This article was originally published here: Rossana Llenado – CEO of AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center
Early entrepreneurial enterprises and a life time commitment to education have combined in Rossana Llenado, and she keeps on learning!
What’s your story?
I started my entrepreneurial journey very early in life. I like giving gifts but also came from a very poor family. I could not give gifts unless I had money to spend. So early on, at 5 years old, I found ways to make money. These experiences helped me to be who I am right now. I learned early on the importance of hard work and the joy in providing value to others by being my unique, hardworking and authentic self.
What excites you most about your industry?
I love learning new things. My passion for education started when I was young and this led me to start my business. I love education and tech because both are equalizers. I remember when computers were just starting, I was so curious on how to use them and, eventually, I learned how and I taught others. The combination of education and technology is perfect especially when it comes to progressive and quality education. Our country needs it to solve the systemic issues behind poverty, corruption, and discrimination. Technology serves as the medium; it connects people and makes things more efficient. Combine it with education and it will create a great difference.
What is your connection to Asia?
Being from the Philippines, the majority of our clients are from Asia. But we also began tutoring in the Middle East, US, and Canada in 2008. But back then, the internet wasn’t stable enough. However, recent developments in telecommunications inspired me to try again. Our classes usually involve teaching Business English communication and Management training. We also did training for C Suite, allowing our students to expand their network not only in Asia but in the whole world. We’ve been doing this for the last 25 years, training professionals and teachers. Asia holds a special place for me because it gives me opportunities to expand our services and, at the same time, also serves as a training ground for us to venture into other regions.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I like how Singapore is really a developed business center. But my favorite would still be Manila. I know at least 90% of all top Small and Medium entrepreneurs and about 20% of Large Entreprises CEOs through the 10 organizations that we belong to. Whenever I need anything, I know that I can depend on them to help me. I am also called to serve and inspire other entrepreneurs so that is awesome.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Always compete with yourself. This has been my battle cry and I also share it with my team. We can achieve greatness if we learn to look in the mirror and identify our strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, we will know how to improve and become better.
Who inspires you?
My stakeholders: clients, employees, and my kids. I don’t need anyone else to inspire me but I am always happy with other people’s achievements.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
This pandemic changed the way we do business drastically and it made me realize the importance of innovation and adaptation. I’m always open-minded to changes and the consequences that they bring and this year really reminded me of what I always wanted myself and company to be – AHEAD.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I always like to innovate and lead. If I would be given the chance to start again, I would have pivoted my company to edutech earlier.
How do you unwind?
I just read mostly but I also like playing MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) where I get to compete against people from around the world.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I take my four kids to Japan two times a year. We like the temperature, sights, the vibe, and quality of products, the amazing food and the people.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson
Developing the Leader Within you by John Maxwell.
Shameless plug for your business:
For those who are interested in expanding their business to different countries, it is a good idea to keep AHEAD in mind. We encourage our clients to invest in learning Business English Communication Skills so you can sell, market and communicate with buyers and other business owners from different parts of the world. AHEAD’s advantage is our Neutral English program. Neutral English is learning how to speak without any accent – so you can understand and be understood easily even if there are many different English speakers in the world. It is not surprising when new English language practitioners who studied American English cannot communicate with people in India, UK or Australia and vise versa. But we can teach you so you won’t have this problem. AHEAD has 25 years of experience in teaching and has been recognized for its outstanding services.
How can people connect with you?
Email: [email protected]
Social Media Links?
AHEAD Tutorial Review: https://www.facebook.com/AHEADReview/
AHEAD Online: https://www.facebook.com/AheadOnline2015/
AHEAD website: www.videos.ahead.edu.ph
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.