Mark Joseph David, CEO of Pal Maritime Corporation, was announced by Lark as one of the two business mentees selected under its New Normal Business Council and Mentorship Program. There were 761 business leaders who participated in the Lark Your Way to Success webinar series.

Pal Maritime Corporation provides seafarers as manpower for vessels located in Germany, the Isle of Man, and Bangladesh. Mark’s family acquired the business in the early 2000s. It was in 2007 when he joined the team and his father sent him aboard one of the ships to work and have a better grasp of the business. That way, he would be able to relate to the people they work with. With hard work, Mark became the President in January 2020.

Ship-staffing is a large industry in the Philippines and heavily based on relationship-building and loyalty. The industry was badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the operations require face-to-face interaction, manual processes, and local and foreign travel. In the case of Pal Maritime Corporation, movements became restricted.

In the early months of the pandemic, a lot of businesses closed within the industry. Mark said that it seemed hopeless back then. But the belief that things will be better was stronger. The industry soon adjusted to the new normal.

Mark felt that Lark would be a helpful tool for the kind of business he is handling. It would be great for community-building among their team and partners abroad. Early on, he was able to identify how the team can hold meetings, communicate, and organize seminars via Lark. They continued to hold pre-pandemic activities in a digital environment.

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During his interview after being awarded the mentorship program, Mark shared this advice with fellow business leaders who are exploring the new normal — “In order to succeed, your heart needs to be in your business, and your business needs to be in your heart.” This was a quote from Thomas J. Watson.

He added, “When faced with struggles, it’s easier to fight for something that you love. I always believe that if you love your business, if you take care of your business, the money will come after.” According to Mark, one has to make sure he is enjoying his choice of business.

Lark established the New Normal Business Council and Mentorship Program with the intention of providing help and support to Filipino businesses as they make a digital shift. A total of three webinar sessions were held as part of this program, and each one featured business and entrepreneurship experts who shared their professional advice and insights.

Lark selected two business leaders from among the 761 registered attendees to receive mentorships after the webinar series was completed. Like Mark, Joyce Yu of True Blends Tea & Coffee was also chosen. As mentees, these businesses leaders are awareded coaching sessions with Lark’s resource speakers, training sessions with the Lark team, an additional 100GB Lark cloud storage for one year, and PHP300,000 worth of PR support.

Shortlisting and selection of mentees were based on their answers to the registration question, “Why should you and your company be the beneficiary of the mentorship program?” as well as the following criteria:

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• All three tracks of the series must be attended by the CEO.
• Business operation must be at least one year
• At least 10 workers should be employed by the company.

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