Before establishing Xend, the company that revolutionized eCommerce logistics in the country, Bjorn Pardo was an ordinary online seller for eBay, experiencing the same difficulties every Filipino supplier has had in shipping and delivering items to buyers around the world. “I was spending so much time waiting in line to ship the items I sold. And every seller had the same problem. That got me thinking – there should be some way to make this easier and more efficient considering how the online selling business is rapidly growing,” he explains.
Traveling the Digital Path
Bjorn started out as a Civil Engineering student at De La Salle University, but ended up leaving for the US after his first year because it didn’t feel right for him. Sometime in 1999-2000, he discovered eBay, “And that’s kind of what changed everything. In my spare time, I would be just searching for stuff to sell. This was like early days of e-Commerce, when it was somewhat less competitive in terms of what you could sell online. It was fun and kind of thrilling looking for stuff,” he says. When his part-time business actually started earning him more than his day job, Bjorn decided to seriously examine the process.
“What struck me the most was that every single seller had a difficult time with the logistics of delivering purchased items to respective buyers,” he shares. “eBay is just one portal where people conduct these transactions, there are a number of others of course, and I realized that probably all the other small online business owners pretty much experience the same thing. And here was that important requirement that the expanding online market needed someone to address.”
It was then that he saw the opportunity to create business solutions that would help sellers conduct their work more efficiently – reducing the time consumed on menial tasks that take them away from focusing on the business itself, and eat away at the hours better spent on family. “That was a primary motivation for me. I am, first and foremost, a family man – a dad and husband, who wants to fulfil the role as best as I can.”
Innovation Equals More Time and Stronger Connections with Family
And there’s really no doubt about how much love and respect Bjorn holds for his wife Sarah and four kids Miguel (15), Lorenzo (8), Rocio (3) and Ellie (1). “Without my family, I would not be where I am today. They are my purpose. My dream for my kids is simple, I want my kids to have the flexibility to be able to truly find what their passion is and pursue it to the fullest,” he shares.
Exactly like how he found his and made a success out of it. Bjorn put up Xend in 2004, initially as an international logistics and courier service, until eventually introducing domestic courier services in 2006. Online sellers and business owners don’t even have to leave their homes anymore because Xend can pick up, pack, and deliver their items “anywhere in the world from Manila to Madagascar” as the company’s list of services wittily state – that’s a total of 230 countries.
According to the Xend founder, “At that time, I realized that I was passionate about helping other people in smaller or micro-businesses. In 2003 or 2004 when internet started to get main stream, the eBay community started to grow, and I thought that the technology I could provide would result in giving them more hours to focus on family and growing their business.”
The company is a hybrid of logistics and eCommerce, providing business solutions for the whole value chain. Specifically designed for eCommerce, it’s fully online, includes free delivery insurance, and is up to 60% less than other courier services. “We have always believed that the entrepreneur is driving eCommerce today and will for the foreseeable future. It’s our job to help make things easy and simple for them so they can reach their true potential. There are 100 million people in the country with 30 million online. We have only activated 200,000 entrepreneurs so the sky is the limit.”
Aside from signing up that two hundred thousandth shipper, Bjorn shares that they’ve delivered their 5 millionth parcel last year. Next steps are also in place. “We are planning to turn the industry on its head again later this year by operationalizing our entrepreneur database and converting this into Xend outlets or “Neighborhood Partners”. This is aligned with our mission of servicing our entrepreneur base and giving them opportunities to earn more. The program amplifies that, so it’s truly win-win for everyone,” he points out.
Trips of Passion and Inspiration
Though now considered as an eCommerce innovator who has made such a significant contribution, Bjorn isn’t a man who’s easily satisfied with what he’s already accomplished. So he continues to look for more solutions that can help boost the industry, and find inspirations to enrich his family life and indulge his wanderlust – all while staying at the helm of his company.
“Of course it definitely tough to master having a work-life balance, but through experience, I’ve found that it basically boils down to self-control.” Some words of advice from him include “Be ‘at home’ when you are at home,” and “don’t sweat the small stuff.” He continues that it’s taken him years to get good at this but there’s always room for improvement.
The search for inspiration and bonding time with family is often tied up with travel. “Traveling for me is a great way to continuously learn, whether for developing business, or becoming a better husband and father.” Bjorn attends industry conferences, particularly around Asia, every month. As the newly appointed president of the Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines, he expects the frequency to increase.
His family is also composed of avid travelers. “We love traveling, and make sure to take trips a number of times a year. We have been all over, and there are no real favorites because each place has its own special memories. In South East Asia, it’s about going wild at the theme parks, while beaches are about relaxing and spending quality time together. In the US, it was taking road trips and experiencing new things.”
Naturally it’s a requirement for Bjorn to stay connected, “And I’ve found Globe Platinum to be a key partner in enabling me to do that. It’s perfect, it makes sense. I can’t live without my phone. The Platinum Lifestyle Plan that I have covers everything I need.”
Globe Platinum has designed the new and most powerful Lifestyle Plans to ensure that its customers are well-connected to what matters to them – from their loved ones, their passions, and what they need in their professions. Most significant for Bjorn are its roaming features. “I need to be in touch and accessible to my team no matter where I am, so it’s of utmost importance. I keep in touch with my team through email and chat, and having consumable roaming and rich mobile data allocation puts my mind at ease.”
A huge plus is having 24/7 access to an international concierge, access to airport lounges around the world, exclusive hotel discounts, and even a personal shopper abroad. “Something that I have not had access to in the past was a worldwide concierge. This is particularly helpful when arranging transportation in other countries.”
Globe Platinum is excited to have Bjorn join the family as one of its newest faces to represent the brand. Marketing Brand Director Kaisie Del Carmen says, “It’s our commitment to ensure that Bjorn, alongside our other customers, get to live their modern lifestyles in today’s digital setting. From our best-in-class Platinum Lifestyle Plans with the richest mobile allocation to the best content partners, and even the enhanced perks, privileges, and service, you are assured that you receive the signature customer experience we’re known for. Bjorn’s success in the online business extends to every part of his lifestyle, so we make sure he’s always inspired and connected to everything and everyone he loves, so that he can continue achieving his success.”
With the success he’s managed to gain, it isn’t surprising that Bjorn has become both a role model and an inspiration for the current generation. He’s managed to revolutionize an industry, and help countless others to better their businesses. “That’s probably the most fulfilling part, the fact that I was not only able to put up my own company but also help others achieve success in theirs.”
Living in such fast-paced, exciting times where inspiration can strike anytime, anywhere, push us to create, innovate, and succeed. In true fashion that speaks of its signature premium customer service and best-in-class offers, Globe Platinum is taking on the role of enabling customers to constantly connect with what inspires them, and share this with peers and communities, initiating a culture of inspiration that leads to the path of success.
To discover the inspiring world of Globe Platinum, visit www.globe.com.ph/platinum. ADVT.