S04E10: Jocelyn Pantastico, Co-Founder & CEO of Olivia Technology Group, The Philippines

I am not Olivia, my daughter’s name is not Olivia, no one in the company is called Olivia. But the genesis of the name is from the olive tree and the olive tree lives for at least 500, some even a 1000 years. Money management is all about stewardship and, and making sure that you’re passing on wealth to the next generation and where it starts is really having visibility, where money is going, whether you are an individual or a small business … to know where your money is going or where the funds are going so that you know you have enough of a legacy to pass on the next generation.

Jocelyn ‘Jocs’ Pantastico

In today’s episode, I am speaking to Jocelyn Pantastico who is the Co-founder & CEO of Olivia Technology Group based in The Phillippines.

jocelyn pantastico the olivia technology group
Jocs is most proud that she became a startup founder in her 50s.

While today’s episode is about software that keeps your money in check, it is also about the bigger concept of wealth, money management and investing.

Jocs as she is more fondly known has spent most of her life in the corporate world. She has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and 15 years of managing profitable, high-performance teams across Asia. She used to work for multinational companies like Danone and Nielsen and didn’t follow her academician parents’ path. Instead, right after getting out of the university, she became an expat in Singapore and Indonesia working for market research companies.

In 2018, she returned to The Philippines to start her tech startup, Olivia, a milestone she is most proud of.

Her software, Olivia, frees companies from tedious manual data capture so that they can focus on real work. In short, Olivia processes receipts and invoices, translating them into reports and digital assets in seconds. 

But it really isn’t about the receipts as we get deeper into this interview. In fact, it is a lot more. 

We spoke about how her world now is distinctly different from her corporate days. She talks about the startup lessons she learned as she built her startup and how she had to change the ways she thought about putting products out into the market. 

​​I’m really happy that we did it because in fact, the market for what we are doing for automation, there’s a huge wide space in the Philippines. Now there are a lot of – even – large companies that still have 30 or 50 people just manually encoding expenses. This is really an area that we really help the Philippines digitize.

She also talks about how her software is creating more value for accountants rather than taking away their jobs. And she uncovered the reason why people were leaving accountancy firms. 

We also discussed why women don’t talk about money as openly as men going back into her own past and her realization that she needed to be open about money with her daughter. She revealed some really smart strategies for teaching her daughter how to invest, ultimately giving her a headstart with money and how that has transformed her own daughter’s relationship with money and wealth. 

Jocs believes in progress, not perfection. She also deeply admires Rosa Parks because her defiance led to the civil rights movement and she considers artists Esperanza Spalding and Sara Bareilles as inspiring and much too under-rated.

Jocs is most proud that she became a startup founder in her 50s. Her patent-pending “LIP technology” extracts information from receipts and auto-generate reports and also recognizes voice commands in English, Tagalog and Taglish and auto-fills expense fields as well.

Don’t be afraid to launch and just learn as you go along. There’s this famous quote by Reed Hoffman who is from LinkedIn. He said that if you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late. And that really stuck to my mind. That was my first learning that you don’t have to have everything all figured out when you launch – in fact, launching your product gives you an opportunity to get an early feel for the market acceptance.

Jocs’ company won the “She Loves Tech Philippines” startup pitch and represented the country in the global competition. The Olivia app was among the top 2 in the PLDT-SMART Innovation Challenge and won the top prize at the Huawei OCR Contest and Jocs was also in the AIM Dado Banato Incubator 2020 THINCOHORT programme.

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