Advocacy carried through service

Monica R. Lopez

MEET Gabriel Ramon S. Arcenas, or Gab for short. He is the founder of Qulate, a cleaning service that caters to spaces ranging from residences to offices. More than providing detailed services leaving one’s home or office “immaQulately” clean, it prides itself in employing those who are hard of hearing as a way to provide them work opportunities.

Qulate was established in December of 2016, catering to those even as far as Lapu-Lapu City and Talisay City, with extra charges based on distance.

The idea came to him over dinner with a friend who needed to rush because she had to clean her unit for someone who was going to rent it. “She commented that it would be a good idea because of all the buildings being developed around Cebu and for homeowners who are having a hard time finding helpers,” he recalled. “It felt scary, to be honest. I didn’t know how to run a business to begin with and I wanted to make sure that when I started the business, my clients would all be happy. It wasn’t something I saw myself doing at first. But I saw the opportunity in it and I wanted to do something worthwhile and helpful. I’m also very hands-on with the business. I started cleaning on my own!”

It’s not without its challenges, like most other ventures, as he recalled some struggles during its early stages such as not meeting the client’s expectations—in fact, some even refused to pay. “It kept me down for a while, but my mom’s (Josephine or Jojo as she likes to be called) advice always kept me going: Learn from it. Allow yourself to be sad for a short time, but ultimately move forward,” said the 26-year-old entrepreneur. “I’d message the same clients again months later asking for a second chance and majority of them have become my regular clients.”

His determination paid off as the business celebrates its third year this month.

“It feels surreal. I was pleasantly surprised that I made it past the first year, and now, on our third year and hiring more staff, handling more clients—it makes me completely ecstatic,” he exclaimed.

By establishing this brand, it not only helps those looking to have experts tidy up their homes and office, it’s also an avenue for Gab to promote his advocacy, which is helping the hard-of-hearing community, something even his clients have been supportive with. It currently has a staff of six. “Some of my clients have been starting to learn sign language to communicate with the staff and it makes them really happy that other people are making an effort to communicate in sign language as well.”

Reaching its third year, Gab has nothing but high hopes for Qulate and wishes for it to grow further in terms of its service and the advocacy it carries.

“It makes me happy when clients remark on how relieved and satisfied they are because their place needed a good cleaning because either they had renters who weren’t very clean or the place hadn’t been cleaned in a long time.” As for future plans, he added, “I wish for Qulate to cover all areas of the home—from outdoors, air conditioning and more—so we can be a one-stop shop for cleaning!” (CONTRIBUTED FOTO)