Maria Sucgang: Transforming The Landscape Of Remote Work In The Philippines


Maria Sucgang: Transforming The Landscape Of Remote Work In The Philippines

Maria Sucgang: Transforming The Landscape Of Remote Work In The Philippines

Maria Sucgang
Founder & CEO

There are some inspiring women who truly embody the spirit and meaning of Women Empowerment. Maria Sucgang, Founder and CEO of Remotify is one such dynamic entrepreneur. Her career journey filled with interactions and experiences focused on shifting perceptions, carved the way for her entrepreneurial venture. From changing how people perceived her as a woman of color in white male-dominated industry to changing the status quo of the way people work daily and live their lives by founding her own company, Remotify, Maria has been shattering glass ceilings throughout her professional life.

The ethos that has driven Maria to hustle this way is a passion to ensure a decent quality of life for people through remote work, as well as an urge to ensure that people that look like her are treated better. The determination for bringing people, especially women of color on an equal footing to their white male counterparts and promoting the concepts of freedom, representation, and giving back led to the foundation of Remotify. Here are some excerpts from our exclusive interaction with her where she shares about her experiences and vision.

Take us through your early educational journey and prior industry experience that you bring to the table.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, with a major in Operations Management. I also took some coursework for a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and pursued an Executive MBA program while working.

Before founding Remotify, I was the Global Head of Service Experience at Truphone, an extremely innovative UK-based global telco-tech company. I held a key leadership role here. I also occupied the top leadership role in its Asia Pacific hub in Manila, providing country management and support to the local teams. In this role I aligned global strategies and led 3 departments across 5 countries across my 12 year tenure. I was involved in many processes including customer retention, process engineering, operational readiness testing, digital transformation, crisis management, among other initiatives.

In 2021, I founded Remotify, a female-led company, and an Employer of Record solution that enables freedom, security and flexibility for businesses and employees. We want to make remote outsourcing simply excellent, cost-effective and sustainable for all. We put Filipino talents in the global remote employment spotlight. Additionally, I also serve as a business consultant to Insphero, a social enterprise that helps rekindle hope of university completion for the working talentforce in the Philippines and I occasionally guest lecture at City University of Seattle in Canada on Organizational Culture.

Throw some light on your key areas of expertise as a global business leader.

One thing I've learned is that being a successful leader necessitates the capacity to operate daily operations while also navigating disruptions and strategizing for a transformed future. My expertise is in the convergence of leadership, strategic thinking, human-centered service design, brand creation, and developing a strong organizational culture. I think that outstanding customer experiences are the direct outcome of well-designed operations, and have worked tirelessly to guarantee that our mission and principles are unambiguous and optimized for success. I am passionate about providing exceptional results inspiring my people to reach their best potential.

What motivated you to establish Remotify? Tell us about the underlying idea behind the venture and some of its key areas of specialization.

After spending 17 years working European hours and squeezing in family time on weekends, I realized the value of working from home and how it impacted the quality of our life. The Pandemic blew the lid off the globalization of employment that had been opened by digitalization.

When establishing Remotify, one of the significant gaps we discovered was that FIlipino remote workers were typically gig workers with no employers on record. The country is a mecca for outsourcing with its largely English speaking educated workforce, yet there was a lack of opportunities. Gig workers were paid directly by foreign clients without any security of job, social contribution, supportive work environment, legal financial records. This also affected their lives as lack of financial stability and records made them incapable of buying a house, car or even securing a loan.

We want to reverse that and give these remote workers respect and security. As the employer of record, we handle everything from HR to payroll to hiring. Furthermore, we ease growth by utilizing cost-effective remote team growth, saving SMEs globally 70 percent of their typical employment costs. We serve as our clients' strategic HR business partner, giving them operational control over their staff while we handle all HR administrative obligations, sparing them the trouble of establishing their own local corporation.

"We prioritize developing close relationships with our customers and offering great service, which leads to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth"

We also want to give back to our community and ensure that everyone in the Philippines has a good life. So, we donate a share of every successful hire made through Remotify to SOS Children's Village. We want to be beneficial to businesses, employees, and the Philippines.

How has Remotify’s growth journey been so far? What are your primary focus areas in terms of driv­ing growth for the company?

Given that we are a bootstrapped start-up that relies on owner finance and sweat equity, our path has been both difficult and gratifying. My main areas of interest include fundraising, marketing, and developing our teams, products, and systems.

Despite having minimal resources, we increased revenue by 2176 percent in 2022, with a 92 percent yearly client retention rate, and increased organic web traffic by almost 600 percent in the previous year. This expansion was made possible by thorough preparation, strategic judgment, and a commitment to providing customers with value.

We prioritize developing close relationships with our customers and offering great service, which leads to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth. We've seen customers grow their teams by 500 percent and multiple additional businesses through word-of-mouth referrals.

Tell us about some of the key milestones you have achieved throughout your professional journey? What has been your Mantra for success?

I've been privileged to work in several different countries and industries. I've always been enthusiastic about leadership and providing outstanding customer experiences, and it's been extremely fulfilling to see the good impact my work has had on organizations and people.

My global experience has been beneficial in navigating the complexity of diverse cultures and markets. I've always prioritized building strong, engaged teams that are invested in the organization's success. I honestly feel that human capital's potential is the most powerful force that any firm can have. I'm proud to say that I've been able to help my teams, both past and present, maximize their human potential in ways that have allowed us to achieve incredible results such as winning three World's Best Service Awards or becoming a Great Place to Work organization before Remotify was two years old.

In the last decade, I've been privileged to lead inspirational groups of motivated people with an average tenure of 5 years. I'm tremendously grateful for the opportunity I've had and the fantastic people I've had the pleasure of working with.

Maria Sucgang, Founder & CEO, Remotify

Educational Qualification: BSc in Business Administration major in Operations Management

Awards of Recognitions won so far

2022 to 2023 Great Place to Work Certification for Remotify

2020 World’s Best Customer Service for Truphone

2020 EMEA’s Best Customer Service for Truphone

2018 Best Business Award - Best Customer Focus for Truphone

2014 World's best Customer Service for Truphone

2014 World's best in-house Contact Centre for Truphone

2014 APAC’s best in-house Contact Centre for Truphone

A business leader you admire: Brian Chesky, Sara Blakely and Steve Jobs

Advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs: Find time to invest in yourself for personal and professional growth. This is critical for success. This can be done in many ways, a very effective one being seeking out a mentor that can help you gain perspective, build a network and learn from their experiences. As you grow, create an inclusive workplace culture that empowers women to take on leadership positions. Focus on your strengths, build a strong team and plan for the future. Embrace innovation and prioritize employee wellbeing to create a supportive environment. Acknowledge the challenges that stem from leadership. Most importantly, don’t forget to give back.