaign message with Mr

Obama’s popular slogan, “Yes, We Can!” (CNN, 2008) A clearly articulated and well-planned

publication will effectively target the employees and create a memorable impact on Servcorp’s

commitment towards protecting the environment.

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