Q&A with Tokyo Tempura Founder Jorge Wieneke on Launching New Concepts

Q&A with Tokyo Tempura Founder Jorge Wieneke on Launching New Concepts

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Jorge Wieneke founded Tokyo Tempura in 2012. In 5 years, the concept expanded to over 100 stores, winning for him the Agora Award in 2017. He shares with us the challenges of introducing a new concept and the insights from these challenges. Q1: What market pain points were you solving when you conceptualized Tokyo Tempura? A: Filipinos love to eat tempura but they can't have it everyday. I noticed that in buffet restaurants it is always the shrimp tempura that people queue up for and it is always the first to disappear. Also, when you eat in Japanese restaurants, an order of tempura costs an average of P350.00 for 4pcs only. Given this I felt that it was a bit unfair and so I came up with tempura that is…
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Q&A with Unitrade CEO Samuel Po on Competing with Industry Goliaths

Q&A with Unitrade CEO Samuel Po on Competing with Industry Goliaths

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Samuel L. Po is the founder and President of JS Unitrade Merchandise Inc., a market leading consumer goods company with trusted brands such as EQ Baby Diapers, Charmee Feminine Protection, Caress Incontinence Care, Secure Adult Pull-Up Pants and Nursy Baby Wipes. Entrepreneurally-savvy and exposed to business since childhood in Iloilo City, he struck out on his own after school and dabbled in different businesses. In 1990, he first entered the consumer goods industry by introducing affordable baby diapers to the market. Q1: Before JS Unitrade, you were in the electrical business. What made you enter the diaper and sanitary protection industries? A: My son was born the year before, and my wife and I had a hard time looking for disposable diapers to use when out of the house. It…
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Q&A with Famous Belgian Waffles’ CEO and Founder Euclid Cezar on Creative Entrepreneurship

Q&A with Famous Belgian Waffles’ CEO and Founder Euclid Cezar on Creative Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Euclid Cezar started Famous Belgian Waffles in 2012 and has some 450 stores in less than 5 years. Euclid shares his insights about how to start, market and grow a business. Q1: What made you start Famous Belgian Waffles? A: Back in 2010 to 2012 we saw the increasing popularity of beverage products like milk tea, buko shake, other fruit shakes and coffee base drinks, on the other hand, there were no new food category in the market for quite some time, hence, I thought its about time to introduce a new snack category in the market. Q2: Why waffles in sandwich-like form? A: basically to make it a grab and go snack. You don't need tables and chairs, spoons and forks, and it's the most convenient way to consume…
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Q&A with Bizu Catering Managing Director Audrey Tanco – Uy on Brand Extension

Q&A with Bizu Catering Managing Director Audrey Tanco – Uy on Brand Extension

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Bizu Patisserie is a chain of French and International culinary restaurants with a fine selection of retail products in the Philippines. Bizu Catering Studio brings the Bizu experience to special events of consumers and corporate clients. It's managing director, Audrey Tanco-Uy, a Mansmith Young Market Masters Award (YMMA) winner of 2017, shares how the Bizu brand influences their customer engagement. Q1: How does branding work between Bizu Patisserie and Bistro and Bizu Catering? Who benefits more from the other? A: Each Bizu brand carries with it its own strengths. Like husband and wife, Bizu Patisserie and Bizu Catering Studio has lent to each other its own core competencies to deliver a complete imprint on customers’ minds. Bizu Patisserie, the mother brand, with its 6 retail locations around the Metro, provides…
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Q&A with Mega Sardines CEO William Tiu Lim on Opportunity-Seeking

Q&A with Mega Sardines CEO William Tiu Lim on Opportunity-Seeking

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Q1: Your family was in the department store business in Avenida before you entered the fishing vessel business, what made you venture into this kind of business and in south Zamboanga? A: It was during those visits to my then girlfriend now my wife’s house in Navotas that I was able to look at their deep sea fishing business. They had old dilapidated vessels, yet still made money out of those. It came to my mind that if I were to use new vessels that would lead to fewer breakdowns, then I might be able to make more money. With that thinking, in 1972, the year of martial law, 3.5 years into my electrical engineering course in the University of the Philippines, I started to have new vessels built, one…
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Q&A with Wilcon Depot Chairman William Belo on Home Improvement Retailing

Q&A with Wilcon Depot Chairman William Belo on Home Improvement Retailing

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
In 1977, William Belo founded a small hardware store called Wilcon Builder's Supply. 26 years after, he expanded to the much bigger one-stop shop Wilcon Depot in 2003. Today, Wilcon is market leader in home improvement retailing and is a Hall of Fame awardee of the Philippine Retailers Association. He shares insights of his entrepreneurial journey, culminating in Wilcon's planned initial public offering in March 2017 in support of the planned P8 trillion expected construction spending of the government in the next 6 years, as well as growth from the private sector. Q1: What unmet needs were you trying to satisfy when you started? A: In 1977, Wilcon started with an initial 60 SQM store to provide the basic needs of the time - which was to have choices in…
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Q&A with Abenson’s Founder Wilson Lim on Growing from Core to Adjacencies

Q&A with Abenson’s Founder Wilson Lim on Growing from Core to Adjacencies

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Wilson Lim is founder of the Abenson Group of Companies (Abenson, ElectroWorld, Walter Mart Supermarket, Walter Mart Mall, distributorship of SB and Habitat furnitures, and Ascott BGC, among many others) that he and his team built from scratch. An unassuming businessman with a big heart, he shares his insights about growing businesses from core to adjacencies. Q1: You have been successful in various companies you built (Abenson, Walter Mart, etc). What criteria do you consider before you invest or expand in a business? A: I am always guided by our company’s vision of Bringing the Good Life to More Filipino Homes. We study the industry and assess it based on the size of the market, the growth potential, the players in the industry and determine whether there are opportunities for…
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Q&A with 8990 Housing CEO JJ Atencio on Innovation

Q&A with 8990 Housing CEO JJ Atencio on Innovation

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, interviews, Q&A
Januario Jesus Atencio III or JJ for short started 8990 Housing in 2003 with P180 million in revenues. By end 2016, it jumped to close to P10 billion with 55% gross margin and 40% net margin. JJ shares his insights on how to attain phenomenal growth rate and how to sustain it with a goal of selling 12,000 new homes yearly. Q1: You believe 'Mass housing is not about housing but about people', tell us briefly about this philosophy. A: A business as imbued with a social mission should look beyond the numbers. Business is about people: your customers - the people who buy from you; your employees and contractors - the people who work, sell and construct for you; and because we are now publicly listed, the people who…
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Q&A with Oryspa Founder Sherill Quintana on Branding Rice Bran

Q&A with Oryspa Founder Sherill Quintana on Branding Rice Bran

Brand Marketing, Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Sherill Quintana is the founder and president of Oryspa Spa Solutions, Inc., the leading maker of 100% natural rice bran based health and beauty products in the Philippines. It won the “Most Promising Franchise” at the 2015 Franchise Excellence Awards and the “ASEAN Business Awards for Excellence in Healthcare” at the ASEAN Business Summit at Vientiane, Laos last September 5, 2016. A multi-awarded entrepreneur, Sherill was named “ASEAN Woman Entrepreneur” in Hanoi, Vietnam and one of Go Negosyo's “Most Inspiring Filipina”, both in 2016. She shares her insights on how she started Oryspa. Q1: You started as a toll manufacturer. Please briefly share with us your business genesis. A: Sixteen years ago, I was making candles in my kitchen and practicing aromatherapy to kill time when i had a difficult…
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Q&A with Happy Skin CEO Jacqe Yuengtian Gutierrez on Creating a Filipino Cosmetics Brand

Q&A with Happy Skin CEO Jacqe Yuengtian Gutierrez on Creating a Filipino Cosmetics Brand

Brand Marketing, Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Happy Skin is a cosmetics brand that was recently awarded by Ayala Malls as the Most Promising Retailer for 2015 and by Watsons as the Most Promising New Cosmetic Brand of the Year for 2015. A former marketing executive of Unilever, its CEO Jacqe Gutierrez shares her insights about entering a highly competitive cosmetics industry in the Philippines. Q1: There are already so many brands of cosmetics in stores, online and via direct sales. What unmet needs are you trying to satisfy with Happy Skin? A: Yes, there has been a huge influx of cosmetic brands in recent years and yet the Philippines remains to be one of the lowest penetrated countries in the region. Less than a quarter of our population use any cosmetic product vs. 43% in China…
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