Q&A with SteelAsia Chairman Benjamin Yao on Growth Strategy

Q&A with SteelAsia Chairman Benjamin Yao on Growth Strategy

interviews, Q&A
SteelAsia is the flagship steel company of the Philippines. Nearly one out of every two steel bars installed in construction are manufactured by SteelAsia, while about 80% of the rebar needs for infrastructure are supplied by SteelAsia. SteelAsia Chairman and CEO Benjamin Yao shares their vision in investing P100 billion on the initial of a three phase 5 year program to develop a robust Philippine steel industry. Q1: Your company put up a small rebar facility in 1966 and has been supplying over two million tons a year. Rebar is in the lowest tier of the steel manufacturing and is a commodity. What’s your strategy shift behind your program? A1: We describe our strategy as a natural evolution arising from growth.  But to grow in the manner we did, the first thing that…
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The Strategist Behind The Strategy: A Study of Benjamin Yao of SteelAsia.

The Strategist Behind The Strategy: A Study of Benjamin Yao of SteelAsia.

Articles
Benjamin Yao is Chairman and CEO of SteelAsia, the flagship steel company of the Philippines. SteelAsia manufactures nearly one out of every two steel bars installed in construction, and supplies about 80% of the rebar needs for infrastructure. They are investing over P100 billion on the initial of a three phase 5-year program to develop a more robust steel industry in the Philippines. This kind of development initiative is vital to the inclusive economic growth of any country, as seen with the leading economies and industrialized nations.  Here are four lessons I learned from SteelAsia on how they have attained and maintained customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and competitive advantage. 1.     From commodity to differentiation - SteelAsia supplies over two million tons of rebars a year. Rebar is in the lowest tier…
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Q&A with Jollibee Global Brand Chief Marketing Officer Francis Flores on Growing Brands

Q&A with Jollibee Global Brand Chief Marketing Officer Francis Flores on Growing Brands

interviews, Q&A
Francis Flores won the Mansmith Young Market Masters Award (YMMA) in 2010 for leading the turnaround of Greenwich Pizza and Pasta. He was promoted as the General Manager and President of Greenwich from 2011 to 2013, where he transformed it to the Philippines’ number 1 favorite pizza brand through innovative and award-winning campaigns. He served as the President of Dunkin Donuts China and Head of International Operations for San Pin Wang, Yonghe King and Hong Zhuang Yuan in China, as well as PHO24, Highlands Coffee and Jollibee in Vietnam from 2013 to 2015, successfully driving the development and strong growth of these businesses. He started out his professional career with Unilever, where he assumed various sales and marketing management roles in 10 years with the company, capping off as Regional…
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Q&A with East-West Seed Chairman Ard Groot on Growth Strategy

Q&A with East-West Seed Chairman Ard Groot on Growth Strategy

interviews, Q&A
East-West Seed was founded in 1982 in a small farm in Lipa City, Batangas. The combination of European seed technology and expertise, and local experience in entrepreneurship and tropical climate farming led to the first market-oriented vegetable breeding company in Southeast Asia. Challenges still abound in the agriculture industry; to wit, lack of infrastructure on effective irrigation water distribution, dependence of farmers on toxic chemicals for pests and diseases control, chemical fertilizers which increases the acidity and eventual death of the soil, lack of knowledge in agronomic and farm management, inefficiencies of multiple channels, cold chain not linked properly, lack of access to inputs, and a much fewer number of the next generation who want to be farmers. Mr. Ard Groot, a seventh-generation seedsman rooted in the long history of…
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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

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 HBC Chair Dr. San San Hortaleza on Creating Ventures

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

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 East West Bank President Tony Moncupa Jr on Growth Strategy

Q&A with East West Bank President Tony Moncupa Jr on Growth Strategy

interviews, Q&A
Q1: There are so many banks in the Philippines, yet, since 2012, East West Bank has opened around 300 additional branches in 3 years, what is your vision for East West Bank? A. Our expansion was a necessary competitive response. We needed to expand quite massively because our competitors have much more branches. Otherwise, we will get clobbered. This is part of the vision set by the board to put EW among the ranks of the relevant banks. It started sometime in 2010. The board believed that the country will see favorable economic conditions that will likely continue far longer than what we have seen before. However, with better times, everybody will likely do some expansion. And that will result in heightened competition and put pressure on margins. That could…
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Q&A with Belle de Jour Planner Founder Darlyn Ty on Being Resilient in Business (Part 2)

Q&A with Belle de Jour Planner Founder Darlyn Ty on Being Resilient in Business (Part 2)

interviews, Q&A
Q5: You have launched the BDJ Beauty Box. Is this your response to seasonality in your planner business A: We launched BDJ Box, our online beauty discovery service for women, in our desire to help our 30,000 plus members to explore their own definitions of beauty. Feeling beautiful and relating it to confidence has been an increasing concern of our members. As we researched more, we felt we were in the perfect position to provide this beauty discovery service. Bellas trust us, and brands trust us. More than anything we want to preserve is our community vision to tangibly help our Bellas to live life to the fullest. Our BDJ Planner helps on day to day basis on planning schedules and tasks. BDJ Box helps on a weekly and monthly…
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Q&A with Belle de Jour Planner Founder Darlyn Ty on Being Resilient in Business (Part 1)

Q&A with Belle de Jour Planner Founder Darlyn Ty on Being Resilient in Business (Part 1)

interviews, Q&A
Q1: You created a new category - the first planner for women. What inspired you to launch the Belle de Jour planner in 2006? A: When we introduced the first Belle de Jour Power Planner in November 2006 (2007 BDJ Planner), my motivation was as simple as - there was no planner in the market that I felt could really help me manage my career and my life. I was always a planner person ever since high school. In my last year in high school, my dad got me a Palm Pilot — so I am actually pretty advanced, technology-wise. But after two years, I really just went back to paper. I find paper planners more tactile, more meaningful, more real. As for targeting women in particular, I did my backyard…
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Lessons About Offense and Defense by Josiah Go

Lessons About Offense and Defense by Josiah Go

Articles
In 1908, Ford launched the highly affordable Model T and dominated the automotive industry for the next decade, increasing market shares from 9% in 1908 to 61% in 1921. It was banking on the economies of scale business model, using the assembly line specialization that enabled fast production using only one color (black dried quickly as compared to other colors). In 1924, challenger General Motors decided to offer what Ford refused to give to consumers – more colors,  and three years after, GM’s friendly style took over market leadership over Ford’s efficiency. The strong-willed challenger overtook an overconfident leader by looking into changing customer demands that have begun to include design, power and status. Blockbuster was the dominant market leader in the home movie and game rental service industry. It…
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