Head of iRemit Singapore believes in paying it forward

Posted at 03/28/13 11:06 AM

MANILA - The Pinoy Star, a community magazine in Singapore, recently published its list of 10 Top Filipino Entrepreneurs in the country.

One of the winners is Bansan Choa, chairman and CEO of iRemit Singapore PTE LTD.

The Pinoy Star has given ABS-CBNnews.com permission to republish the interviews with the winners.

iRemit Singapore PTE LTD

To one much has been given, much is expected. Bansan Choa, 57, is one such man -- an entrepreneur whose successful enterprises are not just propelled by a masterful exploitation of brains, skills and talents, but are deeply rooted in personal empathy and public service.

Bansan, in his own capacity or together with his company, never fails to reach out to his peers, employees and their families, or even complete strangers. (He is a director of MILK Philippines, a foundation helping the poorest children in the Philippines.)

His entrepreneurial successes parallel his acts of goodwill. Call it paying it forward. Or karma. Good karma.

iRemit has 22 offices around the world with a total staff of 330. A pioneer of online remittance to the Philippines, it was established 10 years ago with a vision of providing quality, affordable and efficient remittance services to overseas Filipino workers.

Of Chinese stock, iRemit's top honcho is a Philippine-bred businessman who runs his company on Filipino values like “pakikisama” and “bayanihan”.

"We are a company defined not only by our products and services, but also by the relationships that we build with our clients and the value that we create for them."

What's the driving force behind iRemit's success?

Innovation, calculated risk-taking and its ability to adapt quickly to the fast-changing business environment. Our company has a clear vision and plan of how it wants to grow.

What Pinoy values do you apply in business?

Being "family-oriented" or "family-centered". This has been the inspiration in my business endeavors. All Filipino families dream of having a home of their own. Hence, it's always been my goal to contribute to its fulfillment by providing affordable housing alternatives.

You consider recognition of your entrepreneurial contributions your biggest achievement...

Well, the awards as a measure of achievement isn't personally significant considering that what's more important is having contributed to the upliftment of socio-economic conditions, particularly of society's marginalized sectors.

What does one learn from working with you?

The value of hard work. It's a process of challenging oneself as well as the people you work with in view of the limited resources available to achieve great results. With it comes persistence and focus on one's goal. Then fairness in all dealings, and the importance of innovation and continuous improvement.

Values you teach your kids?

Honesty and fairness in all dealings. It's also important to be always willing to lend a helping hand. Finally, to give back to society or to share one's blessings with the less fortunate. It's a way of contributing opportunities and an act of gratitude for the successes I've succeed, considering my own family's humble beginnings.

Do you consider yourself a success?

It's perhaps more relevant to ask whether I have made a difference. Maybe, with confidence, I can say yes...but it does not stop there.

What would you advise young Filipino entrepreneurs in Singapore?

I have three advice for young entrepreneurs anywhere. First, work hard. There is no such thing as "overnight or instant success". Second, money isn't everything. It's not the end-all and be-all of an enterprise. Finally, be fair to everyone you deal with.

What words do you live by?

Do everything that you can finish today. Don't wait until tomorrow, as it might be too late already. Grab any opportunity that comes along as they do not come every day.