Former document controller now a co-founder and CEO of a tech company

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Right after she graduated BS Hotel & Restaurant Management in the Philippines, she has decided to carve her own destiny in Abu Dhabi, hoping to score a job in the hotel industry. However, after pondering for quite some time, she realized that it wasn’t the path she intended to push through. 

Irish Joy Perez has worked first as a document controller for one of the biggest construction companies in the capital and other jobs before she co-founded and become the CEO of Instorya, a mobile app that aims to help users to easily create photo books. 

Among of her previous jobs in the UAE include being a personal assistant in the legal department of one of the major holding companies in Abu Dhabi and executive legal assistant to a public listed company in Dubai. As she was working in the legal department, she had to upgrade her skills by completing a Level 2 Diploma as Legal Secretary in Legal Studies at Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in the United Kingdom through distance learning. 

Currently, she still works as an executive legal assistant while co-founding Instorya.

Through her corporate jobs, she was very fond of tech startups that provide simple solutions to the marker. Her first startup that she was invited to co-founded was Nerover in 2013, which aims to help customers to sell their products through multi-social networks including website and blog. From that phase, she was exposed to different workstreams of an e-commerce platform, from the development, design, marketing, sales, customer service, which are all generated online. 

In 2014, she co-founded another startup called Partyguire which consolidates hotels and event venues and compares their packages in the UAE through one website. Through their journey, they had a talented Filipino development team based in the Philippines who supported them. 

Unfortunately, both of the startups did not successfully take off primarily due to a lack of funding. 

Instorya 

The Instorya app can be downloaded on both Android and iOS system and let users transform precious memories in a photo book. 

“Along with my co-founders, we started Instorya as we realize the challenge of getting photo books printed is quite expensive and complicated. What satisfies me, and the team, is actually the appreciation of our clients. Every photo that they include in their photo books as part of their memories and it is so special when they trust us and commend us how happy they are to receive their photo books. The reaction of their kids as well is priceless,” she said. 

Perez said that her team is fortunate enough to be one of the few Filipinos accepted at in5 Dubai which enables entrepreneurs and startups to foster innovation and helping new ideas reach the marketplace in the country. 

For the next few years, they plan to expand Instorya in the Middle East and Northern Africa to preserve more happy memories across the region. 

For the last nine years, she spent most of her time working and living in UAE and according to her, it is the country’s diversity of different cultures and the opportunities that it offers that she has soft spot for. 

Struggles at a young age

Before she even set foot in the professional world, she had been earning money while studying to pay off their debts by accepting research paper projects, a consultant for thesis and presentations during her college days. 

“Aside from my mom who I personally admire, I am always inspired and motivated by ordinary people who made big difference at their own craft because of passion and determination. Ordinary people who despite lack of resources was able to turn their life around with advocacy,” she added. 

This story has been featured on the third issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at tgfmfi@gmail.com.

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