I’m a career HR Practitioner turned serial entrepreneur.
I started my first company, STORM Consulting back in 2006. It has now grown by leaps and bounds and is now called STORM Rewards – it is the Philippine market leader in Flexible Benefits, serving thousands of employees across dozens of companies such as Nestle, Ayala, L’oreal, Telus, Pointwest Technologies, Serco, Boehringer Ingelheim, and many more.
We made all the mistakes you could possibly imagine. By sheer perseverance, passion, and prayer, STORM is still standing after nearly 7 years, and has been growing steadily.
Since then, I’ve founded other startups (some of whom have bitten the dust already, and some doing pretty well). These include explainer video studio Stream Engine Studios, competency technology firm Strata, mobile development training school Mobile Academy, and actually, Juan Great Leap has recently incorporated as well.
What I’ve learned about myself in recent years is that I really love the startup process – I absolutely love getting the right ideas and the right people together in solving great problems. I guess the “HR” person in me never left – I want to help other people find their passions. With this end in mind, can it get any better than rallying people to build startups, new entities that are supposed to center around the entrepreneur’s passions?
Looking around what has been happening in the startup scene around the world, I feel the Philippines has been left out a bit. I look at the Techcrunch-type sites around and I notice more and more extremely passionate, talented people taking huge leaps in pursuing their dreams, almost on an everyday basis.
There is a distinct lack of this kind of activity here in the Philippines. There are a precious few startups.
(Addendum: I wrote this November of 2011. Since then – FLURRY of startup activity! Startup weekends, incubators sprouting left and right, and more and more startups! Truly exciting stuff!)
Our graduates by and large think of ONE path: to make a resume, get hired by a corporation, and work their way up the corporate ladder. (then maybe get an MBA in 3-4 years, ideally abroad, and then resume going up that ladder) Talk to any business graduate of any school and this is what you’ll hear. This is the mind-numbingly singular plan.
Ever think about starting a business? What if you took that leap 2 years ago?
It is shuddering to think how many dreams have been quashed, how many creative impulses wasted, how many spirits have been broken, in these corporate jobs where positions matter more than people.
No way in hell is this because of a lack of talent. Filipinos are world-renowned talents. No way is it because of a lack of ambition.
It is because of a lack of perception. A perception that, yes, someone in her twenties can put up a great, world-class startup. That, yes, you can make a dent in the universe.
Take that leap, Juan.
Okay, my wife just told me this sounded more like a post than an “about me” Sorry, can’t help it, I’m pretty passionate about these things. For my other online profiles, you can check me out at Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and FB.