Real estate taipan calls for ‘branding’ PHBy Theresa S. Samaniego |Philippine Daily Inquirer
For Jose E. B. Antonio, the delivery of quality products and services is the ticket to transforming the Philippines into a global destination.
“If we, as a people, and as a country, hope to make Metro Manila a global destination, we must deliver our products and services with quality. We must be authentic and sincere in our offerings, because it will represent what we can do as Filipinos to the world,” says the former ambassador and current chairman of property giant Century Properties.
Addressing business leaders during the first 2013 Breakfast Roundtable of the Harvard Business School Club of the Philippines recently, Antonio provides valuable insights on the forum’s theme: “Marketing Manila as an International City.”
The Harvard Business School Club of the Philippines launched the roundtable forums last year as a platform to allow HBS alumni and their guests to interact with business and thought leaders in an intimate setting.
The events are held about twice per quarter. Past speakers include Harvard Business School professor Ranjay Gulati, managing partner of the innovation and growth consulting firm Innosight Scott Anthony, Asian Institute of Management president Steve Dekrey, and Golden ABC president and CEO Bernie Liu.
Antonio, who was a graduate of the Harvard Business School Owner and President Management program, also emphasizes on the importance of branding a city and priming it for tourism and direct foreign investments.
He likewise notes the crucial role that the government plays in boosting tourism arrivals and business activities in the country by making sure, among other things, that crucial infrastructure, such as international airports, are in place.
“The center of economic activity is now in Asia and we should seize this opportunity to move forward,” Antonio further stresses.
For his part, Antonio claims to doing his share in transforming Metro Manila into an international city through Century Properties’ development projects with international lifestyle and luxury brands.
Through such collaborations made with leaders in design, real estate, lifestyle and luxury, Antonio and his company are continuously attracting direct investments in the form of property purchases.
“We try to encourage investments in the Philippines through real estate. It affects 50 other industries and employs thousands of people. One property buyer alone influences the economy,” Antonio explains to forum guests.
The good news, according to Antonio, is that the Philippines is currently attracting both Filipinos overseas and foreign nationals in buying a property in the country. This group, he adds, consists of people who are familiar with the value and quality behind branded products and properties.
“We don’t partner with a brand just because it is popular. We get it for the value, quality and lifestyle that it stands for. We collaborate with brands that have had many years of experience in their respective industries, and we do so because it gives our buyers the values of pride of ownership and the assurance of quality,” Antonio explains.
“I hope what we’re doing in Century inspires you into making Metro Manila a better place. Deliver a good product, deliver good service. This will help Manila become an international city,” he concludes.
With 26 years of experience in the real estate industry, upscale developer Century Properties Inc. has shown how it can relentlessly go beyond firsts and imagination by introducing pioneering concepts and bringing home a number of globally renowned brands and affluent personalities with the likes of Donald Trump, Paris Hilton, Versace S.P.A., Acqua Iguazu yoo inspired by Starck and MissoniHome.
Incorporated in 1983, game changer Century Properties has undoubtedly enhanced the overall quality of life of Filipinos and foreign nationals by providing distinctive, high-quality and affordable properties. Guided by Antonio’s vision, who spearheaded the formation of Century Properties, the company is now one of the Philippines’ Top 5 real estate sales and development firms as measured by total sales value.