5 awesome Filipino entrepreneurs to learn from today

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June is currently in the Philippines on a relief mission with Child United.  I am really proud of her. While she’s not willing to do an IdeaMensch interview quite yet, she decided to go out and interview some of the entrepreneurs she has met along the way – asking many of the same questions that we ask in our daily interviews. Some of these folks are typhoon survivors while others are established successful entrepreneurs in Manila.  The one thing these folks have in common is that they took and idea and brought it to life.

They’re entrepreneurs.

Sometimes, out of poverty, I run out of funds to buy items to sell. So I close the store around that time and open again when I have the funds.

Emelyn Corridor

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Who are you and what do you do?

Emelyn Corridor, typhoon Haiyan survivor and owner of a ‘Sari-Sari’ (mini) Store.

What does your typical day look like? How many hours a day do you work?

I usually clean my store in the mornings before opening. Then I sit in my store from 5AM-6PM.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs? 

Just work hard and don’t give up.

What is the hardest part about your business? 

Sometimes, out of poverty, I run out of funds to buy items to sell. So I close the store around that time and open again when I have the funds.

 

Jonathan Villafuerte

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Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Jonathan Villafuerte. I am the owner of Gravity Zhirts, a t-shirt printing company.

What does your typical day look like? How many hours a day do you work?

It depends on the volume of orders but usually 6-8 hours starting from designing, printing to finishing an order,

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

When you first start a business, you will feel discourage at times. But you have to be more positive and you have to be dedicated to your business. Love what you are doing and everything else will fall into place.

What is the hardest part about your business?

It’s definitely negotiating prices with my customers because most of them always want a discounted fee.

Give me one habit that makes you more productive.

I try to think positively about my customers and that they will always come back to me. And definitely, quality over quantity.

Connect

www.facebook.con/gravityzhirts

Ingrid Tapia

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Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Ingrid Tapia and I co-own a travel agency firm. We cater to tourists visiting the country from hotel accommodations, to airport rides, and packages including activities they can do.

What does your typical day look like? How many hours a day do you work?

Most days are usually different. Sometimes, I have to attend corporate meetings or have to meet with the sales team or different companies. But when I am in the office, usually I am there from 9AM-6PM. My business partner is Korean so we have to follow Korean time.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

You really have to put your heart to whatever it is you are doing. Even if you have all the money to hire employees, it’s not going to be that successful unless you really focus on it and dedicate yourself.

What is the hardest part about your business?

In the 13 years I have been in this business, the hardest part is when a calamity strikes and people call to cancel their bookings. We give back 100% full refund to our customers but some of the hotels and resorts here in the Philippines, don’t give refunds to our travel agency. So our travel agency has to cover for customer refunds.

Give me one habit that makes you more productive.

Social Media is big in the Philippines. Every morning, I make sure I update our Facebook page and keep our customers updated.

Connect

Ian Braza

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Who are you and what do you do?

I am Ian Braza. I am an electronics engineer by profession. I am currently involved in the business development and project management sides of our engineering firm, Isometric Industrial Corporation.

What does your typical day look like? How many hours a day do you work?

I believe that the working hours of every entrepreneur who loves what he or she does are beyond 9 to 5. However, I also believe that a good work-life balance brings out the best every individual. Having said that, a typical day in my life consists of equal parts professional and personal activities. My mornings are usually reserved for reading articles online, working on business e-mails and meeting clients and/or suppliers. After lunch, I devote most of my time to anything work-related. I make sure that I can accomplish as much as I can without compromising on the quality of my work. After office hours, I usually head straight to the gym to keep myself physically fit. I try to keep my after-work schedule as flexible as possible so that I can accommodate work-related activities (i.e. dinner meetings, etc.) on short notice. I also make sure that I regularly spend quality time with friends, family and loved ones.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

One valuable principle that I have learned in my entrepreneurial career is to learn to differentiate ideas from opportunities. Not all ideas are good, and not all good ideas will lead to good opportunities. All successful business ventures start with brilliant ideas, but we should always thoroughly do our due diligence when seeking new opportunities in order to ascertain if those ideas are really worth pursuing or not.

What is the hardest part about your business?

 The hardest tasks that I did involved a lot of climbing since they are actually a part of what our field engineers do on a regular basis. Such tasks include climbing 75-foot poles to install transmission heavy devices and climbing more than 100 feet of scaffolding to access the generators of power plants to repair stator windings, among others. I believe that I should completely know every single aspect of our business process for me to be a more effective leader in our company.

Give me one habit that makes you more productive.

I make sure that I’m working in an environment that allows me to focus more on my tasks at hand. Being in the office can sometimes be unnerving or dull, so I sometimes take the trip to a coffee shop for a much-needed change of scenery. Or if I’m supposed to meet a client to close a deal, I normally suggest our meeting venue to be somewhere quiet with minimal distractions (other than the usual text or call).

Tanya Ilmedo

Tanya-Ilmedo

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Tanya Ilmedo, and I currently do 3 things:
a. Director, Jesus the Risen Savior School
b. Franchisee/Manager, Bayad Center
c. Distributor, Atomy (Korean consumer goods)

What does your typical day look like? How many hours a day do you work?

My day begins at 6 AM w/ a short prayer & Bible reading. Depending on my schedule, I either stay at our school’s office, or in the field for meetings & supervision of other business locations. I work 8-10 hours a day.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Always be in the position of humility, and consider yourself a steward of the opportunities & resources bestowed unto you by God. Have a heart open for learning & wisely consider the advice of more experienced entrepreneurs, particularly those who are game changers. Lastly, do business with the goal of helping others to not only gain employment but to develop them as leaders.

What is the hardest task you have to do for your job?

Whenever necessary, I have to be accountable for the mistakes of my people, and find ways to appease clients in order to maintain the good reputation of our businesses.

Give me one habit you do that makes you more productive.

Instead of complaining and mulling over problems, I actively seek solutions with other board members.

Published on February 14, 2014 .
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