Has anyone of you experienced this? Message sending… and then failed?!! You don’t know what to do and yet you really have to send your text message (desperately). Thank goodness there is Chikka Messenger. As Chikka’s byline goes, Always the Best Way to Text Free in the Philippines. Yes, indeed. Chikka is everyone’s savior because we can send messages for free. As long as you have an internet connection with Chikka installed in your mobile phone or PC device, you can always get connected with your family, friends and acquaintances.
WebGeek is now bringing you Dennis Mendiola, one of Chikka’s founders. We have asked some few questions to Mr. Dennis and let’s take a peek on what has commenced between our interviews with him.
When asked about how Chikka started, Mr. Dennis shared with us that Chikka was not meant to be a messenger way back in the year 1999. Instead, they first planned to make Chikka come out as a website that deals with gifts! Why gifts? They had thought of a way on how our Pinoy brothers working abroad could be able to buy e-regalos for their loved ones here in the Philippines. But then, another thought struck! During that time, the Filipinos were really fond of texting and messaging their loved ones abroad, specifically America was quite impossible or unusual at that time. Hence, Chikka Messenger surfaced to the open. Chikka is a way to connect between mobile and internet. And that’s how for today, we are experiencing the free service of Chikka.
Now, let’s have a glimpse on a quick background of the founders of Chikka. Aside from Mr. Dennis, there are other two founders of this great free messenger. They are Chito Bustamante and Junie Agcaoili. All three of them have lived overseas. That is why, they all know that longing feeling of every Filipino who wanted to stay in touch with his or her family. Even a simple text message would definitely do a lot in encouraging our relatives and friends who are working abroad. Mr. Dennis was an investment banker before Chikka came into his life. These three Chikka founders abide in a company culture that has always been very entrepreneurial, young and highly resourceful.
WebGeek asked Mr. Dennis on what is his favorite part about being an entrepreneur. He answered with, “It would have to be the ability to chart your own destiny as you see fit. No rules. Your rules, no rules.” And that was an awesome answer. Thinking about it, he’s actually right on that. We, entrepreneurs have the ability to carve our own path.
However as we carve our own path, we also encounter hardships like what Mr. Dennis had shared. He said that recruiting the right people was the hardest part during his startup experience. One of the reasons is that the people they tried to recruit didn’t believe that Chikka would survive. But as we can all see, Chikka is still kicking in the fronts.
And here’s the most awaited part, some pieces of advice from our Chikka founder! As paraphrased from Steve Jobs, Mr. Dennis agreed that even a new entrant or small-time player can compete with the bigger guy. He encourages us to dream big and make it happen. Just like what happened between Facebook versus Friendster and MySpace; Google versus Yahoo. Facebook and Google are several years younger than their competitors but they managed to make it at the top!
“So my advice is, one, just because the idea is there, does not mean you cannot improve on it. Two, an idea is just an idea until you get the right people, the right craftsmen to do it.” – Dennis Mendiola