6 Pinoy family business successes

6 Pinoy family business successes

Family Enterprise Excellence Conference today

Some 80 percent of businesses in the Philippines are family enterprises. But while Filipino entrepreneurs build family businesses to 1) build the family wealth and 2) leave a lasting legacy, most are small operations while 10 percent never go beyond the third generation.

Question: how do we grow beyond small? How can we build a legacy that lasts several generations?

To help family businesses, the Premier Family Business Consulting (PFBC) initiated the Family Enterprise Excellence Conference (FEEC). In fact, FEEC 2015 which is happening today, October 26, 2015 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, is the third annual conference organized by PFBC. The Cebu-based public relations agency PRworks, a family business founded by Doris Mongaya, has been supporting FEEC.

PRworksPH.com, meanwhile, contributes to this effort by drawing up this list of six successful Filipino family businesses. We hope this would serve as inspiration for budding family businesses.


Cebu, Philippines, Family Business, Family Business ConferenceUnited Laboratories (Unilab)

The biggest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the Philippines began as a small drug store in Binondo, Manila. Founded by Mr. J.Y. Campos and Mr. M.K. Tan in 1945, Unilab now develops, manufactures, and markets leading brands in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Though Unilab has facilities throughout Southeast Asia, the company’s major manufacturing complex remains in Manila. As the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the Philippines, its Philippine income can compare with its top three largest multinational competitors combined. Unilab is governed by Campos eldest daughter Jocelyn “Joy” Campos Hess, and Wharton-educated eldest grandson Clinton Campos Hess, vice chairman.

Jollibee Foods Corporation

Widely known as Jollibee, this fast-food restaurant chain began in 1975 when Tony Tan Caktiong and his family opened an ice cream parlor in Cubao, Quezon City. In 1978, they hired a consultant who shifted the business focus. Today, Jollibee has become one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world. It is an American-style fast-food restaurant with Filipino-influenced dishes specializing in burgers, spaghetti, chicken and some local Filipino dishes. Aside from Jollibee outlets all over the Philippines, it also has locations in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Dubai and Brunei.

Cebu, Philippines, GT Cosmetics, Salvane, Cebu City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, entrepreneurship award
Engr. Leonora Salvane (second from left) receives her Countryside Entrepreneur of the Year from the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) The photo lso shows (from left) Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, Roger Salvane, CCCI president Ma. Teresa Chan, and Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III. Click the photo to read more about the CCCI award for Engr. Salvane.
Edward Hayco, founder of The Port, speaker of the Family Enterprise Excellence Conference (FEEC), Cebu Philippines
Edward Hayco, founder of The Port, will also speak today.

GT Cosmetics Manufacturing Inc.

Engr. Leonora Salvane and her family began GT Cosmetics at their residence in Lilo-an, Cebu way back in 1994. She would make her papaya soap and cut it in small rectangular pieces at the kitchen while her kids helped out in wrapping the finished products. Because initial users found her soaps effective, the business expanded via word of mouth. By 2008, Engr. Salvane envisioned growth beyond the island of Cebu and engaged PRworks to help her succeed.  In 2009, she already had seven production staff and 50 promo personnel. The home-based operation had expanded into a factory. In 2012, Engr. Salvane inaugurated her second factory in Marilao, Bulacan. Today, GT Cosmetics markets its full line of skin care products to the United States, Europe, and ASEAN neighbors. The cosmetics firm is now ISO 9001:2008 certified and is proceeding with working on the process of securing other ISO level certifications. It’s third manufacturing plant is set to be finished by first quarter of 2016.


SM Group of Companies

In 1958, Henry Sy started Shoemart (SM) in Carriedo, Manila, initially buying shoes from the United States. Soon he transformed his shoe store into a department store. At this point, Sy set up his second company, SM Department Store Inc., and began selling stocks to department stores. In 1978, Sy began buying supermarkets at the northern end of EDSA in Quezon City. By the time he built his first mall, SM City North EDSA in 1994, his companies were listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange, SM Prime Holdings Inc. By 2005, the SM Investments Corporation was inaugurated.

Aboitiz Group of Companies

The Aboitiz story began in the 1920s with the founding of Aboitiz & Company. Unfortunately, the price of abaca dropped dramatically and pushed the company to the brink of bankruptcy. But Don Ramon Aboitiz resisted calls to fold up. Instead, Don Ramon borrowed money from banks and friends revive the business and pay back the debts. In 1992, the Aboitiz Group carried out changes to professionalize the organization. The private, family-owned business formed Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) and subsequently listed it on the Philippine Stock Exchange in 1994. Aboitiz & Co. put into AEV’s basket the best and most profitable businesses it had with the view to expanding and growing the Aboitiz businesses. These included the power generation and distribution businesses of Aboitiz & Co.

Goldilocks Bakeshop

The Philippine bakeshop chain first opened in 1966 as a family business. Two young women, sisters Milagros Leelin Yee and Clarita Leelin Go, decided to make a business out of their hobby which was baking. They started in a one-door apartment of a two-story structure on Pasong Tamo Street, Makati. They were joined by sister-in-law Doris. Today, Goldilocks has at least 18 stores in the United States and two in Canada. It also has at least one store each in Thailand, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It has established 192 branches throughout the Philippines.

Note that this is a random list of family businesses we know and the descriptions culled from various Internet resources. However, we encourage readers to share with us in the comments section below successful family businesses that deserve recognition.

Center for Family Enterprise

Meanwhile, the proceeds from the 2015 Family Enterprise Excellence Conference (FEEC) will be used as seed money to put up a Center for Family Enterprise in the country.

According to Premier Family Business Consulting (PFBC) Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer Neil Montesclaros, this direction will help sustain the advocacy of promoting excellence among family enterprises even after the event.

Even as family owned enterprises compose a big majority in the Philippines at 80% of all businesses, a Department of Labor report reveals that 2,520 small and medium enterprises closed down annually since the year 2000.

Montesclaros added that since family businesses play a big part in the economy, there is a need for them to be developed and strengthened.

“This can be done by addressing needs in terms of policy reforms and education to equip them to answer the challenges they face,” he said.

FEEC 2015 Gold sponsors are GT Cosmetics, Alcordo Advertising, Global Advertising Image. Silver sponsors are Sunstar Cebu, Advance Graphic and Concepts, Mindanao Daily News, Cagayan de Oro Times, Business Week Mindanao and Mindanao Star.

Institutional partners include Inspire Leadership Consultancy, P&A Grant Thornton, USC, Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Davao City, Cebu City, Mandaue City, General Santos City, Cagayan De Oro City, and PRWorks Inc.

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