Grace Banghal-Callister describes herself as a ‘go-getter’ who is very passionate about her dreams. Regardless of how the hurdles may appear to be before she started, she sets out to achieve them. Owner and director of iQuBETS, a training and professional certification company based in the Philippines, with a presence in Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Nepal, and Timor Leste, Callister is also a course director for the HR and Training certifications of the American Certification Institute, USA and Global Ambassador and Vice President for Fame Times International Excellence Awards (FTIEA).
Her professional life started at Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils Inc. in the city of San Fernando, Pampanga when she was fresh out of university in 1999. She started as a secretary for the Plant Operations Manager and eventually became the Technical Assistant for the Northern Luzon Area Logistics team. Before she left for the UAE in 2005, she was Materials Section Head for the Coca-Cola San Fernando Plant.
Callister, looking back, realized that she was being prepared for her current business as early as 2005. Her career in the UAE started in a technical training company in the capital as a Contracts and Planning Supervisor where she learned many things that she found valuable as she builds iQuBETS in the Philippines.
The former OFW is not only business-minded–she also writes, in fact, she has a novel that was internationally published in 2008 titled ‘Santa Carmela’ that tells a fictional story about two friends.
While she was in Dubai, she was a member of The Unified Filipino HR (TUFHR), an organization that aims to help Filipino HR professionals in the UAE in advancing their careers and making a difference.
Evolution of professional life
Her professional life evolved within three corporate functions–Human Resource, Quality Management System, and Logistics.
The job she held in Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils. Inc. leaned more towards logistics and physical distribution. Although, she was an HR intern in the same plant before she got hired. She also had a brief experience handling a warehouse in Sydney, Australia.
In Abu Dhabi, her jobs had a combination of logistics and HR functions. She was able to recruit an unprecedented number of professional training instructors from all over the world in a period of one year. Callister’s succeeding job was as the Logistics Head for an advertising and exhibition firm in Dubai where she organized the existing warehouses and digitized their inventory management. She developed and implemented an efficient system of acceptance and pullout of materials and personally opened three of their new warehouses. She also established a racking system for the exhibition materials and equipment.
When she was hired as Project Coordinator and Office Manager for the Design Department of Aldar Laing O’Rourke, she started having Human Resource functions and with instructions from the Corporate Administration Director, she created a testing system for admin position candidates which composed of computer, communication, and writing exams. She was the first interviewer for the admin applicants and was tasked to filter out the more suitable candidates to send them for the Administration Director’s interview.
In 2009, Callister was hired as QES Representative for Mott MacDonald Middle East. When she joined, their division achieved unprecedented high internal audit scores and three external certifications where no non-conformance was found. Due to this success, the management assigned another division for her to look after and she was able to help boost their internal audit performance scores and managed to lead them successfully on their external audits. During this time, she was concurrently the Business Development Manager of the Water and Environment Division wherein she was able to help win some of the biggest projects the division had.
By 2016, she was then hired as a Group Human Resource and Administration Manager for a hospitality company in Dubai which has outlets in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the UK. There, she established the Group’s HR and Administration Department, creating sub-sections that cover all facets of the HR Operations.
When Callister came back to the Philippines in 2020, with the help of her family and friends, she puts up iQuBETS Human Resources and Organization Development Consultancy. She said that she is privileged to be the only Southeast Asian to become a Course/Program Director for the Americal Certification Institute, USA and a Global Ambassador of the FTIEA.
“HR has evolved greatly in the past 2 decades. But somehow, many organizations in the Philippines and Southeast Asia are not yet up to speed with the developments in this field. The challenge is not just to assist these organizations to be on par with global trends and practices by educating their HR and L&D people. The bigger task is to make them see the worth of the changes that need to be done. Like for instance, in the aspect of HR automation, many organizations are yet to be convinced of its benefits,” she added.
The seasoned HR professional said she will continue to strive to build iQuBETS to become one of the best professional training and certification companies in Asia.
“Through iQuBETS, I endeavor to encourage more Asian professionals to obtain international certifications so we can be more competitive on the global stage,” Callister said.
This story has been featured on the 14th issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email us at email@example.com.