Passionate, tech-savvy entrepreneurs and their journey to success

Passionate, tech-savvy entrepreneurs and their journey to success

( - January 23, 2017 - 10:17am

MANILA, Philippines — In this age where almost every business venture has been thought of, it‘s hard to stand out and make your mark. That’s why more entrepreneurs are turning to technology to have an edge in marketing their products to today’s “connected” generation of consumers.

No longer are businesses limited to the traditional brick and mortar. A growing number of outfits have embraced the Internet and started solidifying their online presence, especially maximizing the reach of social media.

But while technology is a big indicator of success in business, one old thing still holds true – passion. These entrepreneurs perfected the mix of both and made a splash in the business scene.

Sporting goods and equipment giant Toby’s, for instance, is a success story built on this. Toby Claudio, president of Quorum International Inc. and to whom the retail chain is named after, wants people to live a healthier, more active life through their products.

“Our mission is to help people become champions, and we do that by inspiring them to be active and [enabling] them to play sports with the right equipment,” he said.

Claudio is overseeing operations through the latest technology available using Globe myBusiness; monitoring deliveries, advertising online and subscribing to other online selling platforms.

He said it is normal for a business to encounter problems, but a proper mindset will always get you through.

“I really think you have to love what you’re doing and find a higher purpose, because that’ll get you through all the difficult times.  In business [there will] always be difficulties, but if you believe in what you’re doing and believe that it’s really something worthwhile, then everything becomes easier.  And it’ll show in your results – everything comes easier when you love what you’re doing.”

Jourdan Sebastian, founder and president of Taclob, said adding another syllable to “passion” led him to where he is now.

“But what really geared me towards what I’m doing now is finding the passion through compassion […] I discovered that the word ‘compassion’ has a very important word in it: compass.  So I used compassion to direct my passions.”

Taclob is a social enterprise providing jobs for victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban. They specialize in making disaster-ready bags.

Typhoon Yolanda was the most powerful typhoon in history so far, and putting up a business at the heart of it was not easy for Sebastian.

“The main challenge was to come up with a functional infrastructure amidst all of this.” He said.

Sebastian said Globe myBusiness’ wide array of services helped him set up and improve Taclob.

“We were able to maintain connectivity with people from all over the world who poured in their support” Sebastian said.

Now, Sebastian does not need to fly back and forth to Tacloban from Manila because he can just call or text whenever something urgent is up. He can also turn to video calls to oversee operations.

Childhood friends Aira Medina and Chi Gibbs, founder of Neon Island, originally took classes in pattern-making and sewing. They transformed their “hobby” to a garment business celebrating the Filipino culture.

“I think nowadays all you need is a cellphone, a laptop, and the Internet to start a business. It’s that easy now,” Gibbs said. “We owe the little success that we have to social media because it’s the perfect place for a business with no money to thrive.”

Neon Island took the internet by storm, but Medina and Gibbs soon found it difficult to operate with their own website from scratch. Thus they shifted to third-party online seller Shopify.

"We decided that if we wanted to reach an international following, we had to have a really efficient website. That’s when we started thinking about Shopify. It’s being used by different international brands already, so we felt like it was the most legitimate site that we could go to," Gibbs said.

For his part, RJ Ledesma, co founder of Mercato Centrale in BGC, said millennials are the dominant market today and that business owners need to find the right attack to sell their products.

“Many millennials discover their food finds online, and sharing pictures of food is currency.  It’s vital online, [because] that’s where you discover new food finds as well.”

This is why Ledesma said presentation should come as a high priority for food entrepreneurs. Millennials are drawn initially to the physical appearance of food, without necessarily having to taste it immediately.

For this, RJ recommends Globe myBusiness because other than providing avenues for him to reach vendors and other clients, it also provides workshop series like food and product photography.

Toby’s, Taclob, Neon Island and Mercato Centrale are just some living testaments of a successful fusion of passion and technology for business growth. And with technology always changing and business owners adapting, more and more young entrepreneurs will come up with different ways to penetrate the market while still doing what they love the most. 

Soon, there will be more success stories to tell, possibly including yours.

If these modern, tech-savvy entrepreneurs can make it, so can you. Get tips straight from our industry experts and special invites to Globe myBusiness events. Subscribe to Globe myBusiness’ myBizKit and begin crafting your success story now.


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