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Floirendo Scion Spins Head Start into Competitive Edge as Davao Real Estate Heats Up

“We’re from here. If anyone wants to stake a claim in this region, it would a group like us,” says Cary Lagdameo

By Chiara U. Mesiona
Mar 18, 2018

“In my industry, we’re not just building real estate, we’re building communities. You need to have an entrepreneurial mindset for that."

A grandson of the founder of the Anflo Group of Companies, Antonio O. Floirendo, Sr., and finalist for SGV Foundation, Inc.'s Entrepreneur of the Year award, Ricardo "Cary" Lagdameo has led Damosa Land towards consistent growth

 

Damosa Land, Inc. is owned by the Floirendo family's Anflo Group of Companies, which also includes the banana production and exportation company Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. (Tadeco)

 

 

 

Mindanao is slated to be the center of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program. The interest in property investment in the southern region remains high and developers from all over the country are flocking there—the Davao Region in particular—to claim their share in the expanding real estate market.

 

The Anflo Group of Companies, which is owned by the Floirendo family and includes the banana production and exportation company Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. (Tadeco), already has a head start in the market through its real estate arm Damosa Land, Inc. During the 2017 PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards, Damosa Land’s residential development Fairlane won the Best Residential Development in Davao Award and was also highly commended for the Best Residential Landscape Architectural Design Award.

 

Despite growing competition, Damosa Land has been experiencing year-on-year growth under the leadership of its vice president, Ricardo “Cary” F. Lagdameo.

 

“Definitely, the competition coming from all over the Philippines as well as locally is a big challenge—everybody’s ramping up their business,” he says. “So, we focus on delivering quality and value and on being creative so that we are either the first or the best.”

 

Lagdameo is a grandson of the founder of the Anflo Group of Companies, Antonio O. Floirendo, Sr. With his entrepreneurial bloodline and a knack for management and innovation, Lagdameo has led Damosa Land towards consistent growth. And his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. In 2017, he was one of the finalists in SGV Foundation, Inc.’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.

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From building homes to building communities

Prior to Lagdameo’s entry into the family business, Damosa Land’s focus was on generating recurring sources of income through rentals. Since he came onboard, that focus has expanded into residential selling and mixed-use property and industrial development.

 

 


Damosa Land’s residential ventures include the horizontal development Fairlane and the six-tower condominium project Seawind 

 

 

Today, Damosa Land’s residential ventures include the horizontal development Fairlane and the six-tower condominium project Seawind. The developer also maintains a PEZA-registered IT park, which houses several BPOs, SMEs and multinational companies, including the global workspace provider Regus. The company also developed Anflo Industrial Estate, a 63-hectare PEZA-accredited industrial park that can draw in agro-industrial, logistics and light manufacturing firms to Panabo City. The development of an 88-hectare mixed-use property with residential, institutional, commercial and tourism elements called Agriya is also on the way.

 

“I don’t want to be just another residential developer. I want to build communities,” says Lagdameo. To find the inspiration and confidence to pursue new directions in business, he advises, “You have to go back to your core as a business. We’ve always been focused on uplifting lives in Mindanao, which is inspired by my late grandfather. How do we generate business that would provide livelihood for generations? So, when we chart our business now, we always refer to that question. We use real estate to create new opportunities for the region, bringing businesses to Mindanao.”

 

 

Picking up entrepreneurial skills along the way

Besides growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Lagdameo points to his education and work experiences as the sources of the strategies he employs in his VP position. He graduated from Ateneo de Manila with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on business and psychology. Later on, he pursued his MBA at Columbia Business School in New York.

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"Entrepreneurs need to be multidisciplinary and I was able to learn that in college," he says. At Columbia, I learned how to network with people from various backgrounds, which really shaped my negotiation skills.”

 

Before joining the family business, Lagdameo also worked in investment banking and set up various businesses including a restaurant and a logistics company. His earlier work experiences molded his skills in operations, finance, business development and people management, as well as the way he makes decisions in Damosa Land today.

 

 

Making a mark in the family business

Lagdameo is part of the third generation of leaders in the Floirendo family business and admits that introducing new ideas to senior leaders remains a challenge, especially for a company that has mainly been focused on agribusiness.

 

“How do you get buy-in from senior leaders?” he asks. “Will your new idea work? Is that the direction we really want to go into? So, we really have to do our due diligence and crunch the numbers to ensure the investment is sound. Maybe this is the investment banker in me, but we would never go into anything if the numbers don’t add up. It’s not a shot in the dark. We test our assumptions over and over and look at the best and worst cases.”

 


Lagdameo grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, but also points to his education and work experiences as the sources of the strategies he employs in his VP position

 

 

However, he says he is also no stranger to failure. “Any successful entrepreneur has failed many times. But you should look forward to failure. It makes you a stronger person. I don’t think I could be doing what I’m doing now without my failures in the past. So, pick up the pieces and move forward. Fail once, but come back even better.”

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Working with a young and driven team has helped with generating good ideas and getting these to work. “It doesn’t always have to be my set of ideas—that’s one way to develop people. They should be able to hone their creative process and advance within the company. So I allow our team leaders to take on their projects with some managerial supervision. At the end of the day, I want to see how they execute and how their minds work.”

 

Damosa Land also developed Anflo Industrial Estate, a 63-hectare PEZA-accredited industrial park that can draw in agro-industrial, logistics and light manufacturing firms to Panabo City. An 88-hectare mixed-use property with residential, institutional, commercial and tourism elements called Agriya is also on the way

 

 

With a good team behind him, Lagdameo envisions venturing into more developments that would infuse a more diverse set of industries in Mindanao such as manufacturing, agro-processing and agricultural tourism. Amidst competition, he is confident with his vision for the family business.

 

“We’re from here,” he says. “The group has been in Davao since the late 1940s. So if anyone wants to stake a claim in this region, it would be a group like us—and we are not going anywhere.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Chiara U. Mesiona is a Davao-based freelance business writer. Get in touch with her at chiara.mesiona.B2Bcopywriter@gmail.com

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