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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for September: BNPL in Thailand clinches top spot

What a great way to start the ‘Ber’ months this year with a list of high-flying stories which gave the industry a peek of the latest developments in the startup, e-commerce, and digital payments scene. 

This September, an Indian-born PR agency leading the way for communications in the startup sector has expanded its presence to Singapore. A Buy Now Pay Later platform is also ramping up its market in Southeast Asia with the announcement of its country manager for Thailand. 

Meanwhile, e-commerce makes another round getting into readers’ radar with a data-driven marketing firm in Asia unveiling its new leader for its e-commerce offering.

Stories from the Philippines are also in this month’s top spots with one career coaching firm in the country sharing its business story, and also, a report that saw the convergence of consumer products and social media snared readership for the period.

Take a look.

Top 5: PR agency Value 360 Communications expands presence with new Singapore office

Value 360 Communications Singapore

Value 360 Communications, the startup-focused PR agency in India, has announced that it will be expanding its market to Singapore to unlock growth opportunities in the country’s burgeoning start-up space.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Kunal Sinha, the founder and director of Value 360 Communications, shared that the company has been part of the journey of 15 unicorns in the market of India, where they have built communications from the ground up. Learning from the process, the agency eventually grounded its name and reputation in the sector. 

Working with a complex market such as India, Sinha believes, gives the agency a strong value proposition to bring to the start-up space.

“We are going to focus on providing start-up PR in the SEA region, and Singapore will be the core for us in extending our services to start-ups. We are also in a discussion with other global brands who have both India and Singapore presence, and we are looking to hire talents with specific experiences in start-ups,” said Sinha.

We have an internal training module where we will be able to help them learn and understand about the start-up space.

Sinha on hiring new talents

Top 4: MARKETECH Spotlight: PH’s Metamorphosis Group on disrupting career coaching in the country

Metamorphosis Group_Danica Octa

Entering this month’s top stories is one of the latest episodes of MARKETECH Spotlight featuring career coaching firm in the Philippines, Metamorphosis Group (MG). 

In an exclusive conversation with the firm’s Founder, President, and CEO, Danica Octa, she shared MG’s start-up journey which began in the pandemic year in 2020. Gaining more expertise and leadership into the current job and recruitment industry in the country, the coaching firm has now firmed up its mission of becoming an end-to-end employability solution for those seeking guidance on their career development. 

Speaking MARKETECH APAC, Octa shared how the firm sees its role in the Filipino workforce. 

Our role [in the workforce] is to be some kind of a learning partner [and] an accountability buddy.

Octa believes that above all, it’s able to help shape people’s career journey through its future-oriented thinking. 

“We are very forward-thinking, we understand the future of work, we as a company is very, very in touch with what’s going to happen 10 years later,” she said. 

Octa adds, “We have the intuition, we can give our market the information they need to succeed moving forward, of course, so that they can upskill and reskill to the appropriate job that they need to have, moving forward. So I think that’s the role that we take here.”

Top 3: Filipinos take to Twitter conversations around favorite consumer products

Twitter-Philippines

Twitter Philippines has recently released a report on the products Filipinos love to talk about on the platform. The data shows that there are five key trends in how Filipinos converse around food, beverages, and personal, as well as home care.

Chandan Deep, Twitter’s head of emerging business for SEA, shared that people on the app and the conversations that they create are what makes Twitter unique, and that 71% have rated it as a great platform for brand interaction, making it the number one among its peers.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Deep, and she noted that when you looked at the top mentioned brands, which were listed on their CPG dispatch, you will see some good samples on how brands can engage with their customers on Twitter, to be able to drive more meaningful conversations.

Twitter has a diverse community so they can connect with people who like entertainment, gaming, or health, making the first move as a brand by initiating conversation and making your audience enjoy it.

Top 2: ADA names former Lazada CBO Sherry Tan as regional head of e-commerce

ADA ropes in Lazada MY’s Sherry Tan to become its regional head of e-commerce

ADA, the data- and AI-driven marketing firm in Asia, has appointed former Chief Business Officer of Lazada Malaysia, Sherry Tan to be its regional head of e-commerce. 

ADA has just unveiled its end-to-end e-commerce solution for brands in APAC, and for the new role, Tan will be leading a team of leaders who will support the growing demand for e-commerce in the region. 

In the interview with MARKETECH APAC, Tan shared the challenges that brands in e-commerce are faced with in this pandemic.,

“In the last 18 months right, the pandemic catapulted e-commerce retail significantly, and there are more users in the digital space whether it is the buyers or the sellers. Now, it has become harder for brands to attract customers because there are wider options available,” said Tan. 

According to Tan, besides having more choices, customers are gaining smarter as well and therefore, have higher expectations toward their shopper journey. 

Brands need to stay on top of their game to predict industry trends…and then they need to enhance engagement and attraction to their brand to build loyalty and retention.

On ADA’s e-commerce solution, Tan said, “Leveraging on our data and digital shelf, we are able to craft [an] e-commerce and digital strategy based on sentiment analysis, customer insights as well as [competitive] landscape. This data allows us to understand what consumers are interested in, where they have visited over a period of time, and ADA is able to target these audiences for the brand.”

Top 1: BNPL platform for Asia, Atome, names country manager for Thailand

Atome Poompong Tancharoenphol

For our top story for the month, we have Buy Now Pay later platform in Asia Atome’s appointment of its country manager for Thailand, Poompong Tancharoenphol Tancharoenphol was formerly Zilingo’s country head for the country. 

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Tancharoenphol said, “I think I have been fortunate to look at e-commerce both from AddVentures and Zilingo before. There [are] a few key factors in making an e-commerce company successful, namely the business model itself, whether it is B2C e-commerce, B2B e-commerce, and marketplaces, and there is [a] supply chain, marketing, and payment.”

He adds that with BNPL being quite new to the Thai market, it could mean either two things: it may be potentially good or something which the market may not adapt to. 

I think the direct value we offer to the retailers and e-commerce players is the increase in the market size. We were able to increase the market size to 30% more than any other payment method, and this comes along with increasing sales and conversion [afterward]

Rankings‌ ‌are‌ ‌based‌ ‌on‌ ‌Google‌ ‌Analytics‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌period‌ ‌of‌ ‌16th‌ ‌August‌ ‌to 15th‌ ‌September.‌

Watch our exclusive interviews with the brands themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, now live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Metamorphosis Group wins Bronze Stevie® Award in 2021 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Manila, Philippines – Metamorphosis Group (MG), the digital, remote, and tech-enabled career coaching firm in the Philippines, has been named the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Startup of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and the companies they run – worldwide. The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards.

Winners will be celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on 13 January 2022, where registration for the ceremony is now on sale.

More than 1,500 entries were submitted this year for consideration in more than 100 categories, including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Company of the Year, Startup of the Year, and Women Helping Women, among others.

“Kudos on developing a multiplatform business model to enable the career success of individuals across the globe – from events to social to empowerment through a coaching network, your growth efforts since 2019 are notable. Keep up the good work,” said one of the judges of the awarding body.

“Helping people cultivate their talents, create career opportunities, grow their talents, and much more are great attributes the Metamorphosis Group displays. Very helpful service,” said another judge.

MG was granted a guaranteed win after telling stories about its career coaching service and most especially about its flagship project – the Virtual Career Academy Summit.

Last March 2021, it held its biggest virtual event for the community, the Virtual Career Academy Summit on Digital Transformation which is a virtual career fair with employers showcasing their companies and talents benefiting from free career coaching services. The virtual summit gained over 600 participants and featured about 17 industry speakers.

The event was able to reach over 115,000 people and generated over 15,000 engagements. During the summit, MG gathered more than 17 companies and employers, mounting a platform to present over 100 job openings, and most especially over 20 career coaching opportunities.

The recognition was timely as the company was entering a new phase in the business.

“Metamorphosis Group is about to enter a growth phase that will require some uncomfy adjustments,” said the young female Founder and CEO, Danica Octa, to MG’s team and pool of coaches.

“You will be with us in this growth and we are happy that you are. Thank you for being part of the journey! Metamorphosis Group is what it is because of all of you. I know that the public associates MG to my name, but I am done being the only face of the company. As a startup, I was just simply pouring my reputation to the company at first to improve its credibility. But moving forward, I want you to know that the company’s success will also be yours. Because Metamorphosis Group will really stand for what it really means – a ‘group’. And I am excited to see you help us make that happen. MG is not Danica Octa. MG is all of us!” she added.

Details about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the list of Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners in all categories can be found on its official website. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 160 business professionals around the world, working on eight juries.

Maggie Gallagher Miller, president of the Stevie Awards, said, “We thought the remarkable stories of achievement we saw in last year’s awards couldn’t be topped, but we were wrong. Women-owned and -run organizations have contributed significantly to the increase in innovation and entrepreneurial activity we’ve seen globally since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nominations submitted to the 18th Stevie Awards for Women in Business that attest to this are inspiring, humbling, and motivating. We congratulate all of our Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie winners. We look forward to celebrating them during our January 13 virtual ceremony, and to hearing from some of them during our Women|Future Conference.”

For one of the latest episodes of MARKETECH Spotlight, MARKETECH APAC sat down with Octa to learn how MG sees its role in the Filipino workforce.

Octa shared in the exclusive interview, “Our role is to be some kind of learning partner [and to be] an accountability buddy. We help our clients learn new things, not just the technical skills, but also the life skills, and we help them become more accountable to whatever they learn, and to whatever goals they want to achieve.”

MARKETECH APAC is an official media partner of Metamorphosis Group’s Virtual Career Academy Summit.

Categories
Main Feature SME Partners Southeast Asia

Spotlight: The coaching industry and one PH firm’s journey in disrupting career coaching in the country

The coaching industry, while a booming industry, is still a sector that offers massive room for exploration. Coaching, or which may sometimes look to as therapy – the much stronger household name for many – started out as a service perceived to be a ‘luxury’, where people saw it as a non-essential and a service only requiring additional expense. After all, the success of coaching is dependent on the client’s life ‘struggles’ and it’s easy for prospective clients to dismiss a service which presents itself as a solution to something the client has ‘complete control’ over. 

The global authority on the coaching industry, International Coaching Federation (ICF), defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” ICF said that individuals who engage in a coaching relationship can expect to experience fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision-making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles.

With the internet culture paving the way for more inclusive conversations in today’s time, people have grown to be more comfortable with ‘sharing’ their life problems and experiences, growing, at the same time, their openness to personal services such as coaching and therapy. 

One coaching firm in the Philippines, Metamorphosis Group, whose services cater to career coaching, does not just aim to leverage the opportunity of a much more accepting consumer, but also the booming industry that still has yet to penetrate the Philippines. 

Of what would later become the company Metamorphosis Group, Danica Octa, the firm’s founder, CEO, and president started her services as a freelance career coach herself in 2019. Eventually forming her core team, the firm today offers services on career education, personal branding, and talent attraction, aside from its flagship career coaching. 

Officially registered as a business at the beginning of covid, Metamorphosis Group couldn’t come at a rightful time with companies cutting costs and implementing employee retrenchments, increasing the number of people thrust into a career limbo.

Metamorphosis Group is truly a consulting agency in the new generation being a digital, remote, and tech-enabled career development and empowerment firm. 

“Our role is to be some kind of learning partner [and to be] an accountability buddy. We help our clients learn new things, not just the technical skills, but also the life skills, and we help them become more accountable to whatever they learn, and to whatever goals they want to achieve,” said Danica in the MARKETECH Spotlight interview

Watch the full interview with Danica Octa, the founder, CEO, and president of Metamorphosis Group.

Disrupting the career development industry as an end-to-end employability solution 

Having operated officially as a full-service firm in late 2020, Danica bared in the interview that the biggest challenge for the firm is assuring the guarantee of the service – that clients, after a period of consulting and coaching, have an expectation that they would land a job right after.

Danica said that Metamorphosis Group started out just like any other career coaching firm, which simply “just coached people,” but then every after conclusion of a consulting engagement begs the question, “What’s next?” 

“It’s not really our responsibility if they didn’t use the tools and knowledge that we’ve shared with [clients], but we still feel that there is some level of obligation that we have for them to actually land a job.” 

Danica further shared an observation that most of the time, recruiters’ concern is still on their employers, and that employers have the mindset that job seekers must be prepared already, and that it is only in the last priorities of a recruiter to offer advice just so for them to have the job. 

“I find [this situation] very, very limiting. So I said, why don’t I mix both services into one company. We do the career coaching, but we don’t let them go that easily. We’ll also offer them the opportunity to be connected with employers, that’s why we call ourselves an end-end solution for employability,” said Danica. 

Part of the services that Metamorphosis Group offers now is ‘Talent Attraction’. The firm creates a talent pool of young professionals who are excellent and eligible for opportunities with multiple employers in their industry.

From starting out as a sole freelance career coach to now Metamorphosis Group 

Metamorphosis Group’s humble beginnings can be said that of any other firm achieving success from the ground up – the idea springing from a very personal experience of the CEO. 

Metamorphosis Group is already two years running in the business and its growth story is not one particularly filled with glamor – quite simple with a genuine service at its core, and a close-knit personal network standing as its pioneering team. 

Danica revealed that there was a period in her life where she had difficulty understanding the job market, specifically how employers felt about candidates and even employees, and figured that maybe she could offer a service that could help people out in these kinds of struggles.

With a full-time job as a recruiter back in 2019, Danica started what would be Metamorphosis Group with herself, becoming a freelance career coach on the side. Things changed when the economic consequences of the pandemic unfolded before everyone’s eyes, not sparing Danica of a job loss. From this, she made the decision to finally start her own company, hence, the birth of the Metamorphosis Group. 

In building her team, Danica did not look too distant and roped in people with specific specializations, and with whom she’s established a relationship with. 

Danica says that she figured, “If you have a very big dream, you need a big team.”

And so starting with a partnership with her very own sister, Jillian Octa, who took care of the firm’s design and creatives, she started recruiting more professionals from different backgrounds.

She took in experienced management consultant Ren Madrid who is part of the company’s executive board and who heads Metamorphosis Group’s enterprise solutions. As Danica continuously grew the company and its programs, she found that career coaching is a difficult job in the sense that as a very personal interaction, it’s inevitable for such engagement to take a counseling point of view. She then recruited none other than her university guidance counselor Teya Paulino to help with this matter. Last but not the least, she hired the fifth member of the firm’s core team, Ricson Singson Que, which offers specialty in digital transformation and cybersecurity.

From its official launch in September 2020, Metamorphosis Group has since grown to acquire over 1000 career coaching clients, and not just from the Philippines, but from all over the world, such as in Japan, India, Germany, and the US, among others. The firm has also currently gained over 10,000 followers in its social media, where Metamorphosis Group has been able to share an overflowing stream of content in career development and job-seeking – over 25 webinars, 30 articles, as well as over 10 networking opportunities featuring over 20 subject matter experts and coaches.

And for its biggest achievement yet, it ran an expansive Virtual Career Fair and Digital Transformation Summit last March 2021 which was attended by about 600 participants, featuring 17 industry speakers, over 17 companies and employers, and connecting attendees with over a hundred job openings and 20 career coaching opportunities.

The role of Metamorphosis Group in the Filipino workforce

Ultimately, what is the role of Metamorphosis Group in the entirety of the Filipino workforce? Just like other nations, the Philippines suffered the blow of the pandemic demanding a slow to none operations, rendering the employment force decapitated. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, as of May 2021, unemployment rate stands at 7.7% which translates to 3.73 million jobless Filipinos. 

Coinciding with the economic downturn, the pandemic has pushed for both employers and job seekers to turn to digital in order to continue recruitment operations, which on the flip side, happens at a timely opportunity where a multitude of digital platforms catered to job seeking has emerged for the job searcher. 

In the MARKETECH Spotlight interview, Danica said that above all, Metamorphosis Group presents itself as a long-time guidance for the professional, a partner that isn’t bound by time. As the career industry continues to evolve, so does Metamorphosis Group, and this is the ultimate contribution of Metamorphosis Group to the Filipino workforce. 

“Our role [in the workforce] is to be some kind of a learning partner [and] an accountability buddy,” said Danica. 

Despite this immersive collaboration with clients, Danica says that ultimately, they want clients to feel that they have the control back over their career direction. 

“We want our clients to decide for themselves, what their lives should be, [and] we don’t wanna decide for them; we just give them all of these options [and] we guide them on the best option for them. And it’s all up to them.”

Most of all, its biggest contribution would be that Metamorphosis Group has the intuition to guide clients to the future as the firm understands the future of work. 

“We are very forward-thinking, we understand the future of work, we as a company is very, very in touch with what’s going to happen 10 years later,” shared Danica. 

“We have the intuition, we can give our market the information they need to succeed moving forward, of course, so that they can upskill and reskill to the appropriate job that they need to have, moving forward. So I think that’s the role that we take here,” she adds.

With an ambitious forecast to the future, it seems Metamorphosis Group is not only aiming to transform the workforce one successful Filipino at a time but to raise the standard of coaching in the country and eventually put the Philippines on the map. 

On future plans, Danica shares, “We are looking at expanding to different markets abroad so that our clients here in the Philippines can have the option to seek opportunities on an international scale. Internally, we’re also looking to grow our team to strengthen our marketing so that we can help even more people” 

Those that are looking to collaborate or partner with Metamorphosis Group may reach out to them at [email protected]. For those who want to explore the possibility of investing on the firm, please reach them out at [email protected].

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Platforms Featured Partners Southeast Asia

The value found in the Virtual Career Academy Summit 2021 for employers

Manila, Philippines – In the mid of an ongoing pandemic where things don’t seem to be turning for the better, several factors of life have been affected— employment is scarce, schools are digital, and people from all walks of life have had their fair share of struggle. More so, businesses whether small or large, have struggled to keep their heads afloat.

Times are bleak, but there was a ray of light presented that benefits employees and employers alike. In April of 2021, the career development and empowerment firm known as Metamorphosis Group found this as an opportunity to create a rallying cry for business and career development in the digital world— and this venture led to the creation of the Virtual Career Academy Summit 2021.

Metamorphosis Group banded together with the best examples of professional excellence, such as the members of the Multimedia Association of the Philippines (MMAAP), directors of the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI), and the brilliant minds of Reactor School, Go! Philippines, and Microsoft Philippines. Throughout the course of a week, they’ve presented talks and webinars for young professionals to prepare themselves for their careers and digital landscape.

Not only did this event benefit the fresh-minded yuppies and undergrads who are looking to jumpstart their careers, but it also helped employers engage with young millennials and Gen Z with opportunities that will only give their businesses mutually beneficial value.

Metamorphosis Group
The VCA hosted a week-long mock interview and pitching coaching for students, fresh grads and professionals alike

Companies and major partners of the event such as ZALORA, Marketech APAC, Inquirer Philippines, and AIESEC have reached out with employment opportunities to the pool of potential candidates who joined the summit. No doubt that this event has already created large benefits for employers and future employees alike in this time of crisis.

Metamorphosis Group
The event also presented industry career conversations on relevant topics such as digital entrepreneurship

This event has also shown us how the market has changed over the digital transition. With a growing talent found in digital natives, employers are now looking towards new horizons for advancement. Adapting to the online world has created new demand for a set of skills that the younger generation is especially adept in, spending the majority of their lives and education learning and perfecting.

Metamorphosis Group
Participants were also able to learn from sessions on improving the employer and employee career experience

The Virtual Career Academy Summit has always been envisioned as a virtual career fair aiming to let employers educate, inspire, and engage with talents in the Philippines to provide more meaningful and sustainable employer-employee relationships.

The March, VCA Summit finished with 17 industry speakers, 600+ participants, 115,000+ people reached, 15,000+ engagements, 17+ companies and employers, and 100+ job openings.

The goal of the VCA Career Summit 2021 was really to present a new way of thinking about careers and opportunities in the middle of a situation where we’re forced into a new normal. The success found at the end of this event was in the bridging of companies to new prospects that will only help bring their companies to new heights.