By Ryanne Co
July 08, 2021
Recent multi-billion peso investment deal means exciting things for the Philippines and its leading IT systems integrator, Micro-D International Inc, founded by Myla Villanueva
This might just be a pandemic buzzword for most of us, but for Micro-D International Inc (MDI) and its subsidiary, Novare Technologies, “digital transformation” is at the heart of their business. foundation.
The tumultuous year of 2020 forced businesses and individuals to adapt to survive the pandemic. It was imperative that they move towards new, safer, easier and more practical technologies. At the helm of this digital migration are MDI and Novare Technologies, both of which are aimed at leading companies that many see as essential.
MDI and Novare Technologies design the systems that underpin the online banking and streaming websites that help us make a living every day. These platforms, and many others, are their bread and butter, the products of their raison d’être that help technology-dependent organizations in their day-to-day tasks. While some may not immediately recognize it, MDI’s expertise and technological knowledge are all built into the day-to-day routines of a large majority.
Myla Villanueva, Silicon Valley graduate and founder of MDI, shares that for their customers, digital transformation is the key to a powerful customer experience. “Our biggest customers are banks, telecommunications, insurance companies, fintechs and utilities. By themselves, they carry money, water, electricity, security and bandwidth. Not exactly hot, fuzzy products, ”she explains. “[Digitalisation helps] to create powerful customer experiences. The relationship with consumers is [then] deepened and becomes more durable and satisfying. The relationship is transformed.
For decades, MDI and Novare Technologies have strived to bring convenience within reach. In 2021, they enter an exciting new venture with their third multi-billion peso deal. “My goal has always been to make MDI the national tech champion in the Philippines,” Villanueva shares.
“[This] the partnership just came at the perfect time, when digital transformation became even more imperative, [especially] for companies [looking] to meet the evolving needs of their customers.
MDI and Novare Technologies’ new partner is Advantage Partners (AP), a private equity investment firm based in Japan. Having already invested in 43 companies in various sectors, AP finds itself at a crossroads with MDI. Together, the two will work hand in hand to develop MDI both within the country and outside the region.
“It was a very competitive process,” Villanueva tells us of the merger. “[There were] six international bidders vying for MDI Novare, including very large private equity funds. [In the end], I chose AP because they understood our goal to be a national technology champion for the country. This is actually the third impactful career outing for Villanueva.
MDI also happens to be AP’s first investment on the Philippine coast. Not to mention that this was one of only three mergers and acquisitions that took place in Southeast Asia for a competitive majority investment in the year 2020.
Both parties are extremely happy with each other. “We wanted a partner who matched our vision of ourselves and the country,” says Villanueva. “All the international bidders said they could do just that, [but] in the end, we chose what felt the most natural.
MDI, under AP leadership, is now perfectly positioned to establish itself on the global stage, with IPO talks on the horizon. And with the pandemic shaping and reshaping the digital landscape, it has become more important than ever.
Despite their success, Villanueva admits that 2020 has not been easy for them. “[It was] intense, ”she admits. “I think everyone has been caught off guard by the pandemic; [but] we grew up very fast before [the pandemic], even more during this one.
As their customers migrated to digital, MDI needed to fuel their maintenance. “There has been a lot of adjustment and grip from our staff,” says Villanueva. For a company founded in 1988, MDI considers itself to be a fairly “young” company, particularly in view of the average age of its employees. “It was surreal how quickly [and] it’s clear [we moved] from physical to virtual worlds in a week. Not only did we meet the current and urgent needs of our customers, [we were also] take care of our employees.
Thanks to their rapid acclimatization, MDI continues to support us by supporting its customers. “Industries are really transforming themselves and what they are. We are partners in this journey, ”said Villanueva.
As MDI ventures to new heights with AP, Villanueva is focusing on another upcoming challenge, which is probably on everyone’s mind: the presidential elections of 2022. “I chair the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting [PPCRV]», Says Villanueva. “I am preparing to serve with 500,000 volunteers. “
As she has done with her businesses, Villanueva invites everyone to volunteer for the cause and help transform our country.