In business, it all boils down to numbers. But when you’re going for longevity, you need more than just six zeroes. These are the people who have managed to shape the country’s ever-growing business scene and, in turn, the lives of millions of people who buy their products and use their services every day. They do it right.
Entrepreneur Philippines sat down with three business experts—respected business guru Dan Antonio, who is also the president of the Asian Center for Entrepreneurship and Management Education, veteran business journalist Wilson Lee Flores, and Edgardo Rodriguez, dean of the College of Business of Enderun Colleges—to discuss the success secrets of the country’s richest. Read on and learn the secrets in order to succeed in this numbers-driven world.
13. Think outside the envelope
Examples: Henry Sy Sr., John Gokongwei Jr., and Andrew Tan
“The advantage of starting from nothing like Henry Sy, John Gokongwei, Andrew Tan, and the others, is that you can think outside the envelope immediately because there’s no envelope. You start from zero base, and whatever you think of, that’s what you start with. There’s no baggage, no tradition.”—Rodriguez
14. Keep your friends close but enemies closer
Example: Tony Tan Caktiong
“A significant portion of Jollibee’s sales come from their fried chicken. That’s their number one selling product, not the burger. And Jollibee began losing a lot of their chicken sales because of Mang Inasal and its chicken inasal. So Tony Tan Caktiong figured that by buying this guy at a certain price, they would kill off the competition. And just how close do you want you competition to be? He made him a minority partner. It was his defensive strategy.”—Flores
15. Target the bigger market
Example: Henry Sy Sr.
“One of the country’s most successful brands in retail, but not that big and profitable when compared to Henry Sy’s SM, is Bievenido Tantoco Sr.’s Rustans. However, in this country, with more than 70 percent of the population in the lower socio-economic segments, if your brand targets this general population, you would do better. To be successful in the Philippine market, you have to be a brand that is accessible and affordable.”—Antonio
16. Support other brands in a big way
Example: David M. Consunji
“Being a low-key, but still effective, brand is also a good plan. David Consunji’s DMCI Holdings is a good example of a very good low-key brand. If you’re a big time developer or if you don’t want problems with your buildings, you ask DMCI to become your contractor. It’s not a very popular brand among the general public, but it’s a very well-known and respected brand among the country’s top developers. DMCI has become the preferred contractor because it gives high-quality service and provides competitive prices.”—Flores
17. Learn to ‘play dirty’
“Dealing with dirt is a necessary element in the business world. The way you should look at dirt is the way those in the real estate industry look at dirt—it’s a component of whatever you construct. You either make it prominent, or you hide it. But you have to deal with it, one way or the other.”—Antonio
“It’s necessary, but it’s not sufficient. I don’t think you should stop with just dealing with it. If you’re true to yourself, you’ll try to do something about it.”—Rodriguez
“It’s necessary, but it’s not sufficient. I don’t think you should stop with just dealing with it. If you’re true to yourself, you’ll try to do something about it.”—Ed Rodriguez