Archive for the ‘Ask Go Negosyo Column’ Category

Felix the CAT

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

This story is not about that popular cartoon character Felix the Cat, which was loved by children and adults back in the 90s. I am talking about Felix Ang of CATS Motors, Inc., who is known for providing a world-class automobile ownership experience in the Philippines. Just like his cartoon feline counterpart, he exhibited curiosity and an innovative character in running his business, which were the reasons why he propelled into success.

Felix is one of the entrepreneurs that I have always admired. He is the face of Mercedes-Benz in the Philippines, which is considered as one of the most luxurious car brands in the world. He may be a prominent figure in the automotive industry today, but this humble man never forgets where he came from and the steps that he took to where he is now. (more…)

Pilipinas: Now is Our Time!

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

For close to seven years now since we started the advocacy on Go Negosyo, we have been pushing for a mindset change among Filipinos: that we are not destined for poverty or to be the laggards of Asia. Each and every Filipino can rise above poverty and succeed in life by having the right positive mindset and knowhow, but success is also for those who want it. We seemed to be in a cycle where good things do not last long, as misery and crab mentality somehow crept in. There is no doubt that poverty has remained our country’s biggest problem, but it does not mean that we have not seen successful entrepreneurs who have done well, or even OFWs who were able to send their children to college or buy their own house.

We need to stop being fatalistic about things. Sometimes, our religious beliefs overcome our earnest desire to create our own destiny. We have to realize that the power of prayer only works when one has great faith, believing that a miracle will happen without a doubt, but it has to be accompanied by hard work, determination, and creativity. Imagine if we can apply this to how we feel for our country. This outlook will fulfill our need to break our cycle of misery which we are in, starting from the time of Marcos, to Cory, and then Ramos, to Estrada, to GMA, and now with PNoy. (more…)

The Mango King

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Since I started the advocacy almost seven years ago, Go Negosyo has been able to connect aspiring and well-known entrepreneurs, creating a big network of negosyantes who are helping each other to succeed. More than that, the advocacy not only teaches people to have a positive mindset and to establish their own businesses, but it also serves as an inspiration through the stories of how today’s bossings have built their way up.

Two weeks ago, I have shared the story of Rosalind Wee, the founder of the Marine Resources Development Corporation. Today, I am sharing another story of another entrepreneur and a good friend of mine who has shown hard work, passion, and creativity, which I think should be a source of inspiration among Filipinos, especially in the agriculture sector. (more…)

Summer Adventures

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Summer is definitely here, and this time I believe we will have a hotter and longer summer than last year. This is good news for the tourism entrepreneurs, especially those who have invested in vacation spots along the coastlines of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Our Selecta ice cream sales will be hitting the roof with the blistering heat, and I am sure our airconditioners business, managed by my cousins, will do just as well. (more…)

Miss W

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

This country’s future will depend a lot on the entrepreneurial ability of the private sector. Optimism, passion and of course creativity will spur greater economic activity. As we share stories through our television show on GMA News TV and NBN Channel 4, our columns, books, summits, caravans, forums and many other forms of mass media communication, and together with our partners who support this advocacy, the Philippines will be a nation we will all be proud of.

What started as a small advocacy became a large movement for many entrepreneurs. And I owe this a lot to the first few entrepreneurs who believed in the cause. One of them is Rosalind Wee. (more…)


Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Holy week seems to have started early. As I attended Palm Sunday mass, I noticed that what normally is a full attendance in our village, this Sunday’s mass was about 70 percent full. The priest and lay ministers had their dinner early having to eat the remaining host not given out.

We’re headed to the beach but my parents decided to spend quiet time at their place in Tagaytay and at home, away from all the fun and distractions that happen when you are on the beach. On our end, my wife is quite strict about Good Friday: we’ll all have to fast. As the priest noted, Catholics have to fast only twice a year, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, while the Muslims fast for 45 days. So it’s not asking much of Catholics to fast on these two days, and if we don’t comply, it’s a mortal sin, with the exceptions of course of those who are sick and elderly. (more…)

Magnum Explodes

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Two weeks ago, Unilever-RFM Ice Cream Company launched the game-changing product Selecta Magnum in one of the best events I’ve ever attended. Prior to the launch, we saw a massive social media buzz on Magnum on Twitter, Facebook and blogs. John, my brother, who heads the ice cream joint venture, and his team have come a long way since I purchased this brand from the Arce family about 22 years ago. The brand is definitely RFM ’s crown jewel today.

Yes, Magnum exploded not only in that party, which gathered society’s who’s who, including Unilever global Chairman Paul Polman; Magnum sales have exceeded our expectations sixfold, and to think the projected demand was pegged aggressively. This has led RFM share prices to move higher. At this rate, our Selecta ice cream company could even become bigger than RFM Corporation. This product has definitely changed the game in ice cream. (more…)

Poverty is the problem

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

The much talked about mining debate took center stage, briefly rating better than the trial on the chief justice. The real issue here to my mind is poverty; this is the country’s biggest problem. The Philippines must tap on its vast resources, and this would include tapping mining sites, and we should just ensure that we have responsible miners.

It’s easy to determine which locations in the Philippines have potential for tourism as investors wouldn’t buy into an area where there’s no tourism potential. So potential for tourism and mining shouldn’t clash, neither should it interfere with the environment. Sometimes, environmentalists are pushing things to the extreme. (more…)


Thursday, March 15th, 2012

RFM Corporation and Unilever have been joint venture partners for the last 13 years in Unilever-RFM Ice Cream Co. I purchased this company from the Arce family in 1990, when sales were barely 20 million pesos, and I asked my brother John to run the company. During those days, Magnolia was the biggest challenge, owning 90 percent of the market. One had to be crazy to challenge a Goliath.

Our R&D was traveling to America and visiting supermarkets. We brought in Chit Fernandez and the late Ben Makil then from Magnolia and the rest is history. We decided to bring in the world’s largest ice cream company, and we felt we had to take Selecta to the next stage. Our 50-50 JV since then has done quite well. This year, we are aiming to hit P8 billion in sales and in the next five years, Selecta aims to more-than-double its size to become a P15 billion-peso company.  (more…)

Wonder Women

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

This June, it will be seven years since the Go Negosyo advocacy started. For four years now, we have been holding the Women Entrepreneurship Summit, and without fail, it always has the highest attendance among our summits, caravans and various events. I love working with women since they are so committed. There are so many of them, and you must have seen some of the most successful women in our ads and press releases over the past weeks.

It was my first time to meet Sara Soliven de Guzman, who represented Philippine Star as a major sponsor for the Women STARpreneurs. Sara is the daughter of Max Soliven, and a columnist of Star and an entrepreneur herself. Rosalind Wee, a Go Negosyo trustee and very successful entrepreneur, who will also be featured in our TV show this Saturday, helped in the selection of Women STARpreneurs and stayed practically the whole day helping out. She and Echostore founder Chit Juan were the judges for this year’s STARpreneurs. (more…)