Presenting Payoneer’s Entrepreneurs of the Year!
Payoneer is proud to announce the six hard-working, ambitious and enthusiastic winners of the Payoneer Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
The growing success of international digital business is reflected by the quality of the entrants. We received over 2,000 entries from the world’s best aspiring entrepreneurs, living in 128 different countries and covering a variety of industries including freelance, eCommerce, retail and marketing sectors.
It was extremely difficult to choose just six winners. We are delighted to reveal the entrants from India, China, Ukraine, Argentina, Vietnam and the Philippines who have won in our five categories of Innovator of the Year, Affiliate of the Year, Freelancer of the Year, eCommerce Seller of the Year and overall Entrepreneur of the Year.
Read on to discover which six entrepreneurs had the determination, vision and passion to be named the Payoneer Entrepreneurs of the Year.
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Saurabh Nanda, India
My name is Saurabh Nanda, I am a 20-year old entrepreneur from Delhi. I have 5 years of experience in the e-commerce industry. I have been working since my school days and I am currently pursuing my degree from Delhi University while running my full-time online business selling books. In year 9 of high school, Shopclues approached my father to start selling on their platform. At this point, Amazon had launched in India and we joined them too. I remember in the early days, due to low margins, I couldn’t afford packing or IT staff so I had to get up at 6:00am and pack some of the orders myself. Then, when I returned from school at 2:00pm, I had to go to the market to source the products and pack them. All the work pressure resulted in me failing some of my examinations, as it was difficult to maintain a balance between work and school. With time we grew the business with Amazon, and Payoneer as our payments partner, and now we are an international seller of books, selling our books to audiences worldwide!
E-COMMERCE SELLER OF THE YEAR
Shaoling Luo, China
I graduated from Sichuan University and started my first e-commerce business in my sophomore year, but it was not so successful. However, in 2009, I created Zongchuang Technology Co. Limited. After half a year of effort, the number of staff grew from 5 to 40 and I am proud to say that in 2018, the number of employees is now over 120. As a team, we are focused on pursuing the company’s vision of becoming one of the top eCommerce companies in China and chase this dream with passion and vigor. As the company grows, so do their roles and responsibilities and all our employees strongly believe that they can progress with the development of the company. The company is full of youthful enterprise and management ability and we are very proud of where we have come from and where we are heading.
FREELANCER OF THE YEAR
Katia Myroniuk, Ukraine
I built my first website at the age of 12. It was a basic personal blog. Through this blog, I realized how I loved seeing the increase of visitors to the site and was captivated by its growth. Later, I became aware of the fact that this was the very beginning of my path into the SEO world. After graduating from university, I worked for an IT company where I started to promote websites professionally. I was lucky enough to be one of the fortunate people that turned their hobby into their profession. After returning from a trip to South America, I registered as a freelancer and started a career on Upwork. After three months, I had 3 regular customers and noticed there was a growing demand for my skills and services. Later that year, I realized that I wanted to help more sites, I found employees and began to develop my SEO agency. Now I am proud to say that we are a global company that works with SaaS companies around the world, helping them to strengthen their positioning through effective SEO and content marketing.
FREELANCER OF THE YEAR
María Clara Cattaneo Esnaola, Argentina
Due to my country’s bad economy, I lost my job in 2012 and was desperate to find a way of making a living without giving up doing what I love – working as a designer and 2D artist. That’s when a friend in the USA told me about the many freelance websites that exist that could benefit from my services. I started searching and thanks to my English studies, I was able to obtain my first clients. Turning into a freelancer saved my life. Since then, I learned my value and the value of my work. I learned how to be an independent freelancer, how to deal with local and international clients, while maintaining my responsibilities and growing my personal projects. Payoneer has been a huge ally since day one, and being able to survive in a complicated country such as Argentina would be 10 times harder if it wasn’t for the internet and for Payoneer’s services. I was able to pay and complete my studies, improve my selling skills, and reaching bigger clients. On a personal note, I was also able to help my family afford to move to another city. Now, I spend a significant proportion of my time helping unemployed people become freelancers and improve their skills and educating them on the advantages of being a freelancer.
AFFILIATE OF THE YEAR
Tan Tai Nguyen, Vietnam
My name is Tan Tai Nguyen, I am 29 years old and grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I started my business in 2015 and I currently run my own online business specializing in t-shirt fashion items. I’ve been learning about selling online since 2015 and started as a T-shirt affiliate. It was very difficult at the beginning for such a newbie like me. I decided to borrow 1,000 USD from my family and friends as my initial capital and entered the world of online selling to challenge myself and seek success as an entrepreneur. Knowing almost nothing about selling online, I began researching online materials in order to know how to run Facebook ads and how to find good ideas to promote products to targeted audiences. In the early days, I struggled with several unsuccessful campaigns and my initial capital began to run out. Luckily, my first winning campaign came at the right time and I began to grow from that point. However, the next business challenge was was around cash flow as it took several days to transfer campaign funds to my local bank account. Thanks to Payoneer’s payment solution, I was able to solve the issue. Slowly, I began to build my business and achieved my dream come of becoming a successful online seller!
INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
Carlo Silva, Philippines
I was born in Manila and grew up in California. In 2011, I became an eCommerce Marketing Director for a privately held company in the US, outsourcing tasks from Filipinos working at home and after being impressed with the quality of work, I saw an opportunity to build my own outsourcing company in the Philippines. In 2013, I moved back to the Philippines to fulfill my business vision, setting up a company called 2nd Office. Now, with extensive experience in eCommerce, I focused on helping clients who have online stores of their own, on Amazon, eBay, Walmart and other marketplaces. Being a pioneer in this space, we are now considered as one of the top outsourcing companies in the eCommerce industry. I believe that customer service is a vital part of our continued success. As the owner, I try to do things differently by personally meeting up with clients at networking events around the world. I believe this is the secret to establishing a long-lasting business relationship and hope that this continues in the years to come.