Marketing in many ways is about solving problems. I have once witnessed that after learning insights from a female CEO who just set up her own BPO company, and I wrote an article about it last year.
A few months after the inception of her company, Beyond Limits BPO, Maricar Hernandez has acquired more than one client, and in less than a year has been servicing several accounts. So, I decided to check on her again, and was very pleased to learn how she sticks to her core values and uses them to attract clients and solve their problems despite certain limitations brought about by the current pandemic.
This is Maricar, up-close and personal.
Who is Maricar Hernandez? What is she passionate about and what problems does she like to solve?
A goal-getter, risk-taker, problem solver and a thought leader. I am passionate in helping employees personally and professionally, in resolving business owners’ problems in managing their staffs and in providing assistance to less fortunate communities.
With this pandemic, what I want to resolve is the cash flow pressure business owners/clients are facing today. To help companies recover from the impact of Covid-19 by letting them focus on the higher level side of their businesses and trust us with their back-office work and remote staff management.
What was your journey like to get where you are? Did you have any mentors? Who were they?
I got inspired to put up Beyond Limits Outsourcing Solutions when people I’ve worked with before encouraged me to start my own company. Their faith that I can do it. I also felt that I can have more freedom in deciding what will be best for the company, for the clients and for my employees if I have my own.
Yes! I do have mentors. I am an advocate of the mentoring system. I enjoy listening to successful people’s stories, the more I hear about their challenges in running their businesses, the more I get excited and inspired. Most of my mentors are my clients from the last company I’ve worked for, before I started Beyond Limits. Maybe, since they are already into businesses, what they were sharing to me are the ideas that I can apply now in mine.
I also got mentors from the BPO industry since I have a total of 19 years of experience in said industry. I was able to establish strong relationships with some of these known personalities in BPO. Some are country managers, Operations Directors, others are into Sales & Marketing, while some are into Human Resources.
Tell us more about Beyond Limits BPO. Describe that a-ha moment when you knew it might actually become a success.
There is a huge possibility that other BPOs out there are wholly owned by Filipinos. But what I want to create when I am still conceiving “Beyond Limits Outsourcing Solutions” is a Filipino company with a Western style of management. I want to show to the world the Filipinos’ dignity at work, integrity, reliability and natural skills in customer service.
My first job as a Billing Consultant (similar to a billing agent/customer service representative now) in America Online (AOL) exposed me to the American style of management and leadership. I am impressed by how this American company is well-organized. The culture, the professionalism, the discipline, the focus on customers and employees. Every time I was at the office then, I was like — “Wow! I don’t feel like I’m at work. It’s just like an extension of my home.”
So my vision is: Beyond Limits Outsourcing Solutions is “the best of both worlds” — Filipino’s innate customer service skills and the Western style of management and leadership. Right from the start, I want our company to be “not your ordinary BPO company”.
I know that it will become a success because I know that I have the right people for the right job. It is the pool of talents that we have in the company— 95% are young but they are enthusiastic, motivated, always hungry for learning, committed and aggressive. Just what we need to keep the wheels moving. They get me excited to go to work everyday!
Let’s face it, all businesses regardless of industry have been greatly affected by the current global health crisis caused by Covid-19. How is Beyond Limits BPO thriving in this new normal brought about by the pandemic? What insights can you share to those who are still in the transitioning stage?
We just take it a day at a time. During this pandemic though, our headcount increased by 53% and we got more client referrals in 2 months. We also had challenges in the other areas of the business. This includes virtual recruitment, employee engagement and remote training since 100% of our population was working from home.
Optimism is something that we want to spread at this time. I always tell my employees how fortunate we are that our hiring is ongoing, that we have a lot of great things accomplished at the peak of the lockdown in the Philippines. I keep on reminding them that this pandemic shall pass too. Instead of focusing on what is happening around us, we should put our time and effort on the things we can control, things that we do well, and the opportunities waiting when the tough times end. So don’t dwell too much on the negative things. Stay hopeful and always have Plan B to Z.
Constant communication glues us together as an organization. I always meet and remind my young leaders on how to be better communicators to their teams, especially during times of crisis.
Lastly, authentic leadership matters. Your employees look up to you, rely on you and have a lot of expectations from you. We may get too stressed or too weak at times because of these expectations. It’s normal. We are just humans. But remember that strong leaders stand out and will be remembered the most during the most challenging situations. Inspire your people by being more empathetic. Be more humane.
Marketing In Asia loves insights shared by business owners regardless of industry. What advice can you give in terms of business and/or marketing to those who plan to start their own in this new normal?
Be authentic and be humane. This crisis brought out the human side in all of us. It taught us to take care of ourselves for the safety, not only of our own, but of the people around us.
In marketing, I guess, it’s more on what and how you can help other business owners. It can be an idea, a solution or a collaboration with them. Reach out and volunteer in sharing your talents and expertise with them. You are opening new business opportunities by supporting other entrepreneurs.
What is important to Maricar the CEO and Beyond Limits BPO right now in this new normal?
Three things: to continue helping people through employment, to resolve business owners/clients’ cash flow challenges (operation costs) and to sustain giving aid to less fortunate communities through various outreach initiatives.
When it’s all over, how would you like to be remembered?
A woman whose drive to be successful comes from the people who inspired and trusted her — her employees, her clients and the communities she wants to serve.