On Feruary 14, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo Host DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla and guest co-host Jorge Wieneke III were joined by two couple entrepreneurs, Ofrace and Era Ocampo of Sitsirya Sari-sari and Glen and Majella Villaroman of AccelSPROUT for an episode on successful businesses built on the foundation of love and passion.
Ofrace and Era Ocampo is the couple behind Sitsirya Sari-Sari, a one stop shop that brings the sweetness of Filipino delicacies especially made for the panlasang pinoy. With over 35 years of career in the business industry, and 37 years of marriage, the two shared their journey as a couple who endured through the thick and thin of life.
The business started even before they shared their life as a married couple. It was after 7 months of being unemployed due to the economic meltdown in the country, when Ofrace came to decide that he was going to work abroad. Era went against this decision with the welfare of their 3-year old daughter in mind. It was then that they ventured into entrepreneurship and return to what they know best – food.
Ofrace shared that the challenging years they faced before, only led them to achieve their success today. There will always be a solution no matter how big the problem is, the solution will be bigger. “You only need all the failures plus one to succeed,” Ofrace added.
Glen and Majela Villaroman the couple behind AccelSPROUT, an agricultural business accelerator and consultancy, shared how their love for food led to their passion for agriculture.
Initially, the couple did not have a background in agriculture. They were more well-versed in the food industry, managing a restaurant business in the states. Five years ago, when the couple went back to the Philippines, they noticed the huge difference between the sizes of the produce.
It was through this venture that made them think of developing a more productive agricultural industry in the Philippines through natural farming techniques based on maintaining overall soil health. Through AccelSPROUT, the couple continues to advocate for urban farming, the establishment of more post-harvest facilities and raising awareness to the youth on the profitability and benefits of agriculture.
PARTNERSHIP IN MARRIAGE AND BUSINESS
When asked if there exists a division of labor between tasks in the business, “Sa amin, syempre ang marriage ay partnership yan, dapat based on mutual trust and respect. So may mga panahon na yung isa ang masusunod, may panahon na yung iba,” said Glen.
He emphasized that what matters is that both of you are working towards achieving the same goal, and that is to do the right thing not only for the business but also for each other.
For the Ocampos on other hand, Era explained that there is a division of tasks in their business. Ofrace handles the operations part of the business while she works on the financial aspect. But there secret lies in communication. “Through the years, open ang communication and we support each other,” she shared.
“She’s the wind beneath my wings. She provided direction, motivation, and inspiration,” Ofrace added.
PERSONAL LIFE VS BUSINESS LIFE
Being in a business with your partner in life can inevitably be challenging with the merging of the two aspects of life. “Yan kasing business namin ay personal. We fell in love with each other, we fell in love with what we do, mahirap po talagang ihiwalay ang dalawa,” said Majella.
Despite the inseparable spheres of business and personal life, Glen shares that it in time it eventually becomes a natural thing. “I guess dahil mahal mo yung ginagawa mo, hindi na nagiging burden…pareho kaming naniniwala at mahal namin yung ginagawa namin.”
This goes the same for the Ocampos, Ofrace believes that a couple’s compatibility is important for a relationship to work both for personal and business. “We support and complement each other and we don’t really find conflicts, as long as you have one mission, vision and values. Compatible lahat yan. Full speed ahead,” said Ofrace.
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