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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Q&A with SEAOIL CEO Glenn Yu on Combining Innovation and Integrity

Q&A with SEAOIL CEO Glenn Yu on Combining Innovation and Integrity

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Q1: SEAOIL is the largest independent fuel company in the Philippines and is now one of the top 60 corporations in revenues. Can you share with us the major challenges you encountered as a new entrant in the retail business in 1997 and how you overcame them? A: When we started the retail business, we were aware that we will compete with industry giants who have been in the business for decades. We needed to create our own niche to secure a sizeable share of the market, so we leveraged on lower pricing to attract customers. True enough, price-conscious motorists, specifically the PUV drivers, became our frequent patrons. Long lines of jeepneys were a usual sight at our stations. However, when the bigger oil players started to feel the pinch they began matching our pump prices. We realized that pricing alone cannot be relied upon as a competitive advantage in this industry…
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Q&A with HBC Chair Dr. San San Hortaleza on Creating Ventures

Q&A with HBC Chair Dr. San San Hortaleza on Creating Ventures

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Q1: You and your husband inherited six Hortaleza Vaciador stores from your in-laws and renamed it HBC. It now has over 200 retail stores. What was the trigger that made you change the company name? A: Since we inherited the stores and my husband’s other siblings also got their own numbers, there is a need to differentiate it in two ways -- first from the original concept of his parents and now from those of his siblings. We believe that if we don’t set apart our stores from theirs, we run the danger of not being able to compete effectively. All of them retained the name “Original Hortaleza and Vaciador” but we renamed our stores to HBC but still banking on the heritage brand of Hortaleza by adding the by-line…
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Q&A with Microdata’s Adeline Ang-Te on Training the Next Generation

Q&A with Microdata’s Adeline Ang-Te on Training the Next Generation

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Q1. You have recently taken over the day-to-day operation of Microdata from your father. How did he train you? A: My father started the company before he got married, so as far as I could remember, I have always been exposed to business. I was raised up thinking that I will one day run the business, so it became an accepted reality for me. My parents trained me early on by bringing me to the office during weekends and summer breaks in order to help out with minor tasks such as filing documents. During college, I was encouraged by my parents to participate in sales-related activities, and that is why I worked part-time in retail and opened a small food business in Ateneo de Manila University. Upon graduating in 2009,…
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Q&A with Ramon Garcia on Keeping The Business Metrics For Entrepreneurs

Q&A with Ramon Garcia on Keeping The Business Metrics For Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Q1. How did you become an entrepreneur? Answer: Since 4th year high school, I was a working student attending to the day-to-day operations of my eldest brother's mini grocery store. My brother trusted me even at a young age to do the merchandising of goods. Divisoria was a normal place for me to buy the goods, as the price there was the lowest. When I was in college, I was assigned to man my brother's Tires, Batteries and Car Accessories store. This is where I was exposed to salesmanship and sourcing of goods. I was exposed to risk-taking at a young age. After graduation from college, I told my brother that I want to practice my profession. After understanding what accounting career is, I trained my eyes in becoming one…
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Q&A with Habitat Philippines Walter Lim on New Venture Introduction

Q&A with Habitat Philippines Walter Lim on New Venture Introduction

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Q1: Congratulations on the opening of Habitat in the Philippines. Can you tell us what is good design in the brand DNA of this European furniture brand? A1. Thank you. We are very excited with the opening of Habitat Manila and are very thankful to the positive response of the market. At Habitat, good design means beautiful, functional and affordable products. Habitat founder, Sir Terence Conran, revolutionised home furniture and decor 50 years ago with its first store, and today Habitat Design Studio continues to live by this design ethos. Each Habitat product must not just be a beautiful addition to your home, it has to be functional and improve your everyday living. This design philosophy can be seen in our furniture, lighting products, tableware and even accessories. Even the…
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Q&A Kumon Franchisee Audrey Tan on Choosing A Business

Q&A Kumon Franchisee Audrey Tan on Choosing A Business

Entrepreneurship, Franchising, interviews, Q&A
Q1: You and your husband are owners of several businesses (hardware, office supplies). What made you decide to be franchisee of another, specifically Kumon in Tarlac? A: I started Kumon by chance. It was never really part of my plan to franchise a Kumon Center until the existing instructor/ franchisee of the center in Tarlac was going to relocate to Manila. Her sudden relocation would displace 80 Kumon students. And, seeing how Kumon has helped my children, I wanted to continue it for the other children as well. After attending a Franchise Orientation, passing the exams and the interview, I formally took over the center in May 2005. Education is one of the nobler businesses around because you invest heavily in people and training. I take comfort in the fact…
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Q&A with Viventis’ Yu Ming Chin on Transition From Family to Professional Management

Q&A with Viventis’ Yu Ming Chin on Transition From Family to Professional Management

Entrepreneurship, Execution, interviews, Q&A
Q1: There is always a crossroad with growing family enterprises – that of professionalizing by hiring an experienced outsider or continuing governance within the family. How can you help in this regard? A: When a family enterprise is ready to professionalize, the first things that need to be done are the drawing up of the family governance constitution and the selection of an independent family board member. Sometimes, growing family enterprises experience failure when it’s being transferred from generation to generation and taking the aforementioned steps can help avoid that failure. We have relevant expertise in these areas. Q2: Are there traits you look for within a family before you think that they are ready to hire a professional? A: The three things I look at are Scale, Skills, and…
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Q&A with Yoga + Managing Director Dinah Salonga on Marketing Yoga

Q&A with Yoga + Managing Director Dinah Salonga on Marketing Yoga

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Q1: You were an IT executive before. What made you shift to becoming a yoga instructor and entrepreneur? A: I tried yoga as a form of fitness activity in 2005 when a yoga studio opened one floor below my office. Prior to that, I was a regular gym-goer. I did group classes and did once a week private session for weight training. I also played badminton. I thought I was strong with all the weight training that I was doing but in my first yoga class, I couldn't even stay in a squatting pose without my muscles shaking. My shoulders ached from lifting my arms up and I wasn't even lifting any weights. That challenged me to continue doing yoga classes at least 3x a week. After about a month,…
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Q&A with ClixLogic President Charlie Fernando on Entrepreneurship

Q&A with ClixLogic President Charlie Fernando on Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Q1: What made you decide to be an entrepreneur? A: I've been working for 25 years. I started as an engineer and rose to VP operations. I saw how I was able to make my previous employers financially successful because of my technical, selling and managerial and administrative skills and experience. I was not getting any younger and I just had to bite the bullet. This was 10 years ago. Q2: How did you get into UPS repair? A: The company I put up was really into telecom equipment sales and services. Unfortunately it was difficult to get accreditation from the big telcos which I was familiar with. The opportunity just presented itself when the friend of my associate asked if we were interested. We were not doing anything much…
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