From Australia to Manila, Dia believes in spreading Human Nature's goodness on a global scale.

From Australia to Manila, Dia believes in spreading Human Nature's goodness on a global scale.

Dia Lacaba is our resident nation-builder and jet-setter. As Human Nature’s International Business Manager, she works to build up Human Nature’s status as a globally successful business with a heart by spreading its goodness around the world.

In early 2011, I’d just finished my two-year non-compete clause with my very first employer, a large multinational beauty company. I was looking at various options, checking if there were good opportunities to go back to the beauty industry, when I came across a job posting for Human Nature.

To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Human Nature before that (this was only a little over two years after the company was born), but I checked out the website, and I was really drawn to the idea that you could do the kind of work you have an aptitude for and that you're really interested in (in my case, it was marketing personal care brands), and actively do your part in nation-building at the same time. Prior to that, I had the vague notion that nation-building was the purview of NGOs, public school teachers, and a few good people in government.

What I've come to realize, and what I witness at work every day, is that regular Filipinos doing things that they have a passion for – whether it be creating art for marketing collaterals, collaborating with suppliers to produce affordable products for Filipino consumers, or providing excellent customer service – can contribute to the growth of our country. Working for a company like Human Nature, which really puts a lot of thought into how it can positively impact communities and influence other companies to do good, allows many of us to do the work that we love and serve the country that we love at the same time.

This is actually the second time I’ve worked for Human Nature. The first time was in 2011 as a marketing manager. I left for Sydney in 2012 to pursue a master’s degree in International Business on an Australia Awards scholarship, but I always knew I would come back to work for a Filipino organization, and there was a huge possibility that this organization would be Human Nature.

We had always talked about building Human Nature to become a globally successful business with a heart, so I thought that since building international businesses is what I’m studying, maybe this objective is something I can contribute to.

In my post-grad classes, we studied how our Asian neighbors grew their economies to become developed countries. Japan, South Korea, Singapore -- their growth stories have only come about in the past century, and much of these had to do with the rise of domestic businesses to become global giants, with the support of their governments. As a result, the citizens of these nations enjoy a high quality of life.

This is my dream for the Philippines – for our economy to grow through the collective contributions of homegrown, world-class, global companies, and for all levels of society to be able to participate and benefit from this growth, especially the poor. This is what I hope I'm contributing to in my own way by nurturing Human Nature's international operations.

I'm passionate about my work, which involves working with our current international distributors in Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and the United States, and dealing with potential distributors who send us emails from all over the world wanting to spread our products and our advocacies in their own countries. From Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Germany, India, Indonesia - even Slovenia! - these emails alone are quite rewarding to read because it means that we’ve struck a chord with someone who’s oftentimes half a world away. 

But even I admit that I can get frustrated sometimes, dealing with varied issues like, Why does sunscreen have to be registered as a drug in the US? How do I make myself well-understood by this potential distributor if we don't speak other's languages? How is it possible that thirteen different legal websites have been unable to clearly explain to me a specific aspect of commercial law in the Middle East?

On these days when I don’t feel particularly motivated, I go down to our Flagship Store and just observe our store staff. Many of them are Gawad Kalinga beneficiaries, and they're all so gracious and smiling and helpful, and they always look so happy here, working at a company that pays them almost twice the legal minimum wage, gives them full benefits, cares about them.

Not everyone gets to see such concrete proof that the work that they do every day really makes a difference to our countrymen who need just a little bit of help to improve their situation in life, so I’m pretty lucky. These little reminders are what inspire me to go back up to my desk and continue doing my part.

[LEFT-RIGHT] Dia's trip to Melbourne, Australia | Dia at the Sydney Opera House | The University of New South Wales, where Dia finished her Masters Degree

[LEFT-RIGHT] Dia (in black) with fellow Australia Awards scholars from Thailand, Bhutan, and the Philippines at Australia's Parliament House | Dia (center) welcomed by the ladies of Human Nature UAE

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