Chris Ducker is known in the International Business Community as the Virtual CEO.
He has been featured on Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes India and has graced the cover of Globalization Today. Who would have thought that despite his professional success, he is living a laid back life here in the shores of 032?
As the man behind Cebu based companies, Live2Sell and Virtual Staff Finder, Chris has established himself as the go-to guy when it comes to new business styles and outsourcing work here in the Philippines. With his extensive experience in working with Filipinos for more than a decade under his belt, he has become an expert in discovering Filipino talents and is a major voice to the world about what quality Filipino work is.
Zerothreetwo was lucky to score a quick chat with him.
032: What exactly brought you to the Philippines?Why?
CD: I arrived in the Philippines in 2000. I was hired by international banks to train telemarketers, which I did until 2004. I started consulting for other companies and eventually set up my own company in 2008, Live2Sell. Here we are, five and a half years later continually growing and doing well.
032: As a foreigner, what is the first thing that instantly caught your attention?
CD: My very first impression of the Philippines is that it’s hot. It’s the thing that hit me the most and until now, I’m still not really climatized. The traffic in Manila was crazy so coming down to Cebu was like a breath of fresh air. I was in Cebu for a month and I remembered talking to a friend in Manila. I said to him, I found where I want to be. I find Cebu’s environment to be a lot cleaner. Filipino people are friendly, but I would say that the people here in Cebu are extra friendly.
032: What are the things you love about Cebu? What do you think it could improve on?
CD: I’m 30 minutes away from beautiful beaches. I love hanging out in the beach. Secondly is cleaner living. My place here is very green and I like the open spaces. One thing I think Cebu could improve on in the next three or four years is restaurants. We still don’t have that long list of international styled restaurants here. We need five more Abaca groups in Cebu! It’s changing so it will definitely get better.
032: What’s the inspiration behind the businesses you have set up here in the Philippines particularly in the shores of Cebu?
CD: To be honest with you, it’s the Filipinos. It’s you guys. I wouldn’t be where I am right now as an entrepreneur if it weren’t for my Filipino staff. The main motivating factor for me is just to provide great work to Filipinos because again, I wouldn’t be where I am as a business owner if it weren’t for my Filipino team.
032: How do you find Filipino / Cebuano workers?
CD: They’re great! For the most part, Filipino workers are very hardworking, smart and loyal. The loyalty factor for me is the most important thing. You can actually be not so smart, but if you work hard and are loyal, then I’ll give you a job. We have two major rules in the company. First is don’t be late and second is don’t be absent. My experience with working with Filipinos has been great, but the idea of ‘Filipino time’ has to disappear.
032: What are you still looking forward to achieving?
CD: The big picture is to have more employees and Virtual Assistants and to provide them with up to date training to do the job right. For now, we want to try to continue to provide a good service to our clients, and help more Filipinos find great work with international employers.
- Chris has more than 200 full-time employees in Live2Sell and Virtual Staff Finder recently hit the milestone of helping 1,000 home-based Filipino virtual assistants get jobs.
- Owns a co-working space in Cebu which is called Location63 (FYI : The place is called 63 is our country code and the place has a mango signage to symbolize our national fruit.)
- Has appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine twice.
- One of the 20 Uncoventional Entrepreneurs (Rise to the Top).
- Keynote Speaker at the Visayas Blogging Summit 2011
- Has written two e-books: “Business Growth and the Outsourcing Lifestyle” and “Saving the Day, the Virtual Way”.
- British national, happily married to a Filipina and has three kids.
Visit their website to find out more about Chris and Virtual Staff Finder.