LIVES would be more stressful, difficult, inconvenient, and less secure if not for Filipino frontliners’ commitment to their duties as we all struggle with the pandemic. These include bank employees who help clients access cash for our basic needs.
From Korea with Love
Sangsik Shim of Daelim Philippines is happy that even during the strictest periods of the Enhanced Community Quarantine his bank, BDO, was able to fulfill his company’s needs.
Mr. Shim appreciates that his bank has a dedicated Korean Desk staffed by Filipinos who are knowledgeable about Korean culture and even speak the language. “BDO knows how Koreans handle businesses, and for that, we’re lucky. Since then, Daelim has had short-term loans with BDO to fund our business operations. It also has been very easy to get credit lines from them because they know and support our company’s plan,” said Mr. Shim.
“We always want our partners to respond quickly, so thankfully, that’s how BDO has been so far. My company and also my own experience with BDO strengthened my trust in the bank. They continue to prove that even in good times when our business needed funding, and the bad times when there are unexpected events, we can rely on them.”
Mr. Shim was impressed at how quickly BDO responded to his needs during the pandemic. When he received a call that his credit card was about to expire, ECQ was declared. He was expecting that it would take a long time to transact for a renewal due to the lockdown but BDO processed fast and had his new card delivered.
2020 was also a challenging year for Stefan Schmitz, CEO of Antrak Logistics. Fortunately, Mr. Schmitz’ line of business is considered an essential one: it was subject to lesser restrictions in terms of mobility. Nevertheless, with quarantine affecting services along the supply chain, there was still the risk of disruption in its operations.
According to Mr. Schmitz, he is lucky to have a bank that makes sure transactions went as smoothly as possible. “I applaud BDO because they are always reachable for every transaction even with the lockdown restrictions. Also, we were able to push our clients to transact online so they can pay their employees even with the work-from-home set-up. Other than that, BDO assisted us in our business expansion through their loans even during the pandemic. We looked for efficiency, and we found it in BDO,” he said.
While many problems required a technological solution, Mr. Schmitz said that BDO provides the best solution of all: the human factor that assures him that everything will be all right.
“Nowadays, with so much reliance on technology, it’s very hard to keep the personal connection but BDO always has that human touch that I admire. I think BDO has done a great job there especially in my business because there is always somebody you can rely on. All I have to do is make a phone call and I am able to reach a person who can assist me. It enables us to make better decisions with less stress and difficulty.”
Keeping “business as usual”
As a global management consultancy, Roedl Philippines, Inc. is mainly concerned with helping international clients set up and run their businesses in the Philippines. It also extends the same service to Philippine companies based overseas, particularly in Germany. Roedl & Partner has 109 offices in 49 countries. With a tight-knit grid of intentional offices and global connected clients, the company needs to operate as efficiently and as effectively as possible locally and cross-boarder.
When the quarantine and lockdown were declared in Manila, Roedl Philippines needed a banking partner that could assist the company and its clients to complete particularly their international transactions—since despite the local lockdown and travel restrictions the global business never stopped.
“We have a set of requirements for any business partner we work with. First of all, we look for entrepreneurial spirit. This means seeing challenges as opportunities. It goes without saying that we expect from our staff and business partners to bring in an alert mind, commitment, and professionalism,” said Dr. Marian Norbert Majer, Executive Director and Consultant of Roedl Philippines, Inc.
“What is also of utmost importance to us, is business integrity. I would define integrity as the ability to gain trust and respect. Both trust and respect can only be gained through time, through consistent and reliable performance. I can attest that BDO fulfills all of these requirements. It was proven over a longer period of time but particularly during the pandemic.”
For those reasons, Roedl continues a strong business relationship with BDO all these years. According to Dr. Majer, BDO was able to consistently provide service and assistance throughout the ECQ period. “We highly appreciate that despite limitations due to the ECQ, we always had someone from BDO who was directly and constantly available to take care of our requirements. This means not only our requirements, but particularly the requirements of our clients.”
The pandemic underscored the importance of reliability and trust during times of crisis. For these expats, they chose BDO because the bank continues to find ways amid difficult challenges.