Daniel Torres |
Eatigo Philippines Country Lead
After just four months since setting up shop in the Philippines, eatigo finally launched their app last July 5, 2017.
Founded in 2013, eatigo’s mission is to connect empty tables with empty stomachs by offering time- based discounts of up to 50% every day at all of its participating restaurants through its online website and mobile applications. Having seated over 5 million diners at more than 1,000 venues across the region, eatigo is the leading online reservations platform for restaurants in Southeast Asia, downloaded by more than 1 million users. Backed by Tripadvisor, eatigo is available in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India and recently the Philippines - with Daniel Torres as the Country Lead.
We had the pleasure of stealing more than half an hour from Daniel’s work day to know more about him, their newly launched app and what he can say about his workspace, Acceler8.
Daniel Torres was born in Colombia but moved to Silicon Valley in San Francisco where he studied Marketing. During his time in the USA, he worked with numerous startups including imeem, Nimbuzz, among others mostly around communication services. After 6 years in the promise land of startups, he decided to explore emerging markets and ended up in Argentina and then the Philippines where he helped launching Easy Taxi, a Rocket Internet company. He then worked in Singapore for about a year and ended in Bangkok where he met the people behind eatigo. Given his knowledge and previous experience with the Philippine market, he was sent to the country he considers his home in Asia to lead operations.
Read on as he shares his thoughts on entrepreneurship, success and how coworking spaces bridge the gap.
A8: How would you describe the influence of coworking spaces on traditional business culture?
DT: “Coworking places in places like the US are more of a normality, than in emerging countries. I think it’s still a new concept in the Philippines, but it will definitely spur the entrepreneurial spirit [in the country]. Places like Acceler8 do show another side of business without barriers which will definitely influence the younger generation. Young people will get a confidence boost. Seeing other young people in coworking spaces will motivate them to make or start their own things and it will remove the whole career ladder concept.”
A8: How important do you think are coworking spaces for entrepreneurs?
DT: “Every person at Acceler8 has a lot to share, good and bad. And that’s what you need, I mean everyone thinks of Steve Jobs when you say entrepreneur, but there’s also a lot of failed ideas out there and bad experiences. But that’s where you learn, and coworking spaces will open that up.
Coworking spaces also build your confidence, everyone has bad days and knowing that you’re not alone can really help your day. Seeing other people every day that have encountered the same problems or even worse problems than you, has a sort of reassurance in what can sometimes seem like a lonely journey.”
A8: When you mention the community, is that more of a bonus than a priority?
DT: “When I chose Acceler8, of course the plug and play element was a priority. Any immediate priority for a business or startup is the ability to instantly start working. But any place can do that as long as you own a laptop, so plug and play is the absolute minimum you need.
When you arrive at Acceler8, the place is alive. People are talking, gathered around the coffee machine, there’s activity that you don’t find in other places.
When I was building my team, the whole interview and hiring process was very smooth, as the buzz and activity has a welcoming feel that you don’t have in a regular office. When I hired new people Acceler8 did help them settle in.”
A8: So would you say that “community” and relations with other people have an important role in the workplace?
DT: “Yes, you have to have fun at the same time and connecting with other people, having some drinks or even quick conversations does add another level enjoyment. Even if you’re busy, even a little “hello” and interaction with the Acceler8 staff does benefit you.
When you’re leaving a job at an established company to join a startup, there’s an element of risk and a place like Acceler8 really helps to welcome into what can be at first a scary experience - it’s comforting to meet other people at who’ve made the same decision to start a different career path. The community element does help to normalize the experience.
This is why I chose Acceler8.”
Daniel went inside our admin office the morning of the launch to announce that their app is up. The people working in Acceler8 that morning were the first to find out about it via one of the community managers roaming around announcing in excitement to “download the app now!”
Users can choose to dine anywhere, from upscale hotels to popular food chains, and enjoy the same discounts with no strings attached. Download the eatigo app on Google Play and App Store to enjoy great discounts from all over the metro.