Business wisdom from those who’ve been there, done that

henry_syRead and learn.  Pick up lessons from the experiences and insights of those who know what they are saying when they talk about starting and running a business:  Tony Caktiong of Jollibee fame,  Henry Sy of the almost legendary SM chain, and others.

If you dream big and put your dreams into action you will inevitably make mistakes.  Just be quick in realizing the mistake and correcting it as best and as fast as you can.  Learn from each mistake and it will not be a waste of time.

Tony Caktiong, founder, Jolibee Foods Corporation

Not many people can do it.  You may have the interest but not the resources.  You may have the resources and the interest but not the guts.  You have to look long term.  You have to be optimistic.

My basic strategy is to stick to my core business and to my area of expertise.  My businesses are all related – retail, shopping centers, banking, real estate and tourism development.  Together they create synergy.

 Henry Sy, SM

Whereas in the past, the foremost concern was quality, now it is quality and speed.  You don’t compromise quality.  You  don’t compromise speed either.  If you cannot satisfy the clients’ need, they will leave.  The only solution is to upgrade.  The present market in the printing industry is becoming more and more demanding.  A souvenir  program used to take a month to get done, now it takes two days.  Everything is computerized. … IT is the name of the game.  You have to be abreast of IT or persh.  Well, I guess you can survive – if you are content just printing ticket stubs and receipts.  It might be good enough for a provincial setting, alright. But we are already in a global milieu.

Maldwyn de Pano, President, Design Plus

In business, dahan dahan lang, hwag magmadali.  Learn as much as you can about the business.  Huwag maniwala sa sabi-sabi.  Do your research, study the market, do not hesitate to interview and do market research.  Look for a product which is unique or where there is room for growth and expansion, meaning walang masyadong katulad.  Be innovative, be consultative. , join associations.  All these are important in business.

Rufino Manrique, Owner-Manager Moonbake Food Company

We value integrity and the entrepreneurial spirit.  As we get bigger, we remind ourselves to continue to take risks, be resourceful and innovative.  We think about how we get better for the next day.

Emmanuel T. Lopez, CEO, Rustan Coffee Corporation

We’re creating our own dream business.  We’re making our own dream jobs.  If you never shoot for the moon, you’ll never know how far you’ll go.  When we had no money, we made it work for about a year.  Then an an angel investor gave us additional wings, supported us, gave us everything we needed to stand up again.  He introduced us to a network of clients and cutting-edge ideas.”

Paolo Jalbuena, CEO and President, Fandom, Inc.

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