Piandré Salon multipurpose cooperative turns 25
Elsie Galan, a manicurist at Piandré Salon and a single parent, was able to send her children to school, build a house in the province and buy an Urvan to shuttle passengers from Antipolo to Makati.
Vicky Balinas, a stylist, acquired an apartment and a tricycle to earn extra income from rent and transport fares.
They are just some of the members of the Piandré Salon Multipurpose Cooperative who have benefited from the programs of the 25-year-old institution.
“Aside from their salaries, commissions and tips, the cooperative was set up to help address the employees’ financial concerns,” explains Linda Francisco, CEO of Piandré.
“The savings-and-loan facility enables them to accumulate and borrow money. The interest is given back to all the members as dividends at the end of the year. We gave them one branch on Del Monte Avenue, Quezon City, so all profits of this salon go to the co-op members. They also own some retail brands like Kerastase. The income from these products is distributed to them,” she adds.
This year, the cooperative distributed P3 million in dividends to its 350 members.
Francisco, who is turning 70 in September, counts the cooperative as her most important contribution to her people.
“It has uplifted lives, taught the values of saving and working for the common good— which is the essence of a cooperative,” she says.
A peso a day
The idea to establish a cooperative was born in 1990 when Francisco started getting seriously concerned about employees’ repeated requests for loans.
Fearing that the employees would resort to popular but dubious money lending schemes, Francisco sought financial advice from an expert, who suggested that the employees contribute just P1 a day to a common kitty.
Eventually, a credit cooperative was formalized and later accredited by the Cooperative Development Authority.
In 1995, Francisco gave the employees some capital to put up the Piandré branch along Del Monte Avenue, which they operate on their own.
With the multiple businesses, the credit cooperative has evolved into the present Piandré Salon Multipurpose Cooperative.
All members contribute regularly to the pooled fund, which is then lent to qualified borrowers.
The cooperative’s profit is distributed at the end of the year as dividends.
“In the past 10 years, we have given 13 to 20 percent back to them at the end of the year. It’s better than a time deposit. One gets P2,000, another gets P30,000 depending on one’s participation,” says Andrea Zulueta Lorenzana, Piandré’s creative director and co-op chair.
Although Piandré is a family-run business, the co-op is managed democratically by its members.
“We don’t know who approves the loans. A credit committee from the salon studies the application and gets clearance from accounting,” says Lorenzana.
Still, Francisco points out that she doesn’t want the members to borrow too much money.
To ensure that the cooperative is steered in the right direction, directors are given adequate management training.
“We’ve had education training and financial management seminars. The strategic planning course aims to help the directors who have never held a management position,” Francisco says.
Lorenzana, Francisco’s daughter, was elected chair of the board and she realizes the importance of her position.
“My job as chairperson is to set the agenda and lead the board of directors in policies. My plan is to get everyone to attend the basic cooperative course, encourage staff involvement and do more community service like visiting the orphanages,” she says.
On the advantages of the co-op, Lorenzana explains, “It teaches the members to manage their business. The Del Monte branch is the most efficient salon in product usage. The members know that the profits will go back to them. There is accountability. They have to push their retail products and services so everybody earns more. Our goal is to answer their financial needs.”
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