Magnum Explodes

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

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…)


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

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…)

A Day for Womenpreneurs

Tomorrow is the 4th Women Entrepreneurship Summit and Expo of Go Negosyo happening at the World Trade Center Metro Manila. We are looking forward to seeing another successful event, and hope that thousands will join us for another year of inspiring women and entrepreneurs.

We pooled in some of the country’s most respected and successful women, including esteemed GMA7 news anchor Mel Tiangco, noted cosmetic surgeon Dr. Vicki Belo, former Las Pinas representative Cynthia Villar, former regional president of Starbucks Asia-Pacific Maria Mercedes Corrales, and former Isabela governor Grace Padaca to speak, lecture, mentor and inspire in the summit so that they may help Filipinos develop an enterprising mindset as a way to move upward in life. The whole day will feature womenpreneurs, government and civic leaders, social entrepreneurs as well as notable celebrity-entrepreneurs. (more…)

The Winning Formula

The women of today have indeed become very driven and ambitious, striving hard for success, whether as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur. And you can see this even just with the lineup of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who will be mentoring and speaking at the 4th Women Entrepreneurship Summit and Expo on March 2 at the World Trade Center.

As we approach March, which is also International Women’s Month, we’ve asked for the insight of different women who are entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (or people working for the family business or leading a corporate organization.) The traditional thinking is that the woman should be at home taking care of the children and making sure the home is running well; while the man goes out and works. Many women today are micro and small entrepreneurs because they try to perform both functions as mother and negosyante, having no fixed schedule so that she is able to fulfill her multiple duties. (more…)