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Top 10 Most Successful Filipino entrepreneurs?

  
Business and Entrepreneurship Thread, Top 10 Most Successful Filipino entrepreneurs? in News, Politics, Business and Investment; For me it's Believe, Action, Results.......
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:46 AM
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For me it's Believe, Action, Results....
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:29 AM
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These are the 40 richest Filipinos. They are the most successful Filipino entrepreneurs.


The Philippines' 40 Richest People (Image/Picture/Photo) - Forum Photo Gallery - Overseas Filipino Worker Community
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:24 AM
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Philippines' Entrepreneur of Years 2010: Tennyson G. Chen named Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2010



Tennyson G. Chen, President of Bounty Fresh Food Inc., was named the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2010 in an awards banquet held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

Mr. Chen was recognized for his outstanding leadership, melding innovation and quality to secure Bounty Fresh Food, Inc.’s position as one of the country’s largest and most reputable food producers.

Using advanced technology, the company revolutionized the broiler chicken production industry and pioneered many of the systems now used by the country’s poultry integrators.

Mr. Chen will represent the Philippines in the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2011.

Mr. Chen also received the category award for Master Entrepreneur 2010. He was recognized for applying sound management practices in critical areas of the company, including finance, marketing, human resources and sales.

He maintains strong working relationships with close to 1,000 contract growers, toll feedmills, hatcheries and other partners around the country. Leading the company to the next phase of its growth, he conceptualized the Chooks to Go brand through Bounty Agroventure, Inc., BFFI’s sister company. In just two years, Chooks to Go has expanded to over 700 outlets nationwide and retails 100 million chickens a year.

Other category awards presented were for the Young Entrepreneur, Agribusiness Entrepreneur, Social Entrepreneur, Small Business Entrepreneur and Woman Entrepreneur categories.

Gabino M. Abejo, Jr., president and CEO of Abejo Builders Corporation, was presented with the Young Entrepreneur award for his accomplishments at such a young age. The award is presented to outstanding entrepreneurs below 30 years old. At 27 years old, Mr. Abejo heads the family business, which supplies the Metro Cebu Water District with up to 15,000 cubic meters of clean, safe water a day to the barangays in Talisay and Consolacion, Cebu.

Lyndon C. Tan, president of Basic Necessity, Inc., received the Agribusiness Entrepreneur award for building a company that continues to succeed despite challenges in the agribusiness industry. Through his company, Mr. Tan helped develop the local lettuce industry, helping eliminate the need for importation and reducing market prices.

Antonio P. Meloto, chairman of Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation (GK), was named Social Entrepreneur for building an organization that champions social transformation for the marginalized and the poor. With the support of volunteers and sponsors, GK has transformed poverty-stricken areas into safe and progressive GK Villages with well-built homes. It has also encouraged livelihood and self-sufficiency among GK village residents. The GK model has been replicated in other countries.

Edgar J. Sia II, chairman and CEO of Mang Inasal Philippines, Inc., was presented the Small Business Entrepreneur award for best demonstrating management excellence in a business with assets of less than P100 million. Mang Inasal fuses traditional Filipino dishes with the fast food dine-in concept. Mang Inasal started with one store in 2003 in Iloilo City. Seven years later, there are now over 250 stores and it has become the sixth largest fast food chain in the country.

Esther A. Vibal, president of Vibal Publishing House, Inc. (VPHI), received the Woman Entrepreneur award for blazing a trail in entrepreneurship, leadership and community development. Under her management, VPHI dominated the competitive textbook publishing market, accounting for over 50% of textbooks distributed to the estimated 18 million Filipino children in public elementary and secondary schools.

The recipients of the category awards were chosen from among 18 outstanding finalists from diverse industries whose businesses are situated in various regions in the country. The others finalists were Mary Joy Canon-Abaquin (Multiple Intelligence International School), Corazon Pineda-Aquino (C & Triple A Supermarket, Inc.), Paolo Benigno Aquino IV and Mark Joaquin Ruiz (MicroVentures, Inc.), Adelfa Lepura Borro (Ted’s Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy), Ireneo D. Dalayon (Federation of ARB/Banana-Based Cooperatives of Davao), Junie S. Del Mundo (EON), Teodoro L. Ferrer (Generika Drugstore), Anthony T. Huang (Stores Specialists Inc.), Benjamin I. Liuson (The Generics Pharmacy Franchising Corp.), Ronald Pineda (Adenip Inc.), Remegio Salanatin (R.G. Salanatin Construction) and Annabella Santos-Wisniewski (Raintree Management Partners, Inc.).

SGV Chairman and Managing Partner and SGV Foundation Vice Chairman Cirilo P. Noel hailed all finalists as exceptional role models to aspiring entrepreneurs. "In this seventh year of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines program, we are truly honored to share their stories of success. We admire them for staying true to their respective visions, working hard to initiate positive change and making significant contributions to the Philippine economy."

All nominees went through a strict financial data ranking system used by all Entrepreneur Of The Year participating countries. The finalists were further evaluated by an independent panel of judges composed of distinguished personalities from government and business.

The panel was chaired by former Philippine Prime Minister Cesar E. A. Virata, corporate vice-chairman of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation. Co-chair was De La Salle University President Br. Jun Erguiza. The other panel members were Securities and Exchange Commission Chairperson Fe Barin, Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Merly Cruz, SAP Philippines Country Manager Jennifer Ligones, Philippine Stock Exchange President and CEO Val Suarez, and Planters Development Chairman and President and Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 Ambassador Jesus P. Tambunting.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year was founded in the United States by professional services firm Ernst & Young in 1986 to recognize the achievements of the most successful and innovative entrepreneurs worldwide. In 2001, Ernst & Young expanded the program and launched the World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards. In the Philippines, the SGV Foundation, Inc. established the Entrepreneur Of The Year program, in 2003. Jollibee Foods Corporation President and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong, the first ever Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines, went on to win as World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2004 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Socorro Cancio-Ramos, founder of National Book Store, was next named Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines, followed by Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Air, Inc.; Senen Bacani, chairman and president of La Frutera, Inc.; Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr., president and CEO of Alaska Milk Corp.; and Amb. Jesus P. Tambunting, chairman and president of Planters Development Bank.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2010 is sponsored by SAP Philippines. The official airline is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, operating on behalf of the Air France-KLM Group in the Philippines. Media sponsors are BusinessWorld and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Banquet sponsors are Alaska Milk Corp., Globe Business, Land Bank of the Philippines, Island Rose, Planters Development Bank, San Marino and Victorinox.

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  #14  
Old 06-15-2011, 01:34 AM
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Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2009:

Tambunting is Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2009
(The Philippine Star) October 25, 2009

MANILA, Philippines - Plantersbank chairman and president Ambassador Jesus P. Tambunting was named Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2009 during the awards banquet held recently at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel.




Tambunting was recognized for his efforts in advancing the interest of small and medium entrepreneurs, committing himself and Plantersbank to focus on financing and helping SMEs grow earning for him the title “entrepreneur for entrepreneurs”.

He was also presented with the Master Entrepreneur Award for his sound management practices in key areas of the bank.

SGV Foundation chairman and president David L. Balangue congratulated Tambunting and wished him all the best as he represents the country in Monte Carlo. “Each year, we find entrepreneurs with compelling success stories, Ambassador Tambunting is no exception – his commitment to enable and empower SMEs, combined with his excellent management and diplomatic skills, have made Plantersbank the success that it is today.

Ambassador Tambunting chose to focus on a less popular segment of the banking industry and then transform Plantersbank into one of the most successful development banks in the world. This is the realization of his vision and evidence of his passionate advocacy for entrepreneurship. We are certain that he will represent the country exceptionally well in Monaco,” Balangue said.

The Entrepreneur of the Year is a program founded and produced globally by Ernst and Young and is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs, in the Philippines, the SGV Foundation established the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.

Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2009
winners and finalists
  • Mylene R. Abiva — Felta Multimedia, Inc.
  • Dustin B. Andaya — Philippine Cut Flower Corporation
  • Mary Grace Arboleda-Young — Cordillera Coffee Company, Inc.
  • Eduarda V. Ayo — E.V. Ayo Enterprises
    Small Business Entrepreneur 2009
  • Gemma N. Bulos — A Single Drop for Safe Water
    Social Entrepreneur 2009
  • Kenneth C. Cobonpue — Interior Crafts of the Islands, Inc.
    Innovation Entrepreneur 2009
  • Henry P. Cureg — United Graphic Expression Corporation
  • Michael L. Escaler — All Asian Countertrade
  • Bonifacio P. Fernandez — BF Industries, Inc.
  • Antonio I. Gloria — Unitel Productions, Inc.
  • Corazon D. Ong — CDO Foodsphere, Inc.
    Woman Entrepreneur 2009
  • Marianne G. Quebral — Venture for Fund Raising
  • Ricardo E. Reyes, Jr. — Ricky Reyes Hair Salon for Men & Women
  • Carlos C. Salinas — Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc.
  • Amb. Jesus P. Tambunting — Planters Development Bank
    Master Entrepreneur 2009
    Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2009
  • Antonio L. Tiu — Agrinurture, Inc.
    Emerging Entrepreneur 2009
  • William Tiu Lim — Mega Fishing Corporation
  • Justin S. Uy — Profood International Corporation
    Manufacturing Entrepreneur 2009
  • Salvador B. Veluz — Buddy's Pizza and Restaurant
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2011, 02:01 AM
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WILFRED STEVEN UYTENGSU, JR.
President and COO
Alaska Milk Corporation


Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2007
Master Entrepreneur 2007


With the Philippines in the midst of political turmoil in 1985, Mr. Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr. returned to the country from the US and joined his family's business, Alaska Milk Corporation (AMC), as Joint-Chief Financial Officer. His experiences abroad prepared him to lead the family-owned corporation and set its new strategic direction, business model and reenergized the corporate culture with focus on the values of meritocracy and a strong work ethic. Under his leadership, AMC that year expanded to include powdered filled milk among its products, and quickly became a major player in that category.

Mr. Uytengsu's innovations culminated in AMC's initial public offering in 1995, which raised US$50 million. To date, management and a strategic partner own 56% of the company, while 44% is in public free float. The IPO's included employee stock options that has empowered his people as having greater stake in the company.

In 1998, AMC acquired its sole distributor to strengthen its expansion efforts and enable it to reach out to its customers. It was also at this time that Uytengsu became AMC's President and Chief Operating Officer. The company has also partnered with foreign brands such as Quaker, Hershey's, Kellog's, and Nabisco to be their distributor in the Philippines. Recently, AMC acquired the liquid canned milk business of its biggest competitor, Nestle Philippines, Inc., giving them the lion's share of the market at 85%. To Mr. Uytengsu's credit, the company has maintained a very robust financial position since 1996.

With its steady growth and success under Mr. Uytengsu's watch, AMC was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the Best Small Cap Companies in 2000 and 2002, as well as by Finance Asia in 2004. AMC was also awarded Most Committed to Corporate Governance and Best in Financial Management in 2002 by Finance Asia. For its contributions to Children's Hour Philippines since the foundation's inception, the company was recognized as one of its Top 20 contributors. Another project that Uytengsu personally feels strongly about is AMC's tie-up with Gawad Kalinga (GK) for the GK-Alaska Village of 100 homes in San Pedro, Laguna. AMC also partnered with the Violeta Calvo-Drilon Foundation for the long-running Milk Feeding Program for public elementary school children, which ran for about five years. There are plans of reviving the program with enhanced logistics.

AMC has a market share of 20% in powdered milk but Mr. Uytengsu would also like to see the growth of new products that they've introduced in recent years, such as their UHT milk and creams.

The company's ultimate long-term goal is milk consumption growth. He works closely with his marketing team to develop campaigns that would further the traditional but widely popular AMC campaign "Wala pa 'ring tatalo sa Alaska" (Nothing beats Alaska), this time focusing on "sustansyang Alaska" (nutritiveness of Alaska). He also continues AMC's tradition of promoting health and wellness through sports development.
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:02 AM
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Thumbs up Top Entrepreneurs Of The Year Philippines 2007



RAYMUND JOSEPH LAUREL
President and Creative Director
Rajo Laurel Enterprises


Small Business Entrepreneur 2007

Even as a child, Mr. Raymund Joseph Laurel or Rajo Laurel had his heart set on fashion design. At 11, he learned about different fabrics from exploring the costume department of a theatre company his grandmother founded.

After receiving his degree in Human Resource Management from De La Salle University, Mr. Laurel went on to pursue further studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and Central St. Martins College in London.

In 1993, Mr. Laurel, then 22, channeled his formal training into practical skills. With his entire life savings of PhP20,000, he hired a sewer and a seamstress and began designing pieces, mostly for former classmates and family members. He then rented a small basement, and the business grew from there.

His name quickly gained recognition in the fashion industry. In 1993, Mr. Laurel won the ASEAN Young Designers Competition in Singapore. This was followed by numerous awards such as Air France's Young Designer of the Year in 1994, Smirnoff Fashion Design Awards in 1995, Most Promising Designer of the Year in 1996 , Asia Collection "Mukuhari Grand Prix' in Japan in 1997, and The Loop's (Editor's Choice Award) Favorite Designer in 1998.

Mr. Laurel has also been invited to join shows and exhibitions abroad such as the Philippine Centennial Show in Sydney, Saks Fifth Avenue Bridal Exhibition in New York and the Ties That Bind: Shanghai-Philippines Expositions in Shanghai.

In 1996, Mr. Laurel formed Rajo Laurel Enterprises (RLE), a garment company specializing in quality couture made-to-order clothing. He also formed in 2002 Laurel et Ross, a garment company that manufactures corporate uniforms. Two years later, in 2004, he opened House of Laurel, a boutique carrying his line of ready-to-wear clothes and accessories for men, women, expecting mothers and children.

Mr. Laurel has made separate business entities for each of his ventures. Rajo Laurel Enterprises produces couture pieces for an upscale market. Laurel et Ross produces custom-fit corporate uniforms and caters mostly to corporations. Presently, LER creates uniforms for all the Shangri-La hotels in the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as some Shangri-La hotel chains in Beijing, Taiwan and Shanghai. Recently, it also took on the Marriot Group in Sanya and Shanghai. This year, the country's very own Max's Fried Chicken will sport Mr. Laurel's designs as well.

The House of Laurel produces designer ready-to-wear pieces and caters to a value-based clientele. Aside from its Makati store, it has a satellite store in Davao. The company will open in both Shanghai and Dubai this year.




ABELARDO TOLENTINO, JR.
President and CEO
Aidea Philippines, Inc.


Innovation Entrepreneur 2007

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Santo Tomas in 1987, Mr. Abelardo Tolentino, Jr. spent nine years in Hong Kong working in prestigious architectural firms; observing and learning what being world-class is really all about. He worked with such companies as HOK Asia Pacific and John Lei Architects Ltd.

In 1998, he came back to the Philippines and took the position of Managing Director of the Philippine subsidiary of Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall (RMJM), a UK-based architectural firm. In 2003, when RMJM announced that they did not have long-term plans in the Philippines, Mr. Tolentino decided to acquire the firm. This marked the start of his career as an entrepreneur. He renamed the company Aidea.

The company started with a lot of small projects and eventually Aidea's big break came when Mr. Tolentino's former Hong Kong client tracked him down and offered him a project to design their office in Cabuyao, Laguna. That client was Procter & Gamble (P&G).

With the project a success, many more followed. Aidea is working with P&G on the design of their headquarters in Geneva. The firm also designed the P&G headquarters in Spain, Kiev, and Moscow. For these major projects, Aidea helped create a "P&G look" that can be seen in all these locations.
The company has also undertaken projects in the United States and Dubai. Aidea forges alliances with international firms that they co-design with, called cross-border design collaboration. In turn, these alliances have resulted in their international projects.

Aidea's biggest local client is Ayala Land, Inc., considered the Philippines' largest real estate firm. The company supervised the design for The Columns, which won for Aidea a prestigious architectural and design award. This success led to other similar projects with Ayala Land, including Serendra, Avida, Greenbelt, and Convergys.

Aidea's growth has consistently exceeded its projections. Global and regional projects are evenly divided. In the coming years, the firm aims to make it 30:70 in favor of global projects. By consistently learning and innovating, Aidea envisions the time when Filipino architects will set the bar in the field of architecture not just in the country but also worldwide.




MARIA ANGELA VILLALBA
Executive Director
Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services Foundation


Social Entrepreneur 2007

Some of her childhood friends in Butuan City became washer-women but Ms. Maria Angela Villalba was fortunate to have parents who were teachers and a sister who was a social worker. After graduating from college, she had a stint as a teacher and a government employee but later on realized that non-government organizations (NGOs) was where she could influence the most change.

She was first exposed to the plight of OFWs when she worked in Hong Kong as a Training and Organizing Consultant. Her involvement with migrant issues eventually led to the creation of the Asian Migrants Center (AMC) and she became its first director. AMC focused on helping abused migrants and assisting them in their legal requirements. What struck Ms. Villalba was that in each of the cases that she handled, the abused migrants would still choose to stay in the country and search for a new employer. Because of this recurring phenomenon, Ms. Villalba sought to create a program for migrant workers to help them build long-term assets back home. She took studies in savings and investment in migrant communities in Hong Kong and Malaysia. After a year, she took her studies to Japan where she was instrumental in convening support advocates of migrant groups for the first time. She also took her cause to the United Nations where she was able to help draw better policies for migrants all over the world.

After conducting these studies, Ms. Villalba finally formed the Migrant Savings and Alternative Investment for Community Development and Reintegration (MSAI-CDR) development model. Migrants of different nationalities were grouped together. Their situations were assessed and a pool of savings was established for each group.

In 1996, she launched Unlad Kabayan here in the Philippines with the MSAI-CDR development model at its core. Ms. Villalba then formed partnerships with local cooperatives to perform studies on what types of businesses are most suitable for investment. The first $100,000 of migrant savings was invested in a shoe factory in Cebu. A campaign to convince Filipino migrants to invest in local businesses in their hometowns also followed.

Unlad Kabayan concentrates its operations in poor communities in the country. Migrant workers invest in a business that they can manage when they retire or when they decide to return home. Local residents are provided with jobs and the community can progress economically. At present, the organization is incubating five businesses in different communities nationwide. These include PhP7 to 8 million in assets in a coco plant, a rice center, milling, and palay trading business.
In the next four years, Unlad Kabayan is set to support farming communities with new agricultural technology, crop and livestock production techniques, along with farm credit.




MARGARITA FORES
President and CEO
Cibo, Inc.


Woman Entrepreneur 2007

Ms. Margarita Fores is popularly known as the entrepreneur who created Cibo, a chain of restaurants that serve delectable and authentic Italian food.

As an accounting graduate, Ms. Fores first worked in a number of companies. Based in New York City in the 1980s, she frequented and became interested in the Italian cafes in the city that served Southern Italian cuisine in a casual environment. Her interest in Italy was further fuelled by her work as an assistant to the Vice President for licensing of the House of Valentino - a renowned Italian fashion brand. The job exposed Fores to both couture and the art of entertaining.

In 1986, her family returned to the country but Ms. Fores decided to go to Florence, Italy. She enrolled in an Italian language school, and in a culinary class taught by a charming Italian signora, that provided Ms. Fores with a home-style appreciation for Italian cooking.

Ms. Fores came home to Manila in 1987 and started cooking and catering for family and friends. She was then invited by the Hyatt Regency to collaborate with the restaurant Hugo's executive chef for the Italian food festival, Italia in Bocca, which was slated for two weeks. Due to its success, the festival was extended to almost a month, which launched her professional career as a chef and Italian food enthusiast. In 1997, she opened the first outlet of Cibo at the Glorietta Mall in the Ayala Center, Makati.

Cibo is an Italian concept restaurant that has set trends in the local casual dining scene. Its initial success prompted Ms. Fores to open branches in Metro Manila's popular malls: Gateway, Power Plant, Shangri-La Plaza, Alabang Town Center, Greenhills Promenade, plus a branch in ABS-CBN's compound in Quezon City. She has just opened another branch in Greenbelt 5 in Makati City, which features a tramezzinni bar concept to evoke the feel of an Italian street cafe.

In the past 10 years, Ms. Fores has expanded her market reach by opening other businesses such as Cafe Bola, a Filipino fusion restaurant. She also created Pepato, the fine-dining showcase for her catering business, Cibo di M which caters for parties and business functions. She has also opened Fiori di M, a floral artistry business she spun off from her catering division, as well as Sostanza Healthline, which produces custom-made health and wellness diet meals for delivery.
Among Ms. Fores' expansin plans include setting up Cibo branches in Singapore, Dubai, and California. For 2008, she has lined up the opening of Casa di M, a home wares shop, and Gastroteca di M, a delicatessen and home-meal replacement emporium.




WILFREDO TAN
President and Chief Executive Officer
Hausland Development Corporation


Realty and Construction Entrepreneur 2007

For as long as he can remember, Mr. Wilfredo Tan has always been into business. He grew up in Sta. Cruz, Manila where his childhood days were spent manning his family's small grocery. While in college, he dabbled in various businesses, the most notable of which was buying and selling office supplies.

After graduating, Mr. Tan continued putting up different businesses until the political turmoil brought about by Martial Law made him decide to return to Pampanga, his parents' hometown. There he established Hausland Assets and Realty.

Mr. Tan started buying and selling foreclosed properties from GSIS and SSS. Slowly, he learned the ropes - how to buy land, and programs such as SSS housing, National Home Mortgage financing, and Pag-IBIG. With the knowledge he had acquired hands-on, he built the first subdivision development in Angeles City in 1992, which was completely sold out in one year. He then decided to position the company in socialized and low-cost housing.

Mr. Tan observed that back in 2000, the bulk of the market for housing was made up of overseas Filipino workers with purchasing power. Low-cost housing packages worth P1 million to P2.5 million were saleable. When Hausland started, 80% of its projects were made up of socialized housing. Now, 80% of HDC's projects are made up of low-cost housing. Of the 6,141 housing packages the company expects to produce from its 17 subdivision projects, 3,785 are now completed. In terms of Pag-IBIG housing loans in the area, HDC is number one. Mr. Tan continues to focus on Central Luzon because the market is booming, with developers from Manila starting to come in.

To make sure that HDC maintains this leadership, Mr. Tan works with his designers to put little personal touches to every unit. The company also makes sure that space is maximized. For socialized housing, HDC has a lot area of 45 square meters and a floor area of 25 square meters; other developers have a lot area of 38-40 square meters and a floor area of 18 square meters. Every HDC project is fenced and has complete water system and underground drainage.
Instead of pre-selling units, HDC develops and constructs a project immediately - putting in the entrance, multi-purpose hall, and all other amenities -before it starts marketing. With this practice, the company can already offer something tangible to their clients.

Among the company’s more immediate plans is the development of a newly registered company called Fiesta Communities. This company will handle HDC’s expansion for the low end market. Its target clients would be workers in or around Clark whose monthly salaries are between P8,000 to P10,000. Fiesta Communities will have socialized and low-cost housing packages worth up to P750,000, with monthly amortizations between P1,800 to P5,000 for 30 years. HDC will then concentrate on housing packages worth P1 million and above.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:37 AM
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Thumbs up Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2006


Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2006



SENEN C. BACANI
Chairman and President
La Frutera, Inc.


Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2006
Master Entrepreneur 2006


Mr. Senen Bacani first started a career in Dole Food Company in Honolulu after graduating with an MBA from the University of Hawaii in 1968. For the next 20 years, he rose through the ranks to become Country Manager of Dole in Costa Rica and in the Philippines. In 1989, Mr. Bacani was appointed Secretary of Agriculture by then President Corazon Aquino.

Years of leadership in agribusiness and government prepared Mr. Bacani for his first entrepreneurial venture in 1993. He established Ultrex Management and Investments Corporation, a company which first managed the corporate banana farms of the House of Investments. Mr. Bacani and his colleagues, however, wanted to put up a banana plantation of their own. They approached Chiquita Unifrutti International, a Middle Eastern family-owned business that had plans of introducing Chiquita bananas to the Japanese market. Mr. Bacani saw potential in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), with its fertile and undeveloped land, good climate, and readily available and cost-efficient workforce. However, during his visits to the ARMM, Mr. Bacani grew concerned about resolving the rebellions in Mindanao.

Mr. Bacani convinced Chiquita Unifrutti that the region, although farther from ports, paid lower wages and promised higher productivity. In 1996, Ultrex and Chiquita Unifrutti established La Frutera, Inc., a 1,000-hectare Cavendish plantation in Buluan and Datu Paglas, Maguindanao. La Frutera was the first large-scale banana plantation in the ARMM. Ultrex and Chiquita Unifrutti formally agreed to a 20-year contract wherein Chiquita Unifrutti would buy La Frutera's bananas, market them under the Chiquita and Unifrutti brands, and then export them abroad.

La Frutera is one of the top 10% banana farms in the country in terms of production per hectare, cost per box, and quality of products in the market. It exports bananas to Japan, Korea, China, and the Middle East. La Frutera is the only banana plantation in the country certified by both the Rainforest Alliance (since 2003) and ISO 14001 (since 2005). The company employs 1,745 people, 90% of whom are Muslims and 10% are Christians. Among the staff are a few hundred former rebels of the Moro National Liberal Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Many of the middle-level management positions are now occupied by Muslims.

Over the past 10 years, La Frutera has demonstrated how a successful business model can be created in a conflict-ridden area previously characterized by crime, underemployment, and inter-ethnic violence. Mr. Bacani believes that providing jobs, especially in rural areas, is the direct and sustainable way of alleviating poverty.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:38 AM
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JONATHAN Y. DEE
President and Chief Executive Officer
Alliance Tuna, Inc.

Emerging Entrepreneur 2006

Mr. Jonathan Dee has the stubborn will of the business man is in his genes, which he credits to his grandfather, Dee C. Chuan, co-founder of China Bank in 1920, and his father, Edward C. Dee, who started the Dee Construction Corporation. It was in his father’s company that Mr. Dee first tried his hand at business.

In 1991, Mr. Dee was given the opportunity to established his own business. He started a sardine and mackerel packing company with the support of his siblings. With one canning factory in Navotas, he quickly discovered that the sardine and mackerel business was not what he had expected. Looking for an alternative, he determined that there was a big potential for the Philippine tuna. He established First Dominion Prime Holdings Inc. and aimed to propel the Philippines into the number one position in exporting and marketing tuna to overtake Thailand. Backed by creditors and investors, Mr. Dee grew his company quickly by acquisition.

But in 1997, the Asian financial crisis hit Thailand, which quickly burned the stock markets all over the region. The company’s debt level rose to US$30 million and soon, the banks and his creditors came after him. Mr. Dee learned quickly and painfully that he had choose between giving up or giving his business another chance.

Mr. Dee did not give up. He did not declare his company bankrupt, even while the law permitted him to do so. Instead, he started paying off his company’s debts one by one. By 2001, with First Dominion’s debt almost clean, Mr. Dee began to restructure and rehabilitate his business.
In 2003, a group of investors from Thailand agreed to give Mr. Dee his needed capital. Their challenge was for Mr. Dee to reach a PhP1 billion sales mark within one year of operations. That year, Mr. Dee’s tuna processing company was reborn as Alliance Tuna International, Inc.

From First Dominion’s five factories and 6,000 workers, Alliance Tuna streamlined to be a leaner enterprise, with one tuna factory, one can-making factory, and around 1,500 workers. On their first year of operations, Alliance Tuna hit the PhP1 billion mark, and even made over US$1 million in sales. Mr. Dee then bared a three-year plan for the company: to go for the long-awaited IPO, to remain debtless, and to keep growing at 25% every year. Alliance Tuna was listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange in November 2006 and was one of the best IPO performers last year.

Today, Alliance Tuna’s customers are spread across 40 countries—including South Africa, Angola, and new Eastern European customers like Latvia, Estonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kazahkstan. Mr. Dee is thinking of growing further into the Middle East, even in Africa. Having captured two-fifths of the world market, Mr. Dee is determined to gain even more of the share. Out of 103 importing countries as of 2006, Mr. Dee aims to be in business with at least 80 within the next three years.



JULITA P. URBINA
Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Café Laguna


Small Business Entrepreneur 2006

Mrs. Julita Urbina was born and raised in Laguna. In 1975, her husband, a military doctor, was assigned to Cebu and relocated the whole family. To augment the family income, Mrs. Urbina put up a small carinderia (street eatery) in Lahug, offering Tagalog home-cooked meals at affordable prices. The eatery attracted many local customers and this encouraged her to expand her business to include catering services.

Catering provided more opportunities for Mrs. Urbina. Top companies in Cebu that heard about her reputation would hire her as caterer for their company events. It was at this point that Urbina decided she had enough skills and experience to start her own restaurant. She named her restaurant Café Laguna in honor of her roots and in reference to its specialty cuisine. A year later, she accepted an invitation from Ayala Center Cebu to install another branch in the mall. From then on, the growth of Café Laguna has been phenomenal. In fact, the business grew so much that Mrs. Urbina had a building constructed to house the operations of her company.

Café Laguna carries Urbina’s own recipes, which give the menu its own unique character. To constantly improve her skills, Mrs. Urbina attends courses at culinary schools and conventions. She is currently on a continuing education program, together with her managers, in Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America. She also loves to experiment in the kitchen and her innovations eventually find their way in Café Laguna’s ever-expanding menu.

Café Laguna has a steady stream of local patrons as well as tourists. Mrs. Urbina attributes this success to the quality of her products, taste and value-for-money. Winning, as she defines it, is having loyal and satisfied customers. Cebu, it seems, has embraced this Laguna native as their own.

Mrs. Urbina hopes to expand her business by opening more restaurants in the next five years, including franchising overseas.



DENNIS B. MENDIOLA
Chief Executive Officer
Chikka Asia, Inc.


Information and Communications
Technology Entrepreneur 2006


Mr. Dennis Mendiola’s penchant for challenges enabled him to take on the task of bridging what he calls the “digital divide” between the increasing Internet activity of over eight million Filipinos overseas and the text revolution in the Philippines. Mr. Mendiola connected these two different platforms of communication through a program known as Chikka Text Messenger, the flagship project of Chikka Asia, Inc.

Launched in 2001, Chikka Messenger is the world’s first instant messenger that fully integrates mobile features via SMS. It allows Internet and mobile users to stay connected through user-friendly applications. Today, more and more Filipinos locally and overseas are hooking up to Chikka Messenger. Chikka Asia now has a presence in the USA, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Guam, and Hong Kong, through tie-ups with over 30 international network operators.

Chikka Asia also offers applications that allow mobile subscribers to access and manage e-mail through SMS, settle various bills using mobile call credits, and participate in mobile-enabled auctions and matchmaking sessions. Chikka created programs such as celebrity newsletters/updates, as well as platforms to download ring tones, logos, and other MMS content. Its products cover all areas of mobile space, including communities, content, commerce, communications, and corporate solutions.

Despite riding high on Chikka’s wave of success, Mr. Mendiola is already anticipating the shift of global trends in Internet-based technology. Recognizing the rapid expansion of broadband Internet throughout the biggest markets in the world, Chikka Asia is now investing substantially in PC online technology, and working to adapt mobile technology to the online world. Chikka Asia is also exploring ways to open up Latin America and Europe to mobile applications.

Chikka Messenger is also able to promote social responsibility by allowing its users to donate micro denominations to charities such as the Philippine National Red Cross. The application also gives Filipinos a venue to get in touch with government agencies such as the Philippine National Police during times of emergency and the Land Transportation Office for suggestions on service improvement.



ILLAC ANGELO A. DIAZ
Chief Executive Officer
and Head of Marketing and Operations
Pier One Seaman's Dorm, Inc.


Innovation Entrepreneur 2006

Through social entrepreneurship, Mr. Illac Diaz is convinced that in building a business, one can also build lives. Having grown up in Pasay City with the children of mechanics and other laborers as playmates, Mr. Diaz was exposed quite early in life to the disparity in society.

Pier One Seaman's Dorm, which began as Mr. Diaz's thesis for a Master's degree in Entrepreneurship at the Asian Institute of Management, is a step in assisting marginalized Filipinos in making their lives better. He hit upon the idea of building a dormitory for transients while observing seafarers living in Manila in between their overseas contracts. Mr. Diaz also realized that, although the Philippines provides 30% of the world’s maritime manpower requirements, the country did not have an institutionalized housing project for seafarers as they looked for jobs.
Mr. Diaz built Pier One Seaman’s Dorm in 2000 using low-cost materials that afforded seafarers adequate accommodations. Forty bed spaces were initially allotted for maritime workers, and a per-day payment system was established to meet the budget constraints of tenants. Room rates range from P50 to P100. Tenants who could not afford to pay the daily rates were allowed to work in the dormitory in exchange for lodgings for a certain period of time.

Pier One also serves as a central location where recruitment agencies can reach maritime workers for overseas job openings. To facilitate job hunting for Pier One tenants, Mr. Diaz has invited manpower shipping agencies to post their job listings through Pier One. While awaiting jobs, seafarers benefit from subsidized training programs on predeparture requirements and skills such as navigation. It has grown from the initial 40 bed spaces to three dormitories with a total of 2,000 beds. Its occupancy rate averages 96% and it has housed and provided job assistance to over 80,000 maritime workers to date.

Mr. Diaz also founded the MyShelter Foundation, a nonprofit organization run in association with the AIM Alumni Foundation. MyShelter initiates projects benefiting the provinces of the seafarers. Income from Pier One and grants from various institutions support MyShelter’s initiatives.

In 2005, Mr. Diaz was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the world for his achievements in growing his business with great social awareness. In the Philippines, he was one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men for Social Entrepreneurship. His ideas have been recognized several times by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was the 2005 Grand Prize Winner in the MIT $1K Business Ideas Competition Award and the 2006 Grand Prize Winner for the MIT $100K Business Plan Competition and IDEAS Competition.



DR. JAIME ARISTOTLE B. ALIP
Managing Director
Center for Agricultural
and Rural Development (CARD), Inc.


Social Entrepreneur 2006

For Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, the face of poverty can be seen in farmers and the landless rural workers. After working with the Philippine Business for Social Progress for ten years, Dr. Alip and a few of his colleagues founded the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Inc. (CARD, Inc.), a social development foundation. With only twenty pesos and a battered typewriter borrowed from his father, Dr. Alip churned out proposals to foundations and institutions, pleading for assistance to improve the quality of life of the landless rural poor.

However, Dr. Alip eventually realized that he cannot depend on donors for the long-term survival of CARD. With the consent of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the CARD NGO was established as a bank in San Pablo City, Laguna in 1997. It was the first microfinance institution in the Philippines to be organized into a bank.The objective was to divest the ownership from the NGO to the members.

To date, 35-40% of the bank is now owned by members. A regular project loan from CARD is around P2,500 to P60,000, which are provided to finance various micro-enterprises such as vending, crop and livestock production, bakery operation, dressmaking, and fish drying. CARD also provides housing, and multi-purpose loans. CARD’s banking system is one in which collateral is not necessary for a loan.

As of 2006, CARD has disbursed a total of over P2 billion in loans to almost 250,000 active clients (all of whom are women). With a repayment rate of 98.48%, it is considered by many in the industry as the leading microfinance institution in the country. Dr. Alip also came up with an insurance program to enable the poor to survive deaths in the family. He worked on getting CARD’s license from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Insurance Commission, and on building sustainable legal and regulatory infrastructure for what he called the CARD Mutual Benefit Association (MBA). All members of the CARD Bank were automatically registered with the CARD MBA.

Today, CARD has evolved into mutually reinforcing institutions (MRI) composed of the CARD NGO, CARD Bank, CARD MBA, CARD MRI Development Institute, and CARD Business Development Service Center. CARD operates on a national level, and has programs in Vietnam and Cambodia as well. Dr. Alip plans to put in place in the island of Sabah a CARD institution to support poor entrepreneurs in that region.

From a one-person operation in 1987, CARD now has around 1,500 employees -- the biggest employer in the microfinance industry. And from one office in 1988, CARD now boasts of 307 bank branches. As of last year, CARD has served a total of 289,149 clients. Dr. Alip says that by 2009, CARD should have reached at least 1 million poor families.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:42 AM
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Default Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2005

Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2005




LANCE Y. GOKONGWEI
President and CEO
Cebu Air, INC.


Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2005
Tourism Entrepreneur 2005


Mr. Lance Gokongwei grew up in a family of entrepreneurs where business was regular fare at the dinner table. He cites his father, John Gokongwei, Jr.,as his strongest influence and mentor, and who encouraged him and his sisters to start their own businesses.

Cebu Pacific Air, popularly known as Cebu Pacific, was established in 1996, with Mr. Gokongwei assuming leadership from the very start. With three secondhand DC-9 aircraft, Cebu Pacific began operations with 24 flights daily to and from three destinations. It entered the market as a low-cost alternative to the country's only carrier by offering great value service at fares lower by as much as 40%, and on-time service reliability of 90%. Just 18 months after, Cebu Pacific greeted its one millionth passenger onboard. The airline has flown over 12 million passengers since it started operations, two million passengers in 2005 alone. Its fleet currently consists of seven DC-9s, four Airbus 319s, two Airbus 320s, and two Boeing 757s. The low-cost carrier now flies to Hong Kong and Korea as well.

Cebu Pacific's affordable rates have attracted frequent flyers. It also has a substantial business following due to its on-time performance. Cebu Pacific redefined in-flight entertainment with the introduction of "Fun Flights."

Under Mr. Gokongwei's nine-year leadership, Cebu Pacific achieved phenomenal success in the local aviation scene. During the airline's first three to five years of operations, the number of people traveling increased by 20 to 25%. Fares have also decreased, pricing has been standardized, and ticket distribution networks have widened significantly.

Cebu Pacific is the first low-fare airline in the country, and the first Philippine carrier to develop an e-ticket facility for use in its domestic flights. It is the second largest airline in the country in terms of capacity offered, traffic carried, and revenues generated. More recently, it tied up with GE and Singapore Airlines to decrease maintenance costs and increase retention. Once its refleeting with 17 new Airbus aircraft is completed in 2009, Cebu Pacific will have the youngest fleet in Asia. The airline also plans to fly to new Asian destinations, offer fares as low as those of maritime transport vessels, and introduce ticketing and reservations through SMS technology.

Mr. Gokongwei is a member of the Young Presidents Organization, and an affiliate of the World Economic Forum's Global Leaders for Tomorrow Program. He was also a The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee in 2000. Steering Cebu Pacific for nearly a decade prepared Mr. Gokongwei for the leadership of JG Summit Holdings which he assumed in 2001.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:43 AM
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Thumbs up Top Entrepreneurs Of The Year Philippines 2005



ALFREDO M. YAO
Chairman
Zest-O Corp.

Master Entrepreneur 2005

The eldest of six children, Mr. Alfredo Yao started to work at an early age to augment the family income. His father died when he was only 12 years old, and his mother's earnings as a sidewalk vendor could not support the family's needs. He would accompany his mother to Chinese gambling dens where he got balato (tips) from the players and met people from all walks of life. With the help of a relative, Mr. Yao was able to complete his elementary and high school education. He went to the Mapua Institute of Technology for college but had to leave after two years.

Mr. Yao did odd jobs and worked at a warehouse of a packaging company. On one of his many trips to a printing press where his cousin worked, Mr. Yao saw potential in the packaging business and decided to invest his time and money in a printing press. Solemar Commercial Press, a printing press for cellophane wrappers of biscuits and candies, was named after his mother and role model. It grew steadily during its first 20 years. Then in 1979, while visiting an exhibit in Europe, Mr. Yao discovered a new technology in packaging called "doy packs." He saw promise in the technology and bought a machine. Mr. Yao tried to market the idea of doy packs to local juice manufacturers but there were no takers. To put the equipment to use, he started preparing fruit juice in his own kitchen. In 1980, Zest-O juice drink was launched.

Today, Zest-O juice drinks have a total of 12 different flavors and includes in its product line fruit sodas, purees, and kitchen condiments. Zest-O Corporation commands 80% of the total market for ready-to-drink juices in the country. The company also produces popular products like the Sunglo Juice Drink, Big 250 Juice Drink, and Plus! Juice Drink. It also exports mango purees to China, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore, the US, and Europe. From 20 employees in a small corner of the Solemar compound, Zest-O Corporation now has over 1,000 workers in various offices and facilities nationwide.

The company's success has even helped other industries prosper. Zest-O introduced dalandan (native orange) fruit sodas. All ingredients are sourced from local suppliers of fruits, helping revive the dwindling dalandan-growing business in Southern Luzon. A majority of the growers in these provinces have become contract growers for Zest-O. Its popularity has also penetrated the fashion industry. Handbags made of recycled Zest-O packs are exported to many countries. It has come to symbolize Filipino success and ingenuity while providing income to several women engaged in micro entrepreneurship.

The success of Zest-O has also inspired Mr. Yao to set up other businesses: Semexco Marketing, Inc., Harman Foods, Amchem Marketing, Inc. American Brands Philippines, Inc., SMI Development Corp., and Philippine Business Bank.

Mr. Yao was awarded the 2003 Centennial Taxpayer for Caloocan by the Caloocan Regional District Office and the 2005 Outstanding Business of Caloocan by the City of Caloocan.



JOHNLU G. KOA
Founder and CEO
The French Baker, Inc.


Emerging Master Entrepreneur 2005

Mr. Johnlu Koa, founder of The French Baker, had an academic career before his bread business took off. He earned his MBA from the University of the Philippines (UP) after earning a degree in Business Administration from the same university. While earning his master's degree, Koa taught Business Administration in UP, and was later appointed Secretary of the College of Business Administration.

It was during a trip to Europe that he was inspired to create a boulangerie for Filipinos. In 1989, he opened the first French Baker in SM City North EDSA which offered a wide variety of bread products at very affordable prices.

In 1991, the French Baker launched its quick service restaurants. The menu includes Koa's creations, and products are prepared fresh at the store. Koa imported German coffee and French tea, and provided a coffee garden in his stores in SM Southmall and Megamall, in keeping with the French café ambience.

Sixteen years into the business, The French Baker now has 30 stores in Luzon and two stores in Metro Cebu. It has built a name that emits prestige in the baking industry. The French Baker bagged the Agora Award for Company of the Year given by the Philippine Marketing Association in 1994. It was also chosen as one of the strongest brands by Superbrands Philippines for 2003-2004.

Mr. Koa was named one of The Outstanding Young Filipinos in 1996 for his commitment to his company and to the baking industry. He was also honored by the UP College of Business Administration with the Alumni Association Professional Award in the field of Entrepreneurship. He was also named one of the 500 Great Asians of the 21st Century by the Bibliotheque Worldwide Organization in the US.

Mr. Koa has not yet run out of business ideas for the future. His plans for expansion include stand-alone stores, as well as outlets in Hong Kong and China. He also plans to set up a flour mill that will cater to the specific needs of the local baking industry, and for The French Baker to be listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange.



JONATHAN JAY P. ALDEGUER
President
Islands Souvenirs, Inc.


Small Business Entrepreneur 2005

Mr. Jonathan Jay Aldeguer, like many tourists, had a natural compulsion to buy souvenirs. It was on one of his travels, that his entrepreneurial eye spotted its universality and a huge potential for a new business. He realized that souvenirs comprised a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, yet, there was not a single major brand that offered premium quality souvenirs, particularly in the Philippines. The industry lacked creativity in design, visual merchandising, quality and branding.
In 1992, Mr. Aldeguer established Island Souvenirs. The shop deviated from the ethnic-looking designs which were the norm, and showcased the Philippines as a sunny and tropical country. He packaged his products as a totality of the unique experience of a locality, reflecting its dynamic personality. In just one year, Islands Souvenirs' sales grew by 300% and expanded to malls and in various places around the country.

The company also began operating internationally and opened outlets in Japan, Macau, US and Singapore at the invitation of the Singaporean Government. Mr. Aldeguer has also created other tourism-oriented companies that complement Islands Souvenirs. These are Islands Souvenirs International, Inc.; Franchise Ventures, Inc.; Islands Pasalubong Center; and Destinations Media, Inc. He also embarked on co-branding marketing efforts in tourism-related activities with Cebu Pacific, ABS-CBN, Globe Telecom, SM and Sony Ericsson.

Mr. Aldeguer has received numerous recognitions for leading the company. He was the youngest to be awarded as TOYM for Business Entrepreneurship. He was also awarded as Entrepreneur Philippines' 10 Most Outstanding Filipino Entrepreneurs and has received an Agora Award for Business Entrepreneurship. Recently, Mr. Aldeguer received recognition of International Young Design Entrepreneur of the Year - Philippines by the British Council. He was also given the Tourism Kalakbay Award and the Entrepreneur of the Year Tourism award by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Islands Souvenirs has been cited three times as the Outstanding Retailer of the Year by the Philippine Retailers Association and the Department of Trade and Industry for its excellence in visual merchandising, operational excellence, customer service and store concept. The company has also been named into the Outstanding Retailers Hall of Fame. In the next five years, Aldeguer envisions Islands Souvenirs as a one-stop shop which sells souvenirs, novelty items, food and travel services.



RUTH C. CALLANTA
President
Center for Community Transformation


Woman Entrepreneur 2005

With an Anthropology degree from the University of the Philippines and a Masters in Management from the Asian Institute of Management, Ms. Ruth Callanta found herself very much involved in social development. She was a volunteer for many relief and development agencies and volunteer organizations. In addition, she worked with institutions like the Asian Development Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture and Development, where she accumulated a wealth of knowledge on development strategies on poverty alleviation, strategic management of corporate philanthropy, and other related methods on social development.

Ms. Callanta believed that the crucial element absent from development work for the poor can be summed up in one word - faith. This led her to advocate a faith-based program for community transformation. She began an informal network of development practitioners who shared the same philosophy and in 1992, that network was formally established as the Center for Community Transformation (CCT).

Ms. Callanta worked on a development model that combines, in a sustainable manner, the provision of spiritual nurturing and economic and social interventions to poor communities. Since it was created and is managed and funded by Filipinos, it enables its proponents to utilize their own resources without having to rely on foreign grants and funding.

CCT establishes itself in communities in three distinct phases. These phases are supported by structured entities such as the CCT NGO (program for its spiritual development), the CCT Credit Cooperative (program for micro-financing, housing, insurance, social heath), the Visions of Hope Foundation (program for education and health for CCT children), and the CCT Heritage Tours (program for cultural and historical exposure to various places in the Philippines).

As a result of these programs, CCT has disbursed loans amounting to P1 billion. The organization's members effectively pay their loans, as proven by its 98.5% repayment rate. From a 10-office network with 4,300 community partners in 1999, CCT currently has 130 offices nationwide and over 100,000 beneficiaries.



RITCHE C. RIVERA
President
RD Manufacturing Corp.


Socially Responsible Entrepreneur 2005

Being residents of General Santos City, Mr. Ritche Rivera and his family are no strangers to the bounty of the sea. The Riveras own RD Fishing Industry, the flagship company of RD Corporation and the holding and managing entity of a group of 42 companies and subsidiaries. When they were young, he and his brothers were already exposed to the operations of the business. After obtaining a business administration degree from the University of San Carlos, Mr. Rivera trained in their tuna-canning operations in Celebes. From there, he was sent on a special assignment to start RD Tuna Canners, RD Group's tuna cannery in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Mr. Rivera stayed in PNG to oversee the setup and start up of operations. He spent his time mastering fishing and tuna-canning operations and helping to grow RD Tuna Canners. After five years abroad, he returned to his hometown to work on Philbest Canning Corporation, a tuna cannery acquired from RFM Corporation. In due time, he was able to turn the business around. Philbest became profitable in just two years after Mr. Rivera took over. Having applied everything he learned in PNG, this particular success gave him much fulfillment.

Today, RD Manufacturing is the top exporter of canned tuna. It is the only tuna-canning company in the Philippines that has its own fishing company and packaging facility. As such, it is able to assure its customers worldwide of meeting their volume requirements.

Under Mr. Rivera's leadership, RD Manufacturing was awarded by the Office of the President of the Philippines for being the top export grosser in the agriculture sector in 2003. RD Manufacturing is accredited by the EFSIS, the premier third party independent inspection and certification service and one of the highest governing bodies in Europe, the International Group Safety, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
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