Mont Albo’s Journey Finding Success through Quality Service

Mont Albo Massage Hut’s founder and chief executive officer Dr. Nol Montalbo has gone through tremendous and challenging lengths to put up his own spa and wellness chain and find the success it enjoys today. If you are looking for a real-life business fairytale, this is the story you should know.

Mont Albo’s Journey Finding Success through Quality Service

Dr. Nol just graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine when he first learned about his family’s troubled finances. This prevented him from pursuing his dream of becoming a neurosurgeon, opting to work, earn, and support his family instead.

“In 2006, essentially, we were broke. Nawala bahay at lupa namin, and as the eldest, it was my initiative to help my family. […] I knew I needed to find a way to earn and decided to sell soaps,” Dr. Nol said.

With his family’s financial debacles, Dr. Nol decided to pawn his watch, the only valuable thing he had, to get an initial capital of P1,500 and sell soaps. He went door-to-door, selling his home-made products and saving his meager gains to put food on the table.

In time, Dr. Nol was able to clinch a game-changing deal: one of his clients bought 70,000 soaps. From his profits, he upgraded his operations and decided to open a small spa along Washington Street, Makati City, which later became known as the Mont Albo Massage Hut.

Today, Mont Albo Massage Hut has received esteemed recognition from award-giving bodies and from their loyal customers, who eventually became organically-grown advertisers. It has 29 spas across Luzon and is set to open a couple more in Alabang and Laguna.

Mont Albo’s Journey Finding Success through Quality Service

Through its holistic approach to customer service, Mont Albo Massage Hut was able to speed ahead of its competitors by giving the best quality experience while paying homage to Philippine culture. Although Mont Albo has a variety of different massages, its premier offer is the traditional Filipino “hilot.”

“[My sibling and I] grew up on hilot. I was delivered by a manghihilot at home, even my siblings. Even before we were brought to the doctor, we were first brought sa mga manghihilot by our mom. […] Hilot was part of our lifestyle,” he says.

“When I studied medicine, we had lectures about traditional medicine that complements alternative medicine. […] Hilot has a scientific basis that not everyone knows about. That’s when I decided to put up a spa that will specialize in hilot,” Dr. Nol says.

With highly trained and licensed therapists and an affordable pricing scheme, Mont Albo Massage Hut’s quality services are for all. Its advocacy is to make wellness accessible to all Filipinos, whether rich or poor.

“We decided to offer our services at a lower price because it can be presented at a lowered price. At the same time, I want to make our spas a destination that you would not only visit during special occasions. We want to make it a part of the Filipino lifestyle,” Dr. Nol says.

According to him, business owners should find time to relax because they are faced with stress-causing activities like managing people, meeting business objectives, and handling finances. This is especially true for small and medium enterprise (SME) owners, who are prone to the wear-and-tear of being an entrepreneur.

Finding time to relax, like getting a massage, is part of the preventive aspect of health, according to Dr. Nol, since it recharges people and makes them happier. He says spas are the perfect place to unwind because it benefits a person’s mind, body, and soul.

Meanwhile, with today’s technology, introducing your business to the world is now made easier through social media. While Mont Albo Massage Hut initially didn’t focus much on their online marketing strategies, it now recognizes the importance of a strong online presence for the business.

Mont Albo Massage Hut uses Facebook and Instagram to create brand awareness and keep loyal customers informed of their services. With tough competition in the spa and wellness industry, it is also important to be constantly connected to the internet to maximize a company’s social media accounts and its website.

Dr. Nol says, “Social media and digital marketing are very important in voicing out the identity of spa businesses in the Philippines. […] We do not want our status as a spa brand in the Philippines to diminish, [so] being constantly connected to the Internet today is so important.”

Asked on what advice he can advise to entrepreneurs, Dr. Nol took from his own experience of overcoming challenges and adversity to find and create his own success through Mont Albo Massage Hut.

“For business owners, stay passionate with what you are doing. Of course, hard work is important, but the key is consistency and persistence. […] Don’t be deterred by difficulties and stick with what you started,” he says.

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