Brand & Business: Celebrating Lazada’s modern day heroes: Stories of trials, inspiration, and hope

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES —  Everyone has different motivations that drive them to achieve their goals in spite of challenges, including the ones they have for themselves and their families. However, Filipinos pride themselves in never giving up and rising through the challenges in life.

Many business owners and frontline workers alike struggled at the beginning of the pandemic due to unprecedented situations and strict quarantine protocols. Many entrepreneurs saw themselves shifting into digital strategies and pivoting to the online space.

The Power of Determination and Hard Work

Owner of DashingPH Amy Oliveros started her eCommerce journey selling phone cases on social media platforms. At the time, online sellers were still rare, and she saw healthy growth in profits. But as businesses increasingly turned to online selling, she was forced to reduce her prices and also saw her sales plummet. After taking a temporary hiatus from online selling, she set up her new business DashingPH on Lazada in 2019, changing her strategy to sell plus-sized intimate apparel for women.

Amy never expected her sales to grow during the pandemic. Like most business owners, Amy saw sales plunge to nothing during the lockdowns in March 2020. But as restrictions eased, sales picked up and she saw her business grow by 2x compared to pre-lockdown sales.

With her business seeing an increasing healthy growth, Amy has bigger dreams for her eCommerce presence and Lazada store.

“I started a business in order to get out of debt. I’m happy to say that I’m going to reach that goal very soon, despite this pandemic,” Amy says.

Dex Eranes, co-owner of NEHEMIAH Superfood had a special bond with his business partner Jemuel Gabuna. Jemuel was a father figure to Dex when his own parents separated, and supported him to finish his studies. Once Dex graduated, Jemuel had a business venture offer for him, which he declined. The two went on separate paths for a while as Dex pursued his own career interests.

Dex Eranes, co-owner of NEHEMIAH Superfood

An organic farmer himself, Jemuel held free seminars and educated fellow farmers to switch to organic methods. Together, the farmers sold a variety of locally grown, organic products such as turmeric, moringa, mangosteen and honey, among many others. Years later the two met up again, Dex learned that Jemuel’s business was not doing so well.

With years of experience as a digital marketer in his belt, Dex decided to jump onboard and help Jemuel boost his business online, opening up their product offerings to a wider audience online. This was how NEHEMIAH Superfood was born.

Initially, the business partners sold their products on social media and their own website, but saw meager sales through these outlets. They eventually onboarded on Lazada in 2019, and from there business flourished.

To date, the business now has a total of 15 employees, with Dex now achieving more than he had targeted for.

“When we were first starting out, we only earned Php 5,000. Today, we utilize that amount just for our marketing spend. Before onboarding on Lazada, I never thought I could earn a six-figure salary. Today I can afford things that back then I only dreamed of.”

For Dex, however, his biggest achievement is the knowledge that he helped build a business that also supports the livelihood of others. “Back then, I just worked for myself and my family. But with this business, so many of our farmers have shared that their lives have changed for the better. I’m motivated to work harder because I know it can benefit more people.”

Perfume Project PH owner Arnold de Chavez’s business journey stemmed from his experiences working in a non-profit organization. His job enabled him to provide financing opportunities for small businesses. “The business owners I met [while working at the non-profit] inspired me with their success stories. I tried to adopt their mindset and promised myself that I’d start my own business too someday,” says Arnold.

Perfume Project PH owner Arnold de Chavez

Arnold then started learning perfume-making in his spare time, watching videos on YouTube to guide him in his new venture. He started to sell his creations from a roadside stall, and eventually put them up for sale on Facebook. Slowly but surely, Arnold refined his skills in the craft, resulting in a boost in sales. He eventually left his day job to focus on Perfume Project PH full-time, setting up his Lazada shop in 2018.

Since onboarding on the platform, Arnold saw his sales increase by 3x. “I really invested my time and effort in improving my Lazada store: designing my store creatively, creating good product photos and writing detailed descriptions to guide my customers in their purchase,” says Arnold. “Business has been going really well. When we started out, we were just working out of my uncle’s garage. Three months in, my wife and I were able to move into our own apartment. Today, we now have a bigger office space and have 10 employees working for Perfume Project PH.”

Arnold has other plans to grow his business, planning to produce beauty products to add to his bevy of perfumes. He also plans to put up his own manufacturing facility for their products.

Looking back, Arnold is proud of his journey from an employee to a proud business owner. “Employment at a company gave me the experience I needed. It was where I learned all of the best practices I now apply in managing my own company,” says Arnold.

The Unsung Heroes behind Lazada deliveries

Because of the consistent success of monthly campaign sales, stores including The Bamboo Company, Racing Boy, and Simple Fashion by Catherine, have shared that they achieved more than their initial sales targets and attracted more customers in the past year.

These sellers work hard to meet the needs of their loyal consumers with the products they sell in their respective stores, and have shared that their biggest partner to ensure smooth delivery of the consumers orders are the Lazada logistics and operations team.

With the surge of online shoppers and delivery demands especially during the start of the pandemic, Lazada’s logistics and operations team have had to be nimble in constantly adapting to the challenges and evolving needs of consumers. Edison Litong, a Senior Warehouse Associate who has been with Lazada for the past six years, said that one of the challenges he had to face was managing more than a hundred people during campaign sales.

“At first it was kind of a daunting task for me, managing so many people during such a busy time. But I always told myself to step up to challenge and do what I can to lead the team. In the end, I’m thankful all the campaigns I managed went by smoothly,” says Edison.

While he admits there are times when the job gets tough, Edison shared that he is motivated when he sees his team achieve their goals, encouraging camaraderie, and making his team smile as they manage and overcome challenges together.

Jhon Michael Morales, an Operations Associate, found the job to be a challenge at first. A Hotel and Restaurant graduate, he had no prior background in logistics and was not familiar with the line of work. Eventually, he was able to learn the ropes thanks to the guidance of his peers and mentors, and through his day-to-day experiences.

“I feel very proud and fulfilled to be working for a well-known company like Lazada. To me, being able to support my peers and fulfill our day-to-day work delivering parcels to all our consumers really gives me a sense of personal fulfillment,” says Jhon.

As a Senior Shuttling Coordinator, Alvin Co shared that he appreciates the employee benefits that Lazada offers. Being in the logistics team, Alvin needed to learn different processes of the company, especially when he does field work and is assigned to different warehouses. He is thankful that he is able to approach anyone on the team when he needs assistance or guidance, lending a helping hand when the tasks prove to be tougher than usual.

Regardless of the long day in the warehouse, Alvin feels fulfilled whenever he can finish all his tasks and see that slowly, with the help of the income he earns, he is able to fulfill his dreams for his family.

As we move into Lazada’s 6.6 Mid-Year Campaign, sellers along with the logistics and operations teams will be working hand in hand, to ensure that the needs of our customers and the Filipino community are fulfilled with utmost quality and care.

“We are still dealing with a health crisis, but as Filipinos, we are strong, dedicated and continuously driven to survive and succeed. Through Lazada’s different campaigns and programs, we are happy to see how our sellers are slowly achieving success as we continuously innovate to provide them with the right tools to grow their respective businesses, and initiatives that enable them to reach more consumers such as our upcoming 6.6 Mid-Year Sale,” said Lazada Philippines CEO Ray Alimurung.

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