Guests: Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia and Lakshmanan Mariyappan
Presenter: Henry Acosta
Guest Bio: Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia is the Managing Director of Eternus Global Outsourcing. She is a board-certified internist, a pharmacologist-researcher and an experienced entrepreneur. She has worked for more than a hundred businesses around the world for content writing, SEO, copywriting and medical research for more than 10 years. In 2003 she started working remotely for web development companies in Russia, New York and Singapore as a content developer, web designer and SEO strategist. She has also served as a pharma researcher for Ina Research, a Japanese company specializing in clinical trials in collaboration with Novartis and Cardiocore Labs for 3 years. She is the main author of a college textbook “Pharmacology for Allied health Professions, First Edition and the owner of Meds at Sea Pharmacy and Distribution, a drugstore and drug distributor/wholesaler in Western Visayas.
Lakshmanan Mariyappan is the CEO of Eternus Global Outsourcing. He has worked in the analysis and development of web applications and services in PHP as a Senior Developer and Software Engineer. He is the author of Facebook Feed FBF plugin in WordPress, which was downloaded for more than 60,000 times. He was a graduate of MSc in Bioinformatics in GRD College of Sciences in Coimbatore, India after finishing his B.S. Microbiology degree. He also serves as one of the writers and editors of Scriptus Medical Research, a medical informatics news site and a co-author of “Pharmacology for Allied Health Professions”.
Segment overview: Eternus Global Outsourcing is a global information technology and medical KPO company that offers offer technology solutions to business around the world by combining scientific, medical and biopharmaceutical knowledge and technology expertise. In this interview, we are joined by their CEO, Lakshmanan Mariyappan together with Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia, Managing Director of Eternus Global Outsourcing
Address: SEAOIL Barotac Nuevo Commercial Complex, Barotac Nuevo – Zarraga Rd, Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo City, 5007 Iloilo
Contact Number(LOCAL): (033) 528 8083
Henry Acosta: Welcome to another episode of the Outsourcing and Offshoring Philippines podcast. I’m Henry Acosta the host for this episode. With us today is Eternus Global Outsourcing. We have the CEO of the company, Lakshmanan Mariappan. Lax is a well achieved entrepreneur and he specializes in eCommerce development. Alongside him is their Managing Director, Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia. She is a licensed doctor and has worked in multiple businesses around the world. Today, they’re here with us to talk about Eternus Global and the current BPO industry here in the Philippines. Welcome to the show Lax and Marie, pleasure to have you on board.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Hello, welcome. Good afternoon.
Lakshmanan Mariappan: It’s our pleasure to be joining with you Henry.
Henry Acosta: How did you guys get started with Eternus Global Outsourcing?
Lakshmanan Mariappan: Dr. Marie and me are working for various clients across the globe. Right from content writing, SEO development are all other jobs. And then we found like a lot of workforce is there in the Philippines. We found like a ‘why not we can offer more jobs to the Filipinos?’ Since we have already an existing portfolio in a lot of clientele across the globe like we started off with starting enlisting a company and then we slowly converting our clients with the more projects across the globe.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Actually, like I’m a practicing physician. But before I became a physician, I was already writing content and doing SEO for various clients around the world. And then I met Lax in 2015 and then, like he was working as a web developer and a software engineer in India. Before I had a vision. When I started I was so young, when I started writing. And then, I found content writing to be profitable. I think that it could help a lot of Filipinos. And I found out that writing comes naturally not only that, a lot of Filipinos are competent. It’s just that there’s no one to guide them in the right direction. I think that by … the right path they starting Eternus Global, they can harness a lot of Filipino talents out there, like in my end, like content writing, web development. It’s not only it helped my career because as I have said, I’m a practicing physician. But what it did to me is that, it can be an additional source of income. And then, you have the flexibility to work from home, and at the same time, you can meet a lot of people, and then you can harness your potential. We started Eternus Global, a company on that vision. Our focus in our company is to do information technology, outsourcing and medical knowledge practice outsourcing. Our main focus is eCommerce development, that’s Lax’s expertise and vertical market web software development, digital marketing and medical research. Our aim is to employ … to work first … and Lax will soon be coming here. We’re training a lot of young people here from various universities to join us and we’re recruiting some computer science, information technology graduates, because I want to help them and I want to harness their talents. The way that my previous clients have done to me because when I entered outsourcing before, I was not open initially to content writing. But then those clients of mine, they hired me as a freelance writer, they taught me about web development, they taught me about content writing, and so I want to pass on to the young people also, share to them my experience and encourage them to do more and not to be limited by their vocation.
Henry Acosta: I see. It sounds like a great story. Congratulations in being successful with building your company.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Thank you. As of present, Eternus Global is just starting. We hope that we’re going to achieve these goals of ours. We’re going to employ a lot of people especially young people here in the Philippines who have a lot talents and we want to develop those talents because what I have noticed here in the Philippines, we have a lot of fresh graduates nowadays, especially nursing graduates, and commerce graduates and those IT graduates, computer science graduates. Based on my experience in evaluating these students or these graduates, what I found out is that they lack experience and they lack training towards software engineering, software development, web development. That’s why I convince to Lax to go the Philippines, I want to harness the talents of the Filipinos. Our minds here in the the Philippines are not open towards software and web development. Actually, there is high potential in that area so that’s what me and Lax are working hard.
Henry Acosta: Why did you guys choose the Philippines as opposed to other countries as the place to do your business? I see Lax is from India, so that’s interesting.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Lax, can you answer that? Or I will be the one to answer that?
Lakshmanan Mariappan: Yes, I can answer that. Actually, the Philippines is emerging, it is one of the top 5 outsourcing destinations in the world. Filipinos are naturally, they’re good in English and the time zone is much convenient for other clients like Australians or other ones like in the Middle East, the time zone, the language and the workforce. Every year, I read somewhere like every year more than 500,000 people are passing from the colleges in the Philippines. I need some good, the people are really interested to work for outsourcing industry. We chose, like we can upgrade from the Philippines. Since I am from India, we found that Filipinos lack some sort of training with regards of eCommerce, developmental knowledge, and development something. But in the other hand, regarding outsourcing, their communication is good, the Filipinos are … I’ve been here in the Philippines for over past 8 months so I’ve noticed that Filipinos are fun-loving people and they are happy to work with. It’s good to be here in the Philippines.
Henry Acosta: Yes. We’re glad to have you here in the Philippines Lax and I hope you like your stay here so far. I see the both of you guys have medical backgrounds, how did you come up or how did you get into the BPO industry?
Lakshmanan Mariappan: Yes. Eternus is an independent outsourcing and a medical knowledge processing company. It’s not just a BPO, we are helping the healthcare professionals in terms of research, medical writing and building medical publications for physicians, better communication between the physicians and the patients. We are now focusing on building our … device like you can access data from your phone, tablet, or from website. We are now building electronic health records or the patient information management system. We found that there’s a gap between the IT and the healthcare. We took it as a niche and we guess it is right like there’s a high potential in terms of healthcare when you go and find like even now, that top news today us Amazon is looking an eye on health care like … They are going to hire someone as a health care manager. So everyone is looking at healthcare industry since it is booming and there’s a high potential in that. Since we started, we had an idea of going with one development in IT and then we added a knowledge process outsourcing related to medical, that is medical KPO because Dr. Gabs is … a practitioner and she’s a practicing medicine for more than 10 years. Myself, I am a Bioinformatician. Since … I know that medical industry needs some more input and some more technology growth. We are far advanced in terms of technology like our website and whatever it is, it’s far advanced. But in terms of medical, there’s a room for softwares and applications that will make both physicians and the patients, it will be better for the whole humanity. We started off with the medical KPO. We are … now across the clients from Saudi Arabia, from Belgium, others from Australia. We are doing research focusing on medical which people who are in the healthcare … that we can do. Since Dr. Mary that for many years, hiring more experience in clinical research, she is doing the clinical research. We’ll do some research for medical organizations, pharma industries and we also do pharma regulated researches. We’ve started with the proper guidelines as per the Philippine’s government. We started off with registering the name in the sect and as per every company, we have our BIR and all the other stuff we established. From the …, we are now in the stage of start up. We are waiting for … growth in the coming years.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: I think I’m going to add further to what Lax has told us. In the medical industry, as he has said, there is a huge gap between information technology and medicine. For example, nowadays, for patients, even in the government hospitals, we are not even implementing electronic medical records. We just want to inform Filipinos how easy it is to integrate health software into our daily lives. We want to build systems that facilitate the processes or to hasten the processes between the physicians, patients and other healthcare professionals. We want to focus on medical software that can enhance, diagnosis and treatment across all the medical disciplines. For example, electronic medical health records, like the patients can log in into a portal there for his appointments. Inside the hospital, we want to build a software wherein you can have your medical diagnostics already present not in paper for it to be fast. We have experienced that here in the Philippines. There is a delay especially in the government hospitals, there’s a delay when there’s the laboratory reports are being done on paper, the medical technologies as to fill that up. Then he has to print it on paper, then he has to pass it on to the doctor and imagine the number of hours that is wasted. If you have that proper medical software wherein there is a laboratory there and then their data will enter into the physician’s record there, like in every nurse’s station there is a computer. The data from the laboratory, the data from the radiology department and the data from the pharmaceutical, it can be integrated there into the database of the hospital that the physicians can access. Imagine, time is very essential in medicine – every second counts. Every second counts in saving lives. Even a delay in minutes, it can save a lot of lives. That’s what we want Lax and me, we want to inform the Filipinos of the easy, a health informatics can save a lot of lives. Actually physicians nowadays, we want to educate physicians nowadays. The older physicians nowadays, they don’t believe in EMR, and they don’t believe in health IT. We want to educate everyone. I’ve been writing articles all over the internet and then Lax is talking about something in his blog and to everyone. He’s talking about healthcare informatics so that we Filipinos can also participate in that book, actually a lot of companies. Going back to your question on what Eternus Global Company can do to people, so our focus is eCommerce. It’s not only like we are focus on health informatics, although that is our niche. We are also doing eCommerce development because I’m not only a doctor, I’m also an entrepreneur. Lax is an entrepreneur. I’ve experienced that, I have a part of this division. It’s so hard nowadays, there are a lot of platforms, like Shopify and online store builders and they claim that you can build an online store in minutes, you can build an online stores in hours, and then it’s only $10 for every set-up. Like it’s $10 a month actually. That’s like generics. That’s only for start-ups like if you’re starting a business. In the first year of business, you can do that. You can have Shopify. But as your business grows into the growth phase, when it has a lot inventory. How can Shopify do inventory management? How can it entertain customers from the front-end? It cannot. So once you get past the start-up phase, when you are experiencing rapid growth in your business, you will experience Rap, like an online store, which is like Shopify, is not enough to help you in your business so what me and Lax want to offer Filipinos and other clients, is to make business to make a speedier process to integrate technology in business. We see a lot of restaurants nowadays, you can order from the table with just an app, so we want to … those. And then like the hotel industry, we want to focus on those people and especially the agricultural businesses, like you can even in the U.S and in other countries, they … have a software there. They can predict the growth of the crops that you will grow. They can do it actually with a software. So it’s so nice, it’s so beautiful. I think that in the later years, we can also do that here in the Philippines. We build, our e-Commerce systems are also built on open source. That means that they don’t have to shell a lot of money. They don’t have to pay every month for fees or what, except we are going to build their store and then integrate some processes there, and then they can pay us maintenance fees, but if they want to do maintenance by themselves, it’s okay, we can train them to do maintenance by themselves. So what it does, it set us support from other companies. So that’s also toward the accommodation of eCommerce development and vertical market software development. Aside from that, we are unique because we are also offering digital marketing services. That’s actually a problem with Shopify. Shopify is not SEO optimized. You cannot there in WordPress or if you build another platform. You know the most powerful SEO tool that you can use is ‘Yoast’. You can use that plugin wordpress in eCommerce. It will land high. But I noticed, like Shopify online stores, you cannot really expect that. Lax do you agree with me?
Lakshmanan Mariappan: Yes. I agree with you.
Henry Acosta: For interested clients who want to outsource here in the Philippines, what will be your best advice or words of wisdom to give them?
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Okay. Like for example, if there are clients outside the Philippines who want to look for a Filipino outsourcer. Number one that they have to look is the track record. It’s not about the beauty of their website, you look for their past clients. Next, they should have a portfolio. You look at the founders, what’s the vision and mission of the company, are they going to help you or are they going to leave you if things get bad? They should look for integrity, credibility, efficient or being efficient, and then the track record, do they have a good testimonials, and then the founders, are they qualified to do that, are they experts in their own field? Actually, it’s not a basis that you are a very large team when that very large team, no one is guiding them to the right direction. Well that’s my advice. Lax, what can you say? What can you give as an advice to those clients outside the Philippines?
Lakshmanan Mariappan: I would say that in this fast moving technology world, as you are an entrepreneur, or you have a small business, or you have grown up company, you are giving your business to them. Like you are outsourcing your work to them. Your work is going to be reflected. You have to satisfy the end user, you have to satisfy your client. All these depends under the responsiveness of your outsourcing company, when you view your work to a new company, just do some research, at least some basic googling. Whether they are existing, look for their profiles, look for their LinkedIn profile, whether they are professional clients and look for their social profiles, whether they are active. You can even do something like check for their complaints, whether their company is a fraudulent company or communicate with them through social media because even some people, they don’t even reply to their mails. When you give something to a new company, you just do some basic research. Like Gab said, look for their employees, look for the founders, look for their mission and vision, and like how even a small sari-sari store, even a small store in the Philippines has a BIR and you ask for the receipt. The same thing like when you do a business, you should ask for work order, you want to ask for the invoice, when it comes to Eternus, we’ll start with the … so that our clients will feel safe. Every single dollar they pay, this is going to be under via production. You can look for all these features like in many companies. Your money is a … audit, if they are trustworthy, you can follow all these features. I hope that many Filipino companies are doing good. That’s why the Philippines is considered as one of the top 5 destinations for outsourcing and offshoring.
Henry Acosta: How can people get in touch with you guys? And can you guys tells us where you physically located here in the Philippines?
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: To keep in touch with us, the best way is to go into our website at www.eternusglobal.com. We have a chat box there who will answer your questions and with get your emails and we respond to your emails immediately. You can be assured that. The chat box will advise you like you can add us in Skype, it’s easier. That’s the best way to reach us. Like the clients here in the Philippines, our sales and marketing office is located in Metro Manila and in Iloilo. Our Iloilo office is actually our production office, where we train people, where we hire people, where we make them work. We’re in Manila, there’s a sales office there. We have agents also in Manila who will answer your questions. You can keep in touch with us, but the best way is through our website because we are more responsive there.
Henry Acosta: That’s how I got in-touch with you guys. I’m thankful for that.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Yes. Okay.
Henry Acosta: Alright. Well that’s all our questions for today and thank you for coming by.
Lakshmanan Mariyappan: Thank you Henry. It was great to be talking to you today.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Yes. It was great talking to you.
Henry Acosta: And that was Lax and Dr. Marie of Eternus Global Outsourcing. Lax is the CEO and Marie is their Managing Director. We just finished talking about Eternus Global Outsourcing, their story and the Philippines as a destination for your business. To find out more about ins and outs of the BPO industry, go to www.offshoring.com.ph. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud and iTunes. I’m Henry Acosta and you’ve been listening to the Outsourcing and Offshoring Philippines podcast.