Making the case for Filipino IT entrepreneurship

Summary:Filipinos are again over the moon with the masterful performance of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in yesterday's bout against Ghana native Joshua Clottey. This guy never ceases to give his hard-up countrymen a reason to cheer every time he fights gallantly in the ring.

Filipinos are again over the moon with the masterful performance of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in yesterday's bout against Ghana native Joshua Clottey. This guy never ceases to give his hard-up countrymen a reason to cheer every time he fights gallantly in the ring.

Like the "Pacman", there are a number of talented Filipinos in other fields who are giving or have brought pride as well to the country. In the industry that I cover, IT executive Winston Damarillo has certainly made a name for himself and for Filipinos despite his relatively young age.

The announcement early this month about Damarillo's selection by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of the Young Global Leaders (YGL) was barely mentioned in the mainstream media. Damarillo shared the award with fellow Karen Davila, a well-known broadcaster here in the Philippines, and Hometown Corp. founder Major Dennis Eclarin, a graduate of US Military Academy at West Point.

According to the WEF, the annual award "recognizes and acknowledges up to 200 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world".

The 40-year-old Damarillo, who shuttles between the U.S. and the Philippines, has shown that with the right combination of focus and strategy, IT can be a powerful tool for creating world-class companies even if you're based in a developing country.

Employing mostly local talents, Damarillo has built over the years an array of IT start-ups that have either been bought by big technology firms or have successfully taken off the ground. In short, he has demonstrated that a Filipino IT entrepreneur can make it in the highly competitive tech industry.

In the Web site of one his companies, G2iX, Damarillo is described as a "serial entrepreneur" who "has founded multiple disruptive companies". "His past entrepreneurial endeavors include several companies which Winston grew to profitability and subsequently sold to major IT players: Gluecode Software, an open source application infrastructure company which was acquired by IBM in 2005, Logicblaze acquired by Iona Technologies in 2007, and most recently, Webtide, acquired by Intalio in 2009."

He also serves as "a board member and international marketing director for the Philippine Software Industry Association, a non-profit organization that promotes the growth and global competitiveness of the Philippine software industry", according to the site.

Also interesting to note is the fact that Damarillo was educated purely in the Philippines, having acquired his B.S. in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering degree from the De La Salle University.

With Damarillo's example, I hope that IT folks here would appreciate the fact that they don't necessarily have to go abroad to study or work to become a successful tech entrepreneur. The world is flat, after all.

Industry update Firstly, I'd like to apologize to regular visitors of this blog as I haven't been able to update it in the past few days. I shall strive to post more frequently than before from now on.

The personnel movements in the local tech sector were extraordinarily active recently. Topping the list is Bernadette Nacario, the country manager for the consumer products of Hewlett-Packard Philippines, who is now transferring to Microsoft Philippines.

Alan Chng, from Singapore, has also formally assumed his post as the new chief of Canon Philippines. He replaced Ramon Arteficio, who retired from the company after serving as its first Filipino GM.

Marcom executives Hector Jimenez of Dell Philippines and Abbey Lucas-Valenciano of TeleTech Philippines have also left their positions. Lucas-Valenciano has taken up a similar job at new telco firm Liberty Telecoms, while Jimenez next's destination is unknown yet as of this time.

Topics: Asean, Hardware, Open Source, Start-Ups, Tech Industry, Tech & Work


Joel has been a media practitioner since 1996, starting off as a reporter and eventually becoming editor of a pioneering IT trade newspaper in Manila. He is currently one of the content producers of a Manila-based developmental website.


Melvin G. Calimag is currently the executive editor of an IT news website in the Philippines. Melvin has been covering the local IT beat for the last 13 years. He is currently a board member at the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress), and also serves as a charter member with the Philippine Science Journalists Associ... Full Bio

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