Mga Unang Kasalo

At the heart of Cashalo is our rapidly growing team with a relentless drive to extend our #finclusionPH mission. On the heels of our first anniversary, we had a chat with some of Cashalo’s first employees.

A little over a year ago, Cashalo was comprised of a small team of 50 that shared a humble office space in one of Metro Manila’s central business districts.  Before our products were launched, before our milestones were achieved, and before we started changing millions of Filipino lives, this small group worked passionately and tirelessly while sharing the belief that one day we will be able to fulfill our mission to unlock financial freedom for underserved and unbanked Filipinos.

Let’s meet Patti, Gerard, Paul, and Anne – some of the first employees who believed we can.

Names: Gerard Betita, Head of Sales; Paul Bantayan, Head of Marketing; Anne Duterte, Head of Human Resources; and Patti Dizon, Communications Lead

What are your thoughts about the company’s vision and mission and your role in helping the company achieve it?

Gerard Betita (First row, 5th from left) with the Cashacart Sales Team

Patti: When I joined on January 2018, I didn’t realize just how massive our objective was and how important the work that we do every day would impact the lives of so many people. My role is to lead external communications – it is diverse and challenging but to sum it up, I make sure that we get our core key messages across different external channels, via different platforms. As part of the Communications team, the way we contribute to our core mission is to ensure we get the right messages across the different stakeholders we are accountable for- these are the press, industry and government, and of course – the heart of our mission – our consumers.

Gerard: The offline sales team helps the company realize it’s goal of true financial inclusion as we bringing in more Filipinos to the offline-to-online (O2O) financial ecosystem through our product, Cashacart. What is not seen by most is the role of our partner merchants / retailers – they are working hand in hand with Cashalo in realizing this our finclusion mission by allowing us to expand and be present in all their stores in different locations so that we can reach more Filipinos. The credit goes to the hardworking men & women of the sales frontline and support teams. I just always make sure that no one veers away from our culture of “teamwork”.

Paul: Marketing is just one small part of that equation. It’s more than externally influencing how our brand and products are perceived and more than helping drive growth at the lowest cost possible. We’ve always had the belief that in achieving the vision and mission of the company, we should start from within, inward first before going outward. That’s the value that we, as marketers, are constantly being mindful of and building towards.

Anne: I am one with the company on its goal to provide financial access and opportunities for Filipino people — for our customers and employees.

What’s the most interesting part about working in Cashalo?

Paul: The more we evolve the brand and the product, the bigger the space we’re creating and the blanker the canvas actually gets. No one is playing in the space we’re creating and for any marketer, that’s the dream. We’re building everything from scratch. We have tremendous support that affords us the freedom to truly test and learn, to try and fail, and keep trying. No one can say “No, I don’t think that will work”, because everything’s new and everything’s so dynamic.

Paul Bantayan

Gerard: Perhaps it’s our x-factor that we can constantly coordinate and communicate with our regional team who’s based outside the country. Through this, we can discuss and solve issues in a very efficient manner.

Anne: I came from a fast-paced and highly structured environment where processes and maps are already in place.  Here in Cashalo, we also operate in an agile environment but the most motivating part for me is, this time, I have the opportunity to take an active part in creating new beginnings.

Patti: It’s hearing the stories of our consumers. Being in a tech company, it’s easy to get caught up in how quickly things roll out- the products, campaigns and launches that we forget to pause and look around. Hearing what our customers have to say – from their experiences with financial institutions and day to day lives to their experience with our products – puts the humanity back in what we do.

What gives you fulfillment in your work?

Paul: It’s not every day when you can say you’re doing what you love and earning a living at the same time. What’s most fulfilling about the work we do is, aside from those two, we also get to help out millions of people gain access to a financial platform that normally wouldn’t be available to them. We have a great leadership team both locally and regionally and we’re all learning, adapting, growing the brand, and driving financial inclusion together, as one team, and that’s the real icing on the cake.

Anne: Over the years, I have known my purpose is to empower and amplify the voice and beauty of people — talents, peers, leaders. I am fortunate and blessed to be able to fulfill my purpose where I am.

Anne Duterte (center) with the Human Resources Team

Patti: As humans, sometimes we get stuck in the mundanity of everyday work that we forget the compounding effect of the tasks we do. When I get to this point, I revert to the company’s ultimate goal and bring myself back to my WHY – why do I choose to go in everyday and do the work that I do? It reels me back in to think that while we don’t get to concretely see day-to-day the outcome of our work, the bigger picture will always be there to put my feet back firmly on the ground and be proud not only of the company, but of myself. I love knowing that we get to contribute to the financial (and holistic) well-being of the people who use our product, by providing them access to services that otherwise would not be available to them. The opportunity to help is massive and I am proud to be part of a team and a company that is a purveyor of inclusivity and positive change.

Gerard: First: knowing that we are helping hundreds of Filipinos every day. Second: that we are continuously cultivating a healthy and hardworking frontline. And third: knowing that all the people working in sales will have a good future as the company continues to grow.

What advice would you give a job seeker who’s thinking about applying for a job with Cashalo?

Anne: As you sit down for interviews, prepare yourself not just to receive an assessment from the interviewer but you have to take that opportunity as well to assess if the role, environment and potential leader (who is your interviewer) will support your aspirations as a talent. In the end, most people just want to get by in life and achieve some happiness for themselves and their loved ones.  It is our leaders who drive us to look beyond ourselves and encourage us to join causes greater than us.  Look for a leader who brings out the best in you, an environment that is healthy, and a role that is challenging enough to sustain your engagement and allow you to grow as a talent. If you are willing to go beyond the confines of your job description, see yourself beyond the job title, and put focus on the impact of your role, join us!

Gerard: If you wake up every day with a mindset of improving people’s lives and making a difference in the world then you are applying in the right company.

When you tell people about your job, what’s one thing that surprises them, or gets them excited about the work you do?

Gerard: Two words: Basket Financing.  The fact that we pioneered this product and brought it to different partners while giving Filipinos a new shopping experience was a game changer – and as we are constantly introducing new products, we are definitely still changing the game.

Paul: We’ve always championed financial inclusion and people always get surprised when we mention that financial access is not how we define ‘inclusion’. It’s a constant and continuous process of serving our customers in the best way we can with programs and promotions that offer financial education, financial coaching, and truly caring about our customers financial well-being. We know we’re solving a really simple problem and we take pride in how we’re structuring our solution to that problem.

Patti Dizon

Patti: I had never imagined myself to work for a financial tech company so that alone surprises people when I tell them I do. The way I see it, it’s always nice when you get to explain to people how technology- because it is so ingrained in our lives now- could be used to bridge the massive disparities in the sector we’re trying to help and ultimately be a conduit for inclusion. People are generally excited when they can relate and understand where the company is coming from, and so I try to come from that place.

Anne: Well, I don’t know how to answer this but let me just put it this way, us as HR practitioners, when life throws us into the mud, we just roll with it… while smiling of course 🙂

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