Leo Ortiz, the founder and CEO of Rising Dragon Beauty & Wellness Trading Corp., recalls that he started his business with just P2,500 in initial capital. Today, the 33-year-old serial entrepreneur directly employs 50 and indirectly supports hundreds more in various businesses such as beauty and wellness products, skin care services and restaurant and resort management.
“I started with P2,500 in capital as a reseller of contact lens. With God’s guidance, together with hard work and perseverance, I was able to grow it. With P2,500, you may also achieve bigger dreams and goals in the future,” Ortiz advises other millennials who want to go into business.
Rising Dragon Trading, a Mandaluyong City-based company which Ortiz named after his role models, is the company behind FDA-approved Glutalipo—a slimming and whitening drink in juice, milk tea and coffee variants. Ortiz recently tapped actress Beauty Gonzales-Crisologo as a brand ambassador.
“Glutalipo was approved by FDA in 2017 and 2018. Definitely, it is safe to use, safe to take and safe to drink,” says Ortiz who is a nursing graduate.
He says the product was formulated with 12 active ingredients that have health benefits such as Garcinia combogia, Gluthathione, L-Carnitine, green tea, collagen, grape seed extract, mangosteen, goji berry, barley grass, malunggay, ampalaya, and lemon or coffee.
Ortiz says the benefits of the product include weight loss, fairer skin, colon cancer prevention, cleansing and detoxification.
“Coffee itself is a good anti-oxidant beverage, but consumers still look for additional benefits. We are very happy to share this product because aside from the anti-oxidant benefits of coffee, Glutalipo also has other ingredients minerals and vitamins that help make you healthy,” he says.
“It also has detox effect which other coffee products do not have. It cleanses the toxins from the colon. It also increases metabolism. It uses stevia, instead of refined table sugar, to make sure that the taste is delicious and healthy. With this coffee, we make sure that the caffeine is just enough, but not to the point that will cause palpitation and other side effects,” says Ortiz.
Ortiz says the personal challenges he faced in his own weight loss journey led to the conceptualization of Glutalipo product line.
Rising Dragon Trading has an agreement with a toll manufacturer that produces the products according to Ortiz’s instructions and specifications. “We sell around 120,000 to 150,000 boxes each month. We have distribution franchisees and distributors who get the products from us wholesale. The suggested retail price for every box is P300 to P350,” says Ortiz.
He says his goal is to further increase their sales this year. “The reason we are getting many influencers and brand ambassadors is that we are hoping to sell around 200,000 to 300,000 boxes monthly before end of the year,” he says. “Hopefully, we can achieve it with God’s grace and with the help of our brand ambassadors.”
Ortiz, who was born in the lakeside barangay of Bucal in Calamba, is also about to open a second hot spring resort called Kai in March. He says his first resort, The Oia-Santorini, is doing well.
His other businesses are Elite Contact Lens, Gluta Spa and Beauty Vault which he hopes to support with more aggressive marketing campaign in the coming months.
Ortiz says other entrepreneurs, some much younger than he is, are also thriving in the online distribution industry. “We have colleagues and business owners who are only 23 years old and who earn more,” he says.
He says the secret to success lies in one’s resolve to accomplish his or her dream. “For as long you know your goal, your dreams and whom you would like to share them with, you should persevere and not give up amid the challenges and problems, until you achieve them,” says Ortiz.
“For those who would like to establish their own business and provide for their families, you should not hesitate and be discouraged by challenges. I met a lot of challenges along the way, and even struggled at times, but I did not give up,” he says.
Ortiz recalls that when he could not immediately find a job in 2010 despite graduating cum laude as a nurse, he used his spare time to work for Nu Skin, a network marketing company that distributes personal care products. He also sold affordable contact lenses to fellow millennials online.
He says what he learned from marketing is priceless. He eventually went beyond marketing, built his own brands and established toll manufacturing agreements with other producers. Now, he has a network of franchisees, distributors and resellers who sell his products in the Philippines and other countries.
“Although I still miss being a nurse, I have no regrets because I was able to achieve the dreams that I have for my family and myself,” says Ortiz.
“As long as you have courage and determination, you can survive the challenges. With P2,000 or P2,500 in capital, you can own a business. Don’t be discouraged. Pursue your dream until you achieve it,” he says.
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