Friday, September 05, 2008

Chito Bustamante: The Engineer Takes Charge for a New Chikka Era

When doing a chronicle of Philippine Internet history, Chikka became synonymous with its founding CEO Dennis Mendiola. As he takes on a new role in the organization, leadership is passed on to Chito Bustamante.

Not known to many, Chito is a founder of Chikka as well and shares an equal passion for product development as Dennis. He was that Silicon Valley based engineer whom Dennis and partners first consulted on the business and technical viability of a “mobile instant messaging service” for launch in the Philippines.

Chito actually came up with the name "Chikka" for the service. The name also being a Filipino colloquial term for "small talk" which is the nature of many of our text messages really.

For a long time as chief operating officer (since 2002), Chito has stayed on top of both engineering and product development departments, the heart and soul of Chikka. He has led Chikka thru its ISO and CMMI Maturity Level 5 certifications, giving "a method to the madness" or the frenzy that characterized product development, marketing, quality assurance at Chikka, and making sure it could sustain the same even as the company pursues an aggressive international roll-out.

Some of Chito's more notable inventions include "TxtBack", a free-reply (sender subsidized) text service that has been a boon to pre-paid mobile users.

Chito as new Chikka CEO
As CEO in this new era at Chikka, Chito is focused on continuous product innovation and global partnerships that will replicate Chikka's success in similar markets, as well as services adoption by the mainstream of the on-line community.