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Ideas & Opportunities
7 most common challenges of Pinoy biz
Illustration by Frantz Arno Salvador, Photos by Ocs Alvarez and Walter Villa
Apr 25, 2012
“Wala talaga kaming capital,” says Jowee Alviar, referring to his joint venture with fellow UST graduate Mon Punzalan upon graduating from college in 1997.
The two Fine Arts majors had one thing on their mind: to build their own design studio. Gathering their own equipment in an unused room in Alviar’s house, the two set themselves to work.
“After graduation,” says Punzalan, “we became goal-oriented and began to list down the things we wanted to happen.” Thirteen years later, the two have managed to become a formidable team in the country’s design—and lately—fashion scene.
For some, Alviar and Punzalan’s name may be unfamiliar, but for many, their brand is universal—or-local—depending on how you look at it. They’re the team behind Team Manila, a design studio, T-shirt designer and retailer.
Like Alviar and Punzalan, finding the right idea, conceptualizing and creating your product or service, getting funds to finance your business venture, and letting customers know that you exist are just a few of the challenges every new business owner encounters.
However, once you’ve settled into the shoes of being an entrepreneur, you’ll soon find out that the process doesn’t end there. The challenge for an established business is not to merely sustain itself, get back the money you invested, or not go bankrupt. The challenge is to grow.
Entrepreneur shows you how four homegrown business in four different industries—the retail sector; food and beverage; health, beauty, and wellness sector; and service—rose to the challenge of growing their brand, and in consequence, their assets. Because in every business, the only way to go is up.
1. Lack of Experience
“We started in a small room in Jowee’s house in Parañaque,” says Punzalan. Now that’s homegrown, literally. And for Alviar, his business partner and fellow creative director, the decision to create their own design and graphic studio was natural. “We knew what we wanted to happen and the things we wanted to do.”
In 1999, Alviar went to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree in graphic design, while Punzalan worked as a creative director for a local ad agency. The two sought to hone their skills in design.
In July of 2001, Alviar returned to Philippines and they finally launched what was to become Team Manila in his home.
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