WiFT Leadership Awardee for advancing Noah Business Applications

Leandro Mortenegro

Forecasting and Planning Technologies Inc. (publisher of NOAH Business Applications) President and CEO Lofreda del Carmen (seated, second from left) with Finex President and KPMG Partner Mike Guarin (standing, first from left), BPM Vision Philippines Inc. and CEO of Asian for Legal Excellence Inc. Director Bobby Borromeo (standing, second from left), The Manila Times President and COO Blanca Mercado (standing, second from right) and fellow Women in Financial Technology Leadership Awards 2022 honorees Gina Oris of Makati Development Corp. (seated, left) and Mharicar Castillo-Reyes of Asticom Technology Inc. (seated, second from right) along with officers of Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines and Micro Focus. PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN BALDEMOR

AFTER a rigorous selection process from a roster of nominees, BPM Vision, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex) and software provider Micro Focus have chosen three winners in this year’s Women in Finance Technology (WiFT) Leadership Awards – an initiative created to support and celebrate the legacies that are being built by brilliant women leaders in the Philippines.

The first-of-its-kind WiFT honors three winners,instead of just one, as the aggregate scores were so close for these women who are transforming their organizations while impacting both internal and external stakeholders both at a business and community level.

Founder, President and CEO of Forecasting and Planning Technologies Inc. (publisher of NOAH Business Applications) Lofreda “Dada” del Carmen leads the winners, along with Gina Oris of Makati Development Corporation and Mharicar Castillo-Reyes of Asticom Technology Inc.

In her acceptance letter, del Carmen essays her beginnings and how her concept has revolutionized business applications notably in time of lockdowns where people movement was limited within the confines of their homes due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I share with you the joy and happiness to receive the Women in Finance Technology (WiFT) Leadership Award. For me, leadership is the freedom to influence obedience to God’s will. It is a freedom to recognize God’s sovereignty. He is in control. He is our great provider,” she opens.

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Obedience opens opportunities

“From the time of creation, God’s plan for man are gracious: to lead and to work. Understanding this truth [has] led me to obedience. I obeyed my mother when she told me to take up Accountancy and Psychology. I again obeyed her when she told me to join an information technology (IT) company after taking up the CPA board exams. In this IT firm, I got introduced to Mike who became my husband and spiritual partner,” she continues.

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“I obeyed my mentors at work until I gained knowledge and experience in online transactional processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP) technology. I obeyed clients which led to the conceptualization of NOAH Business Applications. Until now, I lead the obedience to NOAH Business Applications roster of clients to further the reach and advancement of the business,” she adds.

Comfort, legacy system

Del Carmen asserts that the making of NOAH Business Applications was biblically inspired from the story of NOAH in the book of Genesis.

“NOAH means comfort. NOAH Business Applications aims to bring comfort to its users whether they implement it as a legacy, supplementary or complementary system, or replacement to its system falling short of features and functionalities,” she says.

With the other women in financial technology and BPM Vision Managing Director Puneet Singh Sodhi. PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN BALDEMOR

With the other women in financial technology and BPM Vision Managing Director Puneet Singh Sodhi. PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN BALDEMOR

She relates that she presented to the panel of judges GT-Capital implementation of NOAH Business Applications as a legacy system, Ortigas Land Inc. (formerly Ortigas and Co.) as a supplementary and complementary solution, and Landco Pacific Corporation (LPC) as a replacement system.

“At the height of lockdowns brought by Covid-19, GT Capital Holdings Inc. implemented NOAH Business Applications as a legacy system led by Ms. Reyna Rose Paner-Manon-Og, FVP/Head Accounting and Financial Control with Project Owners, Mr. Francisco H. Suarez Jr., EVP/Chief Financial Officer and Mr. Carmelo Maria Luza Bautista, President and Director to support offsite work arrangements, increase efficiency and accountability,” she says.

Accordingly, Ortigas and Company, Limited Partnership (OCLP) implemented NOAH Business Applications to supplement and complement their existing Billing and Collection Business Analytics led by Ma. Belen “Maribel” Fabella, AVP Head-Treasury Services.

On the other hand, LPC implemented NOAH Business Applications as a replacement system to its existing systems falling short of functionalities and features headed by Vivian Liban, Chief Finance Officer and Erickson Manzano, President and CEO.

“I chose NOAH [as a name and model] because NOAH’s story is parallel to how we work. NOAH built the ark with exacting specifications (Genesis 6:14-16) in terms of cubit measurements and positions. NOAH Business Applications has been built with exacting specifications as defined during the business rules sessions,” she explains.

NOAH conducted four levels of testing before he let all the creatures out of the ark after the great flood from sending a raven first to sending the dove thrice (Genesis 8:6-12).

“Similarly, there are four levels of testing in NOAH Business Applications’ implementation methodology. It took NOAH years to build the ark, It also took years to curate NOAH Business Applications’ 16 galleries – from Forecasting, Planning, Budgeting, Financials and Procurement Management, Financial Consolidation, Loan Management to Real Estate Management, Project Management, Healthcare and Wellness Management, Human Resources Management, Banking Solutions, Warehouse Management, Production, Distribution, Customer Relation Management, Mobility/IOT, Analytics Reporting and Dashboard and Data Management. To strengthen compliance with regulatory buddies and strengthen good governance NOAH Business Applications developed 8 Technology Support Applications, Email Template Creator, Formula Builder, Online learning tools, Alerts and Notifications, Document and Forms Creator, Application Programming Interface, Workflow Management and Document Control Management,” del Carmen details.

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Fulfillment of divine purpose

“I am committed to continuously develop business applications and grow the 1,000 conglomerate and private companies NOAH Business Applications roster of clients. To be a part of the IT landscape and compliance to good governance of the top 4 out of 10 property developers, and 30+ SMEs in the real estate business that made Filipino dreams of owning a house a reality led to the fulfillment of the divine purpose on why NOAH Business Applications has been built,” she declares.

“I led by encouraging the use of time, talent, treasure, and temple to accomplish the divine purpose at hand. With all that has been accomplished, it’s 10 percent obedience and 90 percent God’s love and grace. I have many historical accounts of how God’s grace and love have been manifested in NOAH Business Applications. It will be a delight to share them with you,” she mutters.

“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of NOAH Business Applications, I will continue to obey and fulfil God’s plan for leadership and work. We offer whatever we have for His glory, knowing how He used Moses’ rod to separate the red sea, David’s sling’ to kill Goliath, Widow’s oil to overflow jars with oil and pay debts, and boy’s five loaves of bread and two small fishes to feed 5,000 people,” she says.

People to thank for

In all these accolades, del Carmen wishes to express gratitude and gratefulness for the sacrifices, cheers, inspirations, and unrelenting support of her family – husband Mike and daughters Micah and Chaelda as well as the rest of the family, BFFs and ABCs for being part of the milestones.

“To the men and women of NOAH Business Applications for the faith that we can develop applications and their generous time and talent; the user community for the loyalty, patronage, patience and considerations; Finex President Mike Guarin, together with the rest of the 2022 Finex board for positively responding to collaborate with BPM Vision on this inspiring endeavor; Atty. Dick Du-Baladad, Hon. Tess Dimanculangan, Third Librea, EJ Hiansen and Benny Soliven for their warm nominations,” she enumerates.

Equally important are Jimmy Ysmael for his endorsement for del Carmen to become a Finex member; Junior Finex (JFinex) being led by Benny Soliven Liaison Trustee and EJ Qua Hiansen, overall chair; Women in Finance being led by Esther Magleo, Liaison Director and Danielle del Rosario, overall chair – for the friendship, fellowship and activities that contributed to personal and professional growth.

Still others are co-winners Ginaflor Oris and Mharicar Reyes, Gina Romero, founder and CEO of Connected Women; and Yang Yang Zhang, Managing Director for Xendit Philippines, for sharing inspiring stories in finance technology; WiFT panel of judges Danielle Del Rosario, Vice President, Insulated Panel Division,Union Galvasteel Corporation (a Phinma company); Janel Bea, CFO of Ace Endevor Inc.; Marilou Cristobal, Chairperson, MIB Capital Corporation; and Christy Jean Robles, Business Development and Corporate Finance Senior Manager and Interim Head of Treasury at the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation for the attention to Del Carmen’s application.

BPM Vision team led by President and CEO Gaurav Ahuja; managing director Puneet Singh Sodhi; Head of Program Delivery Angela Fernando and Ankita Ragesh – Marketing, OD and PMO Manager; Bobby Borromeo, Director, BPM Vision Philippines Inc. “for initiating to recognize, celebrate and inspire Women in Finance Technology.”

“In response to Philippians 4:8, NOAH Business Applications volunteered as technology partner to future-proof the most prestigious and longest-running JFinex Inter-Collegiate Finance Competition (ICFC) by developing an application that automates all intricate processes of the competition,” she reveals.

“In our lives, there are unscripted moments that God scripted, and receiving the WiFT Leadership Award is one of them. May the readers, especially women gain inspiration to pursue finance technology. May God continually bless you to receive the fruits of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. To God be the glory!” del Carmen concludes.

Women’s phenomenal contribution to society

WiFT provides a platform to share their journeys, shine their light, and inspire a whole host of other women executives to believe in themselves and realize their dreams.

“Women leaders have been, and are continuing to make a phenomenal contribution to society every day, at every level and we want to recognise their efforts and showcase their successes. We are very confident that their examples of success will inspire talented women across all roles and industries in the Philippines even more,” BPM Vision President and CEO Gaurav Ahuja noted during the awards night.

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