After success in the Philippines, entrepreneur Mannix Pabalan brought his digital marketing company to international shores.
In a report by Khaleej Times, the CEO of Hashtag Digital FZ LLC said that the company aims to fulfill the demands of digital marketing within the United Arab Emirates.
“There is an unprecedented growth of digital marketing in the region, but there are only few professionals who can claim expertise in the wide spectrum of digital commerce,” Pabalan says of the market.
In the UAE, accounts include children’s toy company Step2 Arabia, hotels and resorts such as Hawthorn Suites, Ramada Downtown Dubai, Emirates Grand Hotel, Oceanic Khorfakkan, and nail polish brand Morgan Taylor Gellish.
Pabalan ventured into e-commerce with AyosDito.ph, where he was general manager from 2008 to 2011. The site made buying and selling online widely available to Filipinos. Another local classified ads site Sulit, which rebranded as OLX in 2014, later merged with AyosDito, redirecting AyosDito users to OLX.
He went into digital marketing while working for another e-commerce site, Lazada.
In 2012, he founded Hashtag Digital which serves clients locally and abroad.
Expanding overseas is more than a business decision. “I have seen so many Filipinos in the UAE, but only a few of us own businesses. The thought of exporting a Filipino company, and not just sending talent abroad, challenged me,” explains Pabalan in the report.
He stressed, “With this in mind, I thought of championing the cause and inspiring OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) to become entrepreneurs too.” Niña V. Guno/JB
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