For the longest time in the Philippines, the traditional employment setting only allowed regular employees to enjoy the benefits of premium healthcare.
With more than two million Filipino freelance workers today though (and with numbers still growing as more become part of the Gig Economy), it has become a concern that despite having the freedom to work on one’s own terms, being able to avail of something that used to be extended in traditional employment situations, especially if it’s something that’s on top of the essentials list, was a remote possibility.
There was just an important void that needed to be filled, and Cindy Burdette learned about this major pain point as experienced by contractors and freelancers while working as head of B2B sales at a Philippine tech startup called STORM.
It was a problem Cindy knew she wanted to solve. After years of development, what used to be just a dream to disrupt the healthcare benefits industry in the Philippines is now taking shape today. Enter AllCare. Today, AllCare provides the needs of the underserved by offering a benefits platform that is both affordable and relevant to the needs of freelancers and contract workers.
Let’s learn more about Cindy Burdette, CEO and Co-Founder of AllCare.io, an individual who is passionate about entrepreneurship, has the skills in digital marketing but saw the opportunity to solve a problem experienced by many.
Who is Cindy? What is she passionate about and what problems of today does she like to solve?
I’m an avid problem-solver and lifelong learner that has taken that passion towards entrepreneurship. I’m passionate about small businesses and helping them establish businesses that will grow and be sustainable. I truly believe that the economic uplift will come from the SMEs and not the big corporations.
Tell us about AllCare. Please describe as well that a-ha moment when you knew your ideas for AllCare might actually become a success. What is the story behind this?
Even before establishing ALLCARE, I was already running small businesses beside my full-time post then at STORM, and taking my Master’s. One of the things I experienced as a small business owner was how limited my options were for insurance and other employee perks for my team of 3. And being in STORM, we had access to research that showed this industry and segment was severely underserved. So it wasn’t really one A-ha! Moment but a long study and development of the product.
Tell us about the biggest challenge you had to face, which also made you who you are today.
I grew up in a small city called Olongapo City and had quite a difficult childhood. Going to Manila for my undergrad, I was like “fish out of water” and was terribly out of my comfort zone. This experience and the eventual adjustments that I’ve had to make to maximize my time throughout college created this sense of dynamism in me and this keen ability to adapt. Now, I take that with me both personally and professionally, and has helped shape the person I am today.
You are also the co-founder of BT Partners. Tell us more about it.
Since I’ve been building businesses in different focus areas since around 2013, I wanted a platform to use this collective information I’ve gathered and help increase the chances of success of small businesses. It first started out as people taking me to coffee, lunch or even giving me cash or GC for consultations. Eventually, me and a couple of partners decided to create an organization around it to make it more credible and accessible to more business owners. BT Partners is composed of sales and marketing professionals that consult with businesses in the areas of business strategy, sales development and product marketing. BT Partners is very young, but it brings me a lot of joy when we conduct training and consultations.
What was the best advice that you received in terms of marketing and business?
The best advice I’ve received is not something I’ve been given but something we’ve learned the hard way. As a marketing professional in the advertising industry, I’ve seen so many marketers waste so much time and money in the development of brand strategy, design or branding executions of their ad materials but not spend the same amount of time studying the results and impact and how to iterate.
This shouldn’t be the case. Marketers should understand that what they think may work, may not necessarily be what actually works for the customer, and so the best go-to-market is running multiple campaigns, with of course, thoughtful thinking and seeing what works, then taking that data and using it to influence further versions of the campaign and so on. Data is not something to be an after-thought. It should lead the way forward.
When it’s all over, how would you like to be remembered?
I think from where I’m at now, it’s clear to myself how I want to be remembered. I want people to remember how giving and gracious I am with my time and experiences to help others get better and help solve their own life and business problems.