How an OFW sets up a successful BPO business

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva June 07,2016 - 08:15 PM


Driven by her desire to create jobs so people aren’t forced to follow in her footsteps, a former overseas worker came back to the Philippines and established what is now recognized as one of the most successful business process outsourcing companies in the world.

Myrna Padilla, founder and CEO of Mynd Consulting, a Davao-based social network management software provider, shared her success story during the Cebu Digital Transformation Summit 2016 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City last week.

What started out as a company with two people and an old computer has now evolved into a firm running multiple shifts supplying web design and development services to clients in the United States and Europe.

Mynd Consulting also provides social media management systems that allow clients to monitor multiple social media sites. The company also developed the OFW Watch Android Mobile Applications service, a tool for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to help each other.

The technology outsourcing stalwart said there are now over one billion people in the world with access to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

“Now stop and think what happens when you apply social media to that overwhelming number? You suddenly discover that no matter where OFWs in trouble are, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of successful OFWs nearby,” said Padilla.

OFW Watch was created as a promise to help the “brothers and sisters” that Padilla “left behind.”

The mobile application service now has 100,000 overseas worker volunteers scattered all over the world willing to extend a helping hand, said Padilla.

In the 20 years that she worked as a domestic helper in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hongkong, she has heard stories from her fellow overseas workers about the abuses they experienced under their respective employers.

In 1999, Padilla founded the Mindanao Hongkong Workers Federation and served as its chair for eight years.

It was also during that time that Padilla was introduced to the computer by his ward, Jonathan, who was still eight years old then.

“At that time, I knew nothing about technology, but I did have thirst for knowledge. I studied everything I could find on the subject. I soon began applying technology to the operations of the federation,” said Padilla.

She said that at night, she couldn’t help but cry as she thought of her children in the Philippines. But the transforming power of technology compelled her to start dreaming of coming home, to become a job creator so “others will not have to feel the anguish of being separated from their families.”

She left two of her children in 1988 to work overseas to “save them from poverty.”

Padilla was born and raised in the small fishing village of Laoay, Bohol. She said that as a small girl, she would swim out to the open sea daily to collect seaweeds and seashells to sell. The money she earned would then be used to buy food for her family.

Today, the mobile technology Mynd Consulting originally developed to help OFWs, is what doctors in America are using to watch over their patients.

“As a result, we successfully licensed our OFW technology to one of the largest and most prestigious IT companies in America,” said Padilla.

Mynd Consulting has tied up with Sharecare, a health and wellness engagement platform that provides consumers with personalized information, programs, and resources to improve their health.

The company was founded in 2010 by WebMD founder Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz, in partnership with Harpo Studios (of Oprah Winfrey), Sony Pictures Television, and Discovery Communications.

Padilla said they are now under contract to build a series of mobile apps for the healthcare market in the US using the exact technology they originally developed for OFWs.

In 2013, Mynd Consulting was accorded membership into the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA).

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TAGS: Cebu, overseas Filipino workers, Radisson Blu Hotel, technology
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