HRM Asia Watch List 2018: Vanessa Mercado-Maningas

The HR Director for Teledirect Telecommerce in the Philippines is overseeing a rapidly expanding workforce.
By: | October 10, 2018

The HRM Asia Watch List 2018 (#hrmwatchlist), brought to you by Armstrong Craven, showcases the brightest next-generation HR leadership talent from across Southeast Asia.



Vanessa Mercado-Maningas has always known that HR was where she would forge her career.

HRM Asia Watch List

Vanessa Mercado-Maningas

HR Director, Teledirect Telecommerce Philippines

Based in: Manila

HR focus area: Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations

Favourite aspect of HR: “Helping the organisations grow, and being instrumental in helping to contribute to the livelihoods and careers of many talented individuals.”

Career-defining moment: “Realising that having genuine care for people enables me and my team to serve our employees better.”

Upon graduating with a business degree, specialising in HR, she went straight into talent acquisition for various companies in the Philippines – big and small – including ADP, Citi, and StarTek.

But it was in Teledirect Telecommerce, one of the leading providers of business process services in the Asia-Pacific, that she was able to fulfill her long-time goal of becoming a HR generalist.

Just half-a-year after joining as the Talent Acquisition Director for Philippines, Mercado-Maningas was elevated to the role of HR director for the entire market.

As HR Director of Teledirect Telecommerce in the Philippines, she now leads a team of 45 HR staff, focusing specifically on talent acquisition, payroll, employee relations, and compensation and benefits.

“The move into a broader role was especially exciting because the industry is booming here in the Philippines,” she says. “From 600 employees when I first joined in March 2017, we’ve now grown to 1,800 – and that’s only going to continue.”

With such intense levels of growth, Mercado-Maningas is very much cognizant of the fact talent retention is even more important than ever.

“Attrition can be high in this industry – 60% to 80% annually,” she admits. “We ended 2016 at 59% attrition, but last year, that figure was 50%.”

She attributes that strong figure to a very employee-centric strategy. Indeed, her HR team’s tagline is “people matters: because people matter”.

Mercado-Maningas herself sees great value in developing each employee’s individual potential, and is working to become a certified coach.

Meanwhile, she aims to continue making her mark at Teledirect.

“I was recently asked by my country head to help with our site in Barcelona, launching early next year,” she says. “I never expected to expand my work into Europe, but I’m looking forward to it!”


The HRM Asia Watch List aims to showcase the up and coming generation of HR leadership talent in Southeast Asia. The list will be unveiled daily between September 27 and October 19, 2018. Check the dedicated archive for the latest updates, follow #hrmwatchlist on social media, or see below. 

Introduction | Welcome address by Tom Mason

Profile #1: Jaspreet Kakar | Profile #2: Dianne Goette | Profile #3: Chen Fong Tuan

Profile #4: Felicia Teh | Profile #5: Monica Oudang | Profile #6: Evangeline Chua

Profile #7: Agapol Na Songkhla | Profile #8: Clayton Tan | Profile #9: Tony Tan

Profile #10: Vanessa Mercado-Maningas | Profile #11: Jahja Soenarta | Profile #12: Minn Yan

Profile #13: Rudy Afandi | Profile #14: Norazlina Idris

Profile #15: Naveen Chhabra | Profile #16: Monir Azzouzi