Finding a harmonious work–life balance has become an important objective both for leaders and their workforces over recent years.
Whether prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic’s shift toward remote work, or the desire to trim the business week from the traditional five days to four, employees across various industries are finding ways to prioritize their personal lives while still meeting their professional responsibilities.
This more flexible work schedule has come as a breath of fresh air, particularly against the challenging backdrop of the pandemic. But back when Jimmy Go, President and CEO of VST ECS Philippines, was starting his business, the pursuit of work–life balance was more challenging, particularly for an entrepreneur.
Go has been in the IT game for four decades now, establishing VST as one the preeminent distributors of Information Communication Technology (ICT). But it didn’t come without sacrifice, most notably that longed-for work–life balance.
“What I can say is that being an entrepreneur, perseverance is very important, as is hard work. Success can only be attained through dedicated effort and a willingness to sacrifice in pursuit of one’s goals,” he tells The CEO Magazine.
“The vision for VST ECS is to be the best and most admired technology partner in the Philippines. We don’t want to be just number one. We want to be the most admired.”
“A strong work ethic and a commitment to financial responsibility are essential for entrepreneurs looking to build successful businesses.”
There’s certainly no regimented nine-to-five structure, let alone a four-day work week, he adds. On the contrary, late nights and weekend toil are part and parcel of an entrepreneur’s life.
Go’s story is one of resilience and determination. In 1982, together with three of his college friends, he launched MSI, a distribution firm that struck deals with numerous leading brands. Several mergers and acquisitions later, VST ECS was born. The company is now the largest ICT distributor in the country, representing more than 100 global brands.
Maybe it’s the entrepreneurial spirit that still resides within him, but he appears as driven now as he was in those early years as his career gathered momentum.
“The vision for VST ECS is to be the best and most admired technology partner in the Philippines. We don’t want to be just number one. We want to be the most admired,” he says. “It means we have to be very professional, we have to be right in everything we do. It’s not just selling. We want to be the best advisor, the best consultant for our partners.”
A key player in the transformation of business, VST ECS facilitates access to technology and acts as a critical link between brands, channel partners and end customers. As a distributor, the company works closely with its channel partners, providing them with the latest training and education on technological advancements, growth opportunities and deployment assistance.
Through partnerships with vendors, VST ECS helps to position and promote their brands, acting as an extension of their marketing, sales and customer support teams. However, it is the company’s ability to scale that has been pivotal to its success, according to Go.
“By expanding our capacity to deliver exceptional service to our partners and customers, VST ECS can stay ahead of industry trends and expedite technology transfer,” he says.
“We always say that technology is a tool, but people make the difference. In fact, our slogan is ‘great products, great people, great solutions’.”
It must also continue to prioritize its people, partnerships and expansion. Go is confident that, if it achieves these objectives, VST ECS is well-positioned to continue transforming businesses and driving innovation in the industry.
To that end, the ICT distributor has invested significant amounts in developing the company infrastructure in addition to harnessing a workforce that is empowered and encouraged to play a part in its growth.
“If all the decisions are taken by one person, it’s impossible for you to scale. And we emphasize that people are the most important asset of the company,” he explains. “We always say that technology is a tool, but people make the difference. In fact, our slogan is ‘great products, great people, great solutions.’”
It’s this approach that Go believes has helped drive the company forward, ever closer to its goal of being the best and most admired.
“I think we are achieving that but, of course, that’s not for me to say,” Go says. “It’s our partners who will make that judgment.”