Penbrothers: Guilherme’s notable success in expanding ideas effectively

By Asha Gutierrez


When brilliant ideas are created into reality

Guilherme Faria or Gui for anyone that meets him, is a man of numerous achievements. His featured skills are Business Planning, Marketing Management, and Marketing Strategy and is accomplished in speaking five languages: English, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Graduated in ISEG Lisbon School of Economics and Management with a B.S. in Economics, his last position before coming to Manila was as General Manager for UBM Novomania in Shanghai, China. During the first decade of this millenium he was in Tokyo, Japan, were he had various positions: Overseas Manager for E-Four Corporation, Marketing Manager for Pirelli and Commercial Diplomatic Affairs/Trade Manager for the Embassy of Portugal. He started his career as an Intern for KOTRA in Seoul, Korea.

As an entrepreneur he has started various businesses and is presently the Co-Founder of Penbrothers International and a Managing Partner of Upteam Corporation.

Upteam is known as a supplier of authentic pre-owned items from high-end brands, to both online and offline shops across Europe, the Middle-East, and Asia. It is now astoundingly under the acceleration of 500 startups.

Penbrothers shows a flair for recruiting workers for the benefit of other startup companies. Gui believes in always changing for the better. “We’ve evolve and we’ve eventually came out with this four words that really turns me to what we do which is, “We hire, you manage.”

For him, they are not chosen to be hired with the belief, “The more you work with good people, the more good people will come.” He believes that this is the secret of their great success.


Changing the way you work for the better

              Penbrothers started in December 2014 in Manila. They came up with the idea of employing for the benefit of others upon observing what was missing in Manila and in the country, which aimed to connect the world to the Philippines.  “It was a necessity for the market because within 3 months we were full.” he said. Penbrothers was created in order to enable the new demand and opportunity generated in the startup community, especially the co-working sector. It pursues with an innovative approach to remote working while offering manning and payroll solutions beyond a shared working space. “We have built everything and we are ready to take it to a bigger scale and dimension.” Gui accedes.

              The founders Nicolas and Gui used their 15 years of corporate and startup expertise to create Penbrothers. Both are quite experienced when it comes to global business practices in Japan, Australia, US, Philippines, Switzerland, and China. The company grew very fast and from there they expanded as they recruited professionals who complemented and assisted in strategy, operations, human resources, IT, marketing, and business development. As Gabrielle Pratte, the Managing Partner said, “It is amazing to see what we have evolved to, from a small simple office, to a vast multifunctional space. Experience taught us that people produce their best work in an environment where they can strive—that has become our mission.” At present, they have 47 clients for a total of 520 seats and different branches in Makati City, Philippines.

They have already successfully expanded into 6 offices in 3 branches and is now housing over 500 people of international and local startups, organizations, and entrepreneurs. For them, their ecosystem is where companies use the space to grow, scale, and communicate effectively. The Penbrothers’ clients have access to services such as recruitment & staffing, support for employment, payroll, tax compliance, and employee benefits. It is not only about employing people for global startups, it is also about choosing the right talent that will be best for the client’s requirements. “We make sure that the people are integrated together.” he alludes.


Acquired values as a priority

              Cost advantage becomes the principal value at Penbrothers. By understanding the challenges startups experience, they are able to constantly provide solutions for their clients. Hence, Penbrothers found a way to expand organizations with talent management and manning services in order for the client’s to concentrate on growing their own businesses. “The vision is still the same, but how you go there is totally different.” Gui believes in enhancing one’s values in the company.


A step by step process towards success

              For Gui, he believes that you can have a successful startup by making something efficient and needed.  “You fail because of time—you ran out of money before you can make an earning.” Reality plays a big factor when creating businesses and mostly is not as easy as it looks. Startups tend to overlook the amount of money they need to spend to be recognized. “It takes something special for an item to be sold successfully to one’s clients basically,” he reflects.

Another problem that he noticed is that people solely look on the large successful business ventures. People should focus more on the top companies that made it through their own effort and we need to study how they were able to do these. For him, we need to look at others and learn on how they made their own ideas into reality.

He believes about going to B2B before moving on to B2C. “Because everything takes time and money, it is best to be objective than subjective when thinking about business ventures. If you succeed in B2B your odds and experience are then much greater when phasing it into a B2C model.”

People need to focus on strategy and find out what is effective for them before investing in an idea. His reasons for success: 1) Great partners, 2) B2B models instead of B2C immediately, and 3) Trying something out of the needs of others, not out of passion or what you like. “It’s not like: Oh, I like wine so let me do a wine business. That’s one thing but the question that matters is: Does the market really need this or not?”

              Gui feels productive when he does different things that sparks up his ideas and interests. He is also leaning towards the productivity of his businesses for his joyous sense of accomplishment. “If you have models that are profitable, and thankfully all my models are profitable, you feel like things are growing and that you must have been doing something right.” he gladly expresses. It is not only for the sake of doing, you need to believe in what you are doing—something different, unique, and you’re good at doing it. For him, progress produces satisfaction.

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