Q&A with Banyan (Boston) Partner Dr. Joshua Baron on Coaching Family Businesses

Q&A with Banyan (Boston) Partner Dr. Joshua Baron on Coaching Family Businesses

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Q1: Your company deals mostly with generational transitions.  What are some issues confronting family businesses that are usually overlooked by families? To their credit, most of the family business leaders we meet think a lot about succession. The vast majority are very interested in having what they have built continue into the next generation. More than anything else, the senior generation tends to focus on who is going to replace them in their current role. And there is no question that it is essential to find the right person to lead the business in the next generation. At the same time, that focus on identifying “the one” sometimes gets in the way of addressing other essential issues. For example, one of the most important decisions that each generation makes is…
Read More
Q&A with Furniture Designer Kenneth Cobonpue on Preparation & Inspiration

Q&A with Furniture Designer Kenneth Cobonpue on Preparation & Inspiration

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Q1: Your mother was such a big influence on you as a child. She was a furniture designer with laborers at the back of your house. She made you construct your own toys. How did you feel then as a child growing up in such an environment? Everything I do today is an extension of my creative childhood. I took up design because I wanted to be a kid forever. As a child, my mother put pen and paper in my hand whenever she could, and encouraged me to build my own toys. I spent my free time watching all the craftsmen work behind our house. It was a happy and exciting time for me. Q2: As a young man, you mother brought you to different trade shows around the…
Read More
Q&A with Gingersnaps Creative Director Sabrina Uy on the Business of Children & Maternity Wear

Q&A with Gingersnaps Creative Director Sabrina Uy on the Business of Children & Maternity Wear

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A, Retailing
Q1: Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of Gingersnaps! What was your inspiration when you first launched a fashionable children's wear and maternity wear business? We always loved kids, so it came very naturally for us to do something that involved kids. At that time, there was an absence of fashionable children's and maternity clothing. We wanted to change the way people perceived these two underserved categories. Q2: What's unique or special about Gingersnaps products/ designs that customers have continued to patronize your brand all these years? What makes our product special is that it has it's own DNA. We've heard so many customers tell us that they can spot a Gingersnaps item without looking at the label… Although we change our look every season, there is something that makes it…
Read More
Q&A with Primer Group President Jimmy Thai on Working with Partners & Spouses

Q&A with Primer Group President Jimmy Thai on Working with Partners & Spouses

Entrepreneurship, Execution, interviews, Q&A
Q1. Your company is owned and managed by a group comprising of five friends (including a brother).  How has this worked out for all of you -- in terms of business relationships and in terms of personal bond. Have you worked together in a previous organization or association before incorporating? Jimmy Thai: Johnny and I informally worked together in a family business, a hardware and plumbing store in Chinatown. Jerry Sy: Jimmy and I had 5 decades of friendship and partnership dating from kindergarten days. Thomas Lim: I met my partners through Johnny Thai who is my friend and schoolmate in UST. We were classmates for 3 years at the College of Mechanical Engineering. Johnny Thai: (brother of Jimmy Thai.) We started in our family-owned hardware store as delivery checkers when we…
Read More
Q&A with Bounty Fresh CEO Tennyson Chen on Innopreneurship and Overcoming Adversities as CEO

Q&A with Bounty Fresh CEO Tennyson Chen on Innopreneurship and Overcoming Adversities as CEO

Entrepreneurship, interviews, Q&A
Q1: Congratulations on winning Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012. Previously, the import duty of chicken products was 30% and it went down even further to only 5% in 2007.  This was a major concern of your industry since Thailand has relative cost advantage  Tell us about how you arrived at the Chooks-to-Go retail store decision? What other options did you consider? Why Chooks-to-Go? First, when competition disturbs our company’s direction, it challenges us to search for other opportunities to strengthen our position in the industry. The imminent challenge of cheaper chicken supply from competing imports with the implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Agreement gave birth to Chooks-to-Go. Second, Bounty Fresh is a broiler integrator; Chooks-to-Go completed the entire integration cycle of our poultry…
Read More
Q&A with Roberto Claudio, Chairman of Toby’s Group of Companies on Sports Retailing

Q&A with Roberto Claudio, Chairman of Toby’s Group of Companies on Sports Retailing

Entrepreneurship, Marketing Plan in the Philippine Setting, Retailing
Q1: Toby's is the leader in sports retailing.  What makes Toby's successful all throughout these years? We see to it that we are always ahead of our time, looking for new ideas, retail concepts, and new application technologies that would make us more efficient and productive. We also do our research by seeking out the best sports brands and products that would give our customers what they need for sports and recreation. As CEO, I also insist on a growth plan. I believe in dreaming big. In the beginning, I fought for opening one store a year. We did that on our first 10 years, then after that, we opened two stores each year for the next 10 years. Currently, we are at the rate of opening three stores a…
Read More
Q&A with George Siy, President and CEO of Marie France Philippines on Marketing Strategy

Q&A with George Siy, President and CEO of Marie France Philippines on Marketing Strategy

Entrepreneurship, Marketing Plan in the Philippine Setting
Q1: What were the more successful tools or techniques you employed that drove customers to Marie France? Advertising is our mainstay and is a major driver for new trials. We closely monitor the statistics of responses versus the type of ads, here and internationally, and adjust to local trends, and often try to develop a trend. A successful ad slogan or approach or image drives new customers, and a string of successes builds the brand. So visual image and concise powerful slogans are a customer driver. Satisfaction with the service, and reminders of occasions to look good, keep old clients. We maintain an image that makes it possible for the client to be proud to say she goes to Marie France, which we develop continually as a status symbol. The…
Read More
Q&A with Diosdado Salvador Jr., Entrepreneur and first ASEAN president of Johnson & Johnson on the Filipino Marketers

Q&A with Diosdado Salvador Jr., Entrepreneur and first ASEAN president of Johnson & Johnson on the Filipino Marketers

Entrepreneurship, Marketing Plan in the Philippine Setting
Q1: Congratulations!  You are one of the few Filipinos who have reached a regional president position in a major multinational company. Can you share with us the strengths of Filipinos as marketers? Creativity and the willingness to depart from the conventional way of doing things. I think this comes from a wellspring of making do with what is available. I believe the closest expression for this is "mahahanapan natin ng paraan yan."  I believe more than anything else, this drive to close out or seek solutions drives marketing innovation. The spectrum stretches from finding temporary solutions to long lasting and unforgettable platforms. Another is an emotional connectivity between brands and the consumers.  There are many cases where marketers are boxed in by the packaged formulas of brands. Think about the…
Read More
Q&A with Jay Aldeguer, President of Islands Souvenirs Group on Branding

Q&A with Jay Aldeguer, President of Islands Souvenirs Group on Branding

Brand Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Marketing Plan in the Philippine Setting
Q1: You have expanded from a shirt brand to a tourism brand.  Please tell us what was the insight that led to this transformation? I first got the idea to go into the business of selling souvenir shirts from my travels – shirts were and continue to be the preferred souvenir as they're light and practical. But many of the souvenirs being sold even in top destinations at that time like Baguio and Boracay were substandard and impractical. I then saw the opportunity to introduce something new, something fresh and the aim was to professionalize the business since this sector was predominantly a cottage type industry. So in 1992, Islands Souvenirs opened its first outlet and since then has opened almost a hundred stores all over focusing on the top…
Read More
Q&A with Mr. Tommanny Tan, President, FERN Inc. on Channel Innovation

Q&A with Mr. Tommanny Tan, President, FERN Inc. on Channel Innovation

Distribution, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Marketing Plan in the Philippine Setting
Q1: Not many people know your history, but you actually took over FERN  Inc. as a turnaround operation. Please tell us about your early days. We Bring Prosperity to Every Home by Tapping the Entrepreneur in Every Filipino. This is the vision, which the pioneers of FERN Inc. had when they first started in 2003. We envisioned uplifting the lives of Filipinos away from poverty and into prosperity. Rather than rely on dole outs and charity, FERN encourages Filipinos to create wealth by becoming confident entrepreneurs and business builders. I was inspired by this vision; that is why I invested in FERN. Back then, FERN was just starting out as a networking and direct selling company that sold apparel. The problem was, there was no unique and innovative products or…
Read More