How Virtual Squad Started

Only a year ago, Virtual Squad LCC started with its seven trainees to become a company with more than 300 employees nationwide. It now has 100 e-commerce stores and has been in service to over 200 real estate clients worldwide. Kai Karen Santos, the woman behind it, has accomplished this in only 12 months.

Before Virtual Squad

Before all of this, Kai had worked many jobs, but the one that has shaped her the most was the American company she has worked in.

Kai joined the company in its early stages. The CEO and Founder of the company was a genius, and he saw potential in Kai. Initially, they were only looking for a receptionist. Impressed by her excellent skills, the CEO entrusted Ka with the position of client-relations manager.

She handled all the complex projects and helped them build the company. Realizing her skills in the industry, Kai said to herself, “I could turn this into a business someday. I could run my own virtual assistance company." And, of course, she did.

The new management

March 2020, before the lockdown, the company had new management, and the former CEO sold part of his shares and had to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer. The new management decided only to hire locally and laid off the entire Filipino team without any notice.

That, however, didn't waver the spirit of Kai. The very next day, she immediately found work and got hired. From a client-relations manager, she became a cold-caller for a real-estate company. She was determined to learn all about it and had the motivation to establish her own.

“I had the tools and the skills to open a company. That was when I met my current business partner Quentin Flores. I knew that I could manage the virtual assistance here, but I needed someone in the US—a business partner to help me build the clientele.”

The partnership

Flores was the person she built her empire with. And their relationship with each other is very unconventional. To think that they have been doing business since 2020 and share an American bank account they have never met in person. But Kai was never afraid of something as uncommon as that. She has always wanted to break barriers and stereotypes. And she knows she has made a bond and trusts her business partner.

The Beginning of Virtual Squad

And so they built the company together with their combined wit, strong network, and impressive management skills. Kai and Quentin had great chemistry and got the company running. On September 15, 2020, seven trainees were recruited, trained, and mentored until ready.

Then came October 2020, the first set of virtual assistants were partnered and matched with the company’s first five clients.

“Virtual Squad learned how to run before it knew how to walk. Marami nang lumapit na clients sa’kin. Popular kasi si Q [Quentin]. So we started training. That’s the very first thing that I did. I started scouting people who could be on my team, and I had to reach out to an old friend because we needed a logo—branding. So he helped us with that. These were the three things that I did to put up the company. I was very particular with our branding. I don’t accept so-so output. Lahat ng ilalabas namin dapat high quality.”

The Company That Thrived Amidst the Pandemic

Virtual Squad emerged at a time when the entire world got confined in the comforts of their own home. Everything was complicated and devastating for many. However, amidst all of this chaos, the company has survived and thrived.

“Pandemic, daming nawalan ng trabaho, dun ako nag-succeed. Nahanap ko yung puwede kong gawin. Everyone was affected. Now, I was like, 'What can I do with this? During the pandemic, people are locked in their homes. So, mauuso ang mga work from home na trabaho.' Naisip ko, 'Ito ang aatakihin ko. Dito ako magb-build ng company sa ganitong klase ng trabaho.'”

Kai on what pushed her to start Virtual Squad

Virtual Squad LCC is not only a Virtual Assistance company but also an online BPO. They don’t only provide Virtual Assistants but offer business solutions. Currently, they have two lines of business. Firstly, real estate, where they vet, mentor, and manage virtual assistants for real estate investors. Second is e-commerce, where they are partners and co-owners of Amazon, Walmart, and Shopify online stores. The company provides full automation and manages the stores for its partners.

Starting headcount in 2020, they had seven virtual assistants and experienced a 5,000% increase in employees in just one year and six months. Meanwhile, starting headcount in June 2021, two stores hold 5,000% expansion in Amazon and Walmart in eight months and an additional 500% in Shopify in three months.

Virtual Squad has shown everyone that even adversity—a worldwide catastrophe—can be an opportunity to grow, build, and succeed.

“When we say ‘we got your back,’ it means ‘WE got your back.’ We’ll take care of everything for you. It means you can count on us. We’ll do our best to provide whatever you need. That’s how we are with our clients and with our VAs.”

Kai, assuring every client and their employees that Virtual Squad got their backs

This 2022, the company aims for significant business expansions, more career opportunities, and above all, giving back to the community.