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, Lax 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 to talk with us about Eternus Global Outsourcing and the BPO industry here in the Philippines. With that, thank you for coming on.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Hello, welcome. Good morning.
Henry Acosta: Good morning.
Lax Mariappan: It’s our pleasure to be joining with you Henry.
Henry Acosta: To kick things off, how did you guys get started with Eternus Global Outsourcing?
Lax Mariappan: Dr. Marie and I, we are working for various clients across the globe from content marketing, writing, SEO development, and all other jobs. We’ve found a lot of talented people here in the Philippines. We said, ‘Why not offer more jobs to Filipinos?’ Since we are under the … portfolio for our clients around the world, we started with the idea of starting an outsourcing company that can hire more Filipinos and other Asians.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Actually, 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. He was working as a Web Developer and a Software Engineer in India. When I started outsourcing my work, I was so young. I found content writing to be profitable. I think that it could help a lot of Filipinos. I found out that writing comes naturally and 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 starting Eternus Global, we can harness a lot of Filipino talents out there, like in content writing, digital marketing and web development. Outsourcing can be an additional source of income for those who … and fresh graduates. You can also have the flexibility to work from home, if you work for us because we allow that as long as you are competent to do your job. We started Eternus Global, a company in that vision. Our focus is to do information technology and the medical knowledge outsourcing. Our main focus is ecommerce development and vertical market web software development. We also do digital marketing and medical research. Right now, we’re training a lot of young people here from various universities to join us especially graduating computer science and information technology students. We want to train these people in web development and digital marketing so that they will be WordPress experts later on.
Henry Acosta: Wow, you guys sounds like a great company. We appreciate hearing the fact that you guys like Filipino workers and want to help the country improve or head towards a better direction.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: As of present, Eternus Global is just starting. We hope that we are going to achieve these goals of ours. We’re going to employ a lot of people, especially young people here in the Philippines or talented 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 IT graduates and the computer science graduates. We also have the K to 12 curriculum now which will enable young people to get a job in information technology after high school graduation. They can work with us right after graduating from high school. Based from our experience in evaluating these students, what we found out is that they lack experience in web and software development and digital marketing. These young people have the potential to be WordPress developers, programmers, designers and even digital marketers.
Henry Acosta: I see. Well, for both of you guys, how did you guys end up getting together? I see that Lax is from India, how did you end up finding the Philippines? And why did you choose the Philippines as the country to start your business?
Lax Mariappan: Actually, the Philippines is emerging as one of the top 5 outsourcing destinations in the world. Filipinos are naturally good in English and the timezone is much convenient for other clients like those from Australia. They speak English very well. Every year, I read somewhere that more than 500,000 people are graduating from the colleges in the Philippines. We need some good and interested people to work for the outsourcing industry. Since I’m from India, we also found out that many Filipinos lack training with regards to computer science and information technology. So far, I’ve been here in the Philippines for the past 8 months. I noticed that Filipinos are fun-loving people and they are happy to work with, that’s why I chose to be here in the Philippines and it’s good to be here in the Philippines.
Henry Acosta: We’re glad you like your stay here. Well since Eternus is a relatively new outsourcing company, can you guys tell us about what you guys do and what you guys offer for clients?
Lax Mariappan: Yes, Eternus is an outsourcing and a medical BPO company. In the way that it’s more than BPO, we are a knowledge source outsourcing company. We are helping healthcare professionals in terms of research, medical writing and preparing documents for physicians and other health professionals. We are now focusing on building medical apps that you can access from your devices like your smartphones, tablets or laptops. We are now building electronic health reports, and patient information management systems. We found that there’s a gap between IT and the healthcare. We took it as a niche and we know there’s a high potential in terms of healthcare, like even now, Amazon is looking at healthcare automatic. It seems everyone is looking at software in the healthcare industry, since it’s booming and there’s a high potential in that. I know that the industry and the technology can grow. We are far advanced in terms of technology like websites, apps, … but there is still room for software development in the industry for physicians, healthcare professionals and professionals to cooperate. We have clients presently from Middle East, U.S, Europe and Australia. We are waiting for the growth in the coming year.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: I think I’m going to add further to what Lax has told us. We want to build systems that hasten processes between physicians, patients and other healthcare professionals. We want to focus on medical software that can enable fast diagnosis and treatment across all the medical disciplines. We build medical web software applications where patients can log-in for appointments, and in hospitals we can build software that can hasten the process of delivering laboratory and imaging results to doctors and nurses in the wards. The data from the laboratory, the data from the imaging department and the data from the lab pharmacies, it can be integrated into one database which the physicians and the nurses can have access. Imagine that the time is very essential in medicine, every second counts. Every second counts in saving lives. We just don’t only focus in helping informatics, although this is our niche. We are also doing ecommerce development. Nowadays, there are a lot of hosted ecommerce platforms like Shopify and they claim to be really cheap in setting up any hosting every month. If you are a new entrepreneur and you want to have an instant online store, you can go with Shopify. But as your business grow, you will need an online store that can also try to expiry, that can efficiently manage inventory, that can track employee agendas and facility credit. This is when Eternus Global comes in. We build and customize online stores according to how you want them to make life easier for you. Our systems are also safe and secure. We have a 100% money back guarantee if you think that our ecommerce systems are not suited to your needs. Our ecommerce systems are also built on open source. Our clients have their own login portal where they can do and have maintenance by themselves if they want to. We offer free maintenance training. If they don’t want to do maintenance by themselves, they can pay us a minimum fee every month depending on their needs. Aside from that, we are unique because we are also offering digital marketing services, that’s actually a problem with hosted ecommerce platforms. You cannot control the files and the goals that can help you land in the first page of search engines. We specialize in WordPress ecommerce which is known to be very SEO optimized.
Henry Acosta: I see. Lax, do you have any medical background since I know Dr. Marie is a licensed physician? How did you guys both end up in the BPO industry?
Lax Mariappan: I am a microbiology graduate. I have Masters in Bioinformatics which is a combination of computer and biology. You can even call it as a ‘Computational Biology’. That’s where this biology graduate got more interested towards computers, IT, to say it all.
Henry Acosta: What about you Dr. Marie?
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: I started as a content writer in 2003. I was in a medical school, I used to do freelance work for clients around the world. I used to write for some Russian web development companies and some companies in the U.S. I found out that it’s very profitable. I balanced between work and study until I ended up as a physician, then I specialized in internal medicine. I didn’t go to sub-specialization, I wanted to be general internist only. And then I found out that there’s a new huge gap between the information technology and the medical industry. That’s when Lax and me, we were working in some projects and met each other thru outsourcing. He became my friend and later on, he visited here in the Philippines. Then I said that, ‘Why don’t we start a company that has a niche, like it can do some help to websites and then we tend to focus on health IT’. He agreed with my idea because he also felt that there is a need for information technology and the field of medicine, that’s why we keep up and then we started our own company.
Henry Acosta: That sounds like really great since I know coming from a medical background, that transition that must have been hard for you, that’s really admirable on you part Dr. Marie.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Yes, because after our residency training, I worked for a pharmaceutical research company in Manila for 3 years, that’s a multinational company. Actually, I’ve got an offer from a pharmaceutical company to work in Switzerland, providing the … because I wanted to start my own company, there’s another US company wanted to get with me as an executive, but I did refuse all of my offers. I went back to Iloilo City because I found that in Iloilo City, you should start here. I’ve worked with other companies specializing in the healthcare informatics, that’s why I went home to Iloilo City to build our workforce here.
Henry Acosta: Congratulations to you guys for starting up and hopefully, I can expect great things from Eternus Global.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Yes, thank you.
Henry Acosta: For those interested in reaching out to Eternus Global, maybe the listeners who are working in the current BPO industry and they want to work with your guys, how can they reach you guys?
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: To keep in-touch with us, the best way is to go to our website at www.eternusglobal.com. We have a chatbox there who will answer your questions and then will get your emails. We respond to your emails immediately. You can be assured of that. The chatbox will advise you to add us in Skype, if you want an immediate answer. That’s the best way to reach us. For clients here in the Philippines, our sales and marketing office is located in Makati, Metro Manila and in Iloilo. Our Iloilo office is actually our production office where we train people. You can keep in touch with us through our phones, but the best way is to our website because we are more responsive there.
Henry Acosta: I see and so the same goes for your clients too, they can reach you to the same way?
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Yes.
Henry Acosta: Awesome. What is it that, since our listeners are usually business men who are interested in doing outsourcing, what is it that you want them to learn about the Philippines or to take away from this interview with regards to outsourcing here in the Philippines?
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Like for example, if there are clients outside the Philippines who want to look up for a Filipino outsourcer. Number one that they have to look for is the track record. It’s not about how beautiful their website is, you have to look for their past clients. Next, they should have a portfolio. You look at the founders, what’s the vision and mission of their company, are they going to help you or are they going to leave your things like that? They should look for integrity, credibility and efficiency. Those companies, do they have good testimonials, how about the founders, are they qualified to do that or they experts in their own field? They shouldn’t go with how large the team is. It doesn’t matter if you have a large team or not. What matters is that there is someone guiding them to the right direction. Well that’s my advice to them. Lax what can you say? Can you give some advice to those clients outside the Philippines?
Lax Mariappan: Yes. I would say that in this fast growing technology world, if you are an entrepreneur or if you own a small business, you are a grown company, you are giving your business to the people who outsourced to you. You are outsourcing your own work to them. Your reputation is at stake. You have to satisfy the end user, you have to satisfy your clients, and all these events on the responsiveness of your outsource company. When you outsource work to a new company, just do some research, at least some basic Google. Look about their profiles in social media. You can check for the complaints that’s against them, whether this company is fraudulent company. Like that said, look at their employees, look at their founders, read their vision and mission and ask for a recorded document, ask for a contract, ask for advice. In Eternus, we do all of that so that our clients will be safe.
Henry Acosta: For our last question, what can people or what can clients expect from you and from Eternus Global when they start working with you guys?
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: When they start working with us? Again, they should expect efficiency, that things are … I’m not boasting about being the most efficient, but we do the best that we can and we do quality control, we do quality assurance in all our websites and the software that we do. And then, we have a team, we’re training them to do web development nowadays and web design. Then after that, we also have quality assurance team who will check for quality and almost other technicalities and errors. … We also have our clients review our work and if they are satisfied with our work and then … with us so they can continue. So far, our old clients, they are all satisfied with our work and then … we can build their websites. Our own clients are outside of the Philippines. They’re from Middle East, Singapore, they’re from the U.S., and Canada, Australia. So far we have experienced in this company, if we build the websites. Usually, we are the ones who do maintenance also, because our clients say that, ‘Oh you should do maintenance for us’. That’s an indication that we do great work here. I mean the clients who want to continue working with us, if our websites and our applications are not good. I think that’s an indication that we’re doing great work here.
Lax Mariappan: Actually, I would like to add something to this.
Henry Acosta: Sure.
Lax Mariappan: For people who are going to work with us, it will be a good experience will be a learning experience to learn with us because whenever we work on a website, we put ourselves in the shoes of the customer. We want to satisfy the end user. We want to solve their problem. We don’t want to create a product and sell. We want to solve the problem and sell it. We strongly believe that customers buy something for their reason not for the seller’s reason. We stick to that. For the clients, like who are listening to this, from the offshore like outsourcing clients who are looking for outsourcing partner like Eternus, you will be under by your production. When you start a project with us, you’ll be making us as an initial payment. But you’ll be under by your protection. If you are not satisfied with our work, you can get back your money. That’s how we are running after quality… We charge hourly. The number of hours will be more reasonable and it will be the actual hours we worked on. For designing your homepage, let’s say a company in the US, they charge more. But we don’t count even the few revisions, we don’t mind doing revisions. We just also want a good portfolio, we also for a good output so satisfying our customers is very important.
Henry Acosta: That sounds like a really good principle for you guys. Thank you for coming in the show. We appreciate it.
Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia: Thank you Henry.
Lax Mariappan: Thank you Henry. Nice to be talking to you.
Henry Acosta: It was great talking to you guys. That was Lax and Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna-Bedia of Eternus Global Outsourcing. Lax is the CEO and Dr. Marie is their Managing Director. We just finished talking about Eternus Global Outsourcing, their story and how they trust the Philippines as their place for their outsourcing business. To find out more about ins and outs of the BPO industry, you can 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.