Thursday, May 31, 2012
BEING inclined to web and graphics designing pushed her to pursue building her very own Information and Technology (IT) company.
But, this was not just about a passion. It was also an advocacy.
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Eliza Kirsten Magno, Illumedia president and creative director, said she previously had a desk job in Makati City but she eventually gave up after failing to find fulfillment in the job she thought she was best fit in.
“It was not as exciting as I thought it would be,” says Magno.
Not long after, the 28-year-old executive was fortunate to land a job online as a freelance website designer for two to three years. By then, Magno got two clients initially who grew faster more than 10, until the time she could not do it on her own.
“Biglang dumami (Eventually I had many clients). What am I gonna do? Uwi nalang ako sa Davao (I’ll go back to Davao instead),” Magno said.
Magno went back to her hometown in 2009 where she trained a group of 10 people on website designing with her intensive experience and passion for the craft for a few years as a home-based employee. These 10 individuals became her arms working for the growing number of clients.
“I understand that some of them did not have a college degree. I’ve been a web designer for most of my life and I want to share that knowledge. It’s about time that somebody else also benefits, not just me. It should be for everybody,” Magno said, being compassionate for others to earn from descent jobs as well.
Even as some of them left the team, Magno remained thankful knowing that other local outsourcing companies hired them after the training she gave.
“I hired two best people of those ten,” she said.
The young executive said she never thought good opportunities would come her way, especially when there were invitations from the organizers of the Internet Marketing Summit in Thailand for two times that paved her way to bring home more clients.
“I met all the internet marketers there. Then, nagkaroon naman ng demand,” Magno said.
“When I got back home, it can’t be that my mom and I stayed just at home,” she added.
But this time, she was finalizing her plan of putting up her own business, the Illumedia.
Magno’s very first office was at her mother’s dining room. After getting more and more clients, she and her team decided to move in to a bigger office at Victoria Plaza Compound, Bajada, Davao City.
Illumedia’s workforce now reaches 16, but it is expected to grow as many as 40 by the end of the year as Magno is about to forge a partnership with new client Nobby Kleinman, an internet marketer from Australia.
In the Philippines, getting a freelance job online is the last recourse for undergraduates, or even fresh graduates, in order to earn a living. But this kind of employment does not provide them with benefits.
When Magno opened her business in April last year, it also marked the beginning of making home-based jobs a professional employment, with workers getting the same benefits just similar to others working at offices.
“I actually put up the business so that mabigay ko rin yung benefits for them,” she said.
“I understand how it feels to be a freelancer na wala kang benefits, wala kang social security, wala kang Philhealth, Pag-ibig (you have no social security, no PhilHealth, and Pag-ibig). I was working like that for two to three years,” Magno added.
Right now, Illumedia offers services such as video editing, 2D animation, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, systems development, and web and graphics designing, among others.
Also, Magno has resort and food establishment clients here who sought her acumen in web designing.
“In US and Australia, if the people can’t find you online, your business does not exist,” she said.
Magno never succumbed to greediness as she relays what she and her team learned from their global clients to local IT enthusiasts.
Just this week, she coordinated with the city’s local executives from the Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC), Department of Tourism (DOT)-Davao, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to get further information about the business climate in the city.
“We agreed that we will help produce more jobs for everybody here in Davao, especially for the young people because they are ones who are computer literate,” Magno said.
Magno continuously provides training for young IT enthusiasts. In a few years time, these IT geeks can grow their business of their own.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 01, 2012.