Erick Carcamo on Leading Intercultural Teams

This is the second part of our two-part series on Erick Carcamo, Senior Vice President of Majorel in Southeast Asia, Kenya, and India. Check out the first article here.

Erick started his career as a front-line agent and has since moved through many roles in the industry, both in operations and client management. This is probably one of the reasons that in everything he does, he always keeps at the top of his mind, the well-being of his teams on the front lines. Learning what’s important from the people he works with, is one of his priorities. This is especially important when leading intercultural teams. Below he goes into detail on some of the struggles he and his teams faced and their learnings and tells us more about his vision for the team, the business, and the future of customer service in his region.


What do you enjoy the most in your current role?

What I enjoy the most is my involvement in many different factors of our business, not just the operational aspect. My role allows me to work closely with our various global teams, Operations, KAM, Sales, and other regional teams. This allows me to see and learn from various perspectives within our organization, as everyone has something to bring to the table. Leading construction efforts with architects and design firms, my goals are to build offices and team environments that don’t just feel like work but a place where you are growing, taking care of your health, and well-being while creating lifelong friendships.

One thing is sure, in this role, I am never bored.

What is your biggest professional learning?

My biggest professional learning to date has been managing through different cultures and time zones. Individual offices or regions may have different ways of working, but I quickly learned to understand those differences and adapt my management in different ways. By matching cultural affinity with the right process and drive, you can achieve amazing results.

My first time traveling overseas for business, I asked for training documents to be printed. The reply was, “Yes, Sir.” Next morning, I never received the prints. To avoid conflict, the team just said, “Yes, Sir,” but never mentioned that they couldn’t right now because the printer was broken. Technically they could, but I didn’t ask when. I learned to be very specific and phrase my questions differently. This was true in something as simple as printing documents but extends to bigger things like coaching and developing change.

You don’t have to change the ideas you are trying to share, but you should be willing to adapt how you say it or coach it. If your goal is to truly make an impact, you need to learn how to reach people in ways that are more relevant to them, so they get the most out of your interactions. What speaks to them? Not all things translate the same, and by learning how to address issues, you can align directions or adjust processes to meet the goals.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced recently? How did you overcome it?

During the pandemic, I gained responsibilities overseeing India, Kenya, and Thailand. Each region has its own unique set of challenges. India, a long-tenured Majorel site; Kenya, a new fast-growing region; and Thailand, which is 100% work from home. The responsibilities of overseeing 5 countries across many time zones and such varying cultures will always bring challenges, but I have always approached my work with a smile and a “can-do” attitude.

Providing support to all based on their specific needs is important. Too often directions can be too general, and a little situational leadership goes a long way in putting practices in place and working through their needs.

Working across various time zones creates a challenge to meet with everyone and not end up working 20 hours a day. A creative schedule helps keep your sanity. There is a reason why we always say it’s always morning in the Philippines because no matter what time of the day it is, it’s always someone’s morning. You don’t overcome some of these things; you just find ways to adapt as much as possible.

It can get rather overwhelming at times, but I am always reminded of a quote I read many years ago from Desmon Tutu, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.” Meaning no matter how big or insurmountable the task may seem, only look at the next task at hand and fix that first. When climbing 1000 steps, you only look at the one in front of you.  Before you know it, you will see the results and fruits of your labor.

How do you see the future of CX in the face of growing demand for the Asian language market?

We have not even begun to see the full potential of the SEA market growth. In the last decade the market has grown through the English market in EMEA and North America. But as more countries like Africa, India, China and many ASEAN countries make the internet more accessible in more homes, you will have billions more online. As the youth in these countries grow older, they will become one of the largest markets globally with a huge buying power and customer service needs. This will create and drive a bigger demand in CX than we see today.

What are your main goals for the near future?

Continue developing our people, driving innovation, and nurturing a supportive culture for our team. Without development at all levels, our business cannot grow. Bringing new talent into our organization is great, but who better to develop and mentor than those that already live and breathe our culture? This is often said but not always done in most organizations. We need to track, measure, and hold ourselves accountable for what we commit to. The difference between a great action plan and just another presentation is simply execution; its diligence and cadence of accountability that takes a lot of work.

Thank you, Erick. We are grateful you took the time from your busy schedule to explain your position and your responsibilities further.

Do you want to learn more about Majorel Philippines and the region? Check out their social media channels! LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.

You are looking for a job with Majorel? Visit our page and find the job opportunity that is just right for you.


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