Perseverance and patience are the keys to success for an overseas Filipino worker from Dubai who continued to make a name as the chief executive officer (CEO) of a travel agency in Dubai from her humble beginnings as a cleaner.
At the age of 46, Malou Prado never lost hope that she would provide a better future for her family in the Philippines, as she tried different jobs before becoming the CEO of a known travel agency in Dubai.
In her exclusive interview with an international news agency, Prado disclosed that, at a young age, she was already exposed to doing business as she helped her parents sell dried fish to sustain their educational needs.
Before flying to Dubai, Prado became a factory worker in Taiwan in 1999 to help her parents with their daily expenses. Hence, this job was not for long, as she finished her contract years later.
Discovering more opportunities abroad, the Filipina sought a job in the United Arab Emirates, noting that this was her dream country to work in. However, this was not easy for Prado, as she struggled to find a stable job during her first three months in Dubai.
In Dubai, Prado became a cleaner, helper, food server, and saleslady, and she also has part-time jobs after her shifts as she does catering services for wedding parties and other events.
Hence, it is not still enough for her daily expenses in Dubai and for her allowance given to her family, as she also experienced not having a proper full meal per day while occupying just the upper bunk bed in an apartment just to budget her money.
This did not demotivate the Filipina, as she still strived for the best until she was given the opportunity to become staff at a newly opened travel agency in Dubai. Prado became part of the agency as a freelance agent who arranged travel accommodations for clients.
“Determined to rise above my dire financial situation, I accepted the offer to work for the company without a salary, but on a commission basis,” Prado said.
The owner saw potential in Prado and gave her a chance to have training and seminars to hone her skills, and the Filipina did not waste this chance as she was able to attract more clients to their agency.
Even in the surge of the pandemic and travel restrictions, Prado is still determined to make the travel agency rise, as she made the travel agency one of those who organized the chartered flights to assist the repatriation of Filipinos from the UAE to the Philippines during the pandemic.
“It helped our organization survive the pandemic. As the travel sector was severely affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions, this initiative provided a lifeline for both our business and our customers,” she said.
Up until today, Prado is still striving for the best for the company, not forgetting the roots of where she came from. With her dedication and hard work, the Filipina also received recognition from both local and international organizations, as she inspires not only Filipinos but also other nationalities.