Who would have thought that a cum laude nursing graduate and a registered nurse would end up selling beauty products and to be this successful instead of landing in a hospital to pursue his career in his chosen profession? And would eventually be a CEO of his own company at a very young age? Meet Leo Ortiz, CEO of Rising Dragon Beauty and Wellness Trading Corporation.
The Rising Dragon
Unable to find a nursing job after graduation, Leo joined a network marketing group instead but after two years, he did not earn much. Armed with perseverance and his learnings from this experience, and his realization of great opportunities in marketing, he jumped into another venture.
He got his first million selling contact lenses! And this was the start of his successful entrepreneurial journey. He had his share of business ventures which failed, but it never deterred him from pushing forward and looking for next opportunities. Leo established JLo General Merchandise in 2013 then it became Rising Dragon Beauty and Wellness Trading Corporation in 2018 and still young now at 35 years old.
The RT team prepared questions for Leo and sharing to you all, his inspiring answers.
What does it mean to be a Rising Tiger, Nation Builder for you?
Being a rising tiger and a nation builder is a huge responsibility, great honor and a commitment.
A great honor because it symbolizes the achievements, sacrifices and hardwork of my team, the organization and the company and the people behind the success of Rising Dragon. A great honor dedicated with blood, sweat, tears and success as we rise to the challenge.
It is a responsibility and commitment. We have the responsibility to serve our distributors and resellers and end-users and the responsibility with our employees. A commitment to provide world-class quality products that are very safe and effective, and a commitment also to uplift the livelihood of many Filipinos through distributorship and reselling.
I believe that happy employees make happy clients, so it is really important to be committed to my team and to provide the best products and services for our clients.
What are your personal accomplishments that embody these characteristics?
With hardworking employees and distributors dedicated to the company’s success, the company still at its early years, the brands and products have been recognized as one of the trusted and top brands in the market. My company and I was able to expand and grow. We have been helping thousands of people and families survive and thrive during the pandemic, and provide an opportunity for them to earn and can catapult changes to their lives and businesses to succeed. We also focus on customer experience because we believe that customers’ perceptions can make or break the business.
Given these personal milestones, what has (your company) accomplished through you?
We have been providing livelihood and opportunities for new and existing entrepreneurs. Also, aside from boosting confidence, in ways large and small, our products have changed the customers’ lives for the better.
What has the pandemic taught you?
The pandemic has created both challenges and opportunities. We have seen significant growth and we have provided more opportunities for entrepreneurs. The pandemic has also forced us to be more creative and innovative amid much uncertainty and challenge. I believe that thinking ahead is vital and is the best way to stay grounded as the business evolves.
How did (your company) work around the limitations of the pandemic?
We are actually forced to think out of the box, to be more creative, resourceful, to maximize our potential and to bring the best things that we can offer on the table. Amid the pandemic, we have grown and have expanded. We have expanded and invested more in our marketing, brand awareness, and continuously provide livelihood to resellers and distributors. We diversify our services and bring new and world-class quality products to market more quickly and we can be able to see, anticipate and respond to customers’ needs. Social media and e-commerce presence and marketing create a more engaging experience for distributors and clients, helping them feel more connected to the brand and cultivating trust.
What are your personal values and strategies as a leader?
I consider myself more of a leader than a boss. I am more involved, a passionate one, empowers the team, and I maybe strict but I delegate work to be done without dictating the exact manner in which it is done because I trust my team. I am people-oriented and seek to lead everyone to succeed also. I am empathetic, we go through tough times but I understand and feel my team’s needs and understand their feelings and inspire them to take actions beyond their capabilities. I believe in Theodore Roosevelt’s model, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’, by showing a greater sense of genuine sincerity, I listen, ask questions without judging, cooperate with them and influence them and show that I truly care. I am also visionary; I always have a big picture in mind and I mobilize my team to work toward their vision. I move toward innovation and cultivate a new direction for the company.
How important is being recognized as a Rising Tiger to you and (your company)?
I consider this as a privilege and an honor because it symbolizes the toil and the fruit of our labor of the whole team, the sacrifices and dedication. We have provided livelihood to Filipinos and have contributed to the society and the community and I am always encouraged to help others. Recognizing our significance is really life changing.
Any inspiring story about you and your company that you want to share with the public?
Starting from being an unemployed registered nurse back in 2008, a Cum Laude graduate but was not able to land a good job. I was enlightened that life is really not an easy path to traverse with. Nothing is offered on a silver platter. Whatever the challenges are, it is essential that we don’t lose hope. When I was in those difficult times, being unemployed for years, I always reflect on the “whys” of my life because it gives me the strength to keep going and the cause will pull me ahead and the challenges never stopped me from finding new opportunities.
Starting from an initial capital of P2.500, now I went above and beyond selling contact lenses, networking and marketing to directly oversee my own company now with a network of franchisees, distributors and resellers who sell our Glutalipo and Beauty Vault brands. Hard work indeed breeds
Leo now directly oversees 50 employees and hundreds more in various industries, including beauty, resort and restaurant management, skincare services, and wellness. Ortiz also owns and runs The Oia-Santorini and Kai resorts as well as Elite Contact Lens, Gluta Spa, and Beauty Vault.