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Embrace change, focus on your strengths

Leaders of growth champions share some secrets to their firms’ success
By: - Business Features Editor / @tinaarceodumlao
/ 04:03 AM March 29, 2021

Companies do not post stellar revenue and income figures by chance or sheer luck.

On the contrary, enviable sales and profit numbers are the logical consequence of, among others, constant innovation, laser focus on customers’ needs, rigorous execution of business plans, proper attention to human resources and the willingness and readiness to grab at opportunities that unexpectedly present themselves.

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The companies that made the inaugural list of Growth Champions of the Philippines know these truths only too well.

Our people have been instrumental to the growth of the company. Their malasakit (care) for the company and passion for their jobs were what made us No. 1
Marvin Tiu Lim
Chief growth and development
officer, Mega Global Corp.

Marvin Tiu Lim, chief growth and development officer of Mega Global Corp., one of the country’s biggest food companies, said the group would not have been able to record remarkable revenue growth from 2016-2019 without the commitment of its 3,500 employees.

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“Our people have been instrumental to the growth of the company. Their malasakit (care) for the company and passion for their jobs were what made us number 1,” Tiu Lim said.

For Aidea, growth was the result of its commitment to make its stakeholders successful.

We are committed to our clients’ success, however they define it. We are invested in technology and the relentless drive to innovate
Abelardo M. Tolentino Jr. Founder, CEO and president, Aidea

“This business of ours is about making people successful. The key is to make all the stakeholders successful because a project is no good when only one or some are successful—the developer makes money while the users suffer. Or the developer and users are successful to the detriment of the environment, the surrounding communities or the government,” said Abelardo M. Tolentino Jr., Aidea founder and CEO.

“We are committed to our clients’ success, however they define it. We are invested in technology and the relentless drive to innovate,” Tolentino added.

Good financial management, meanwhile, was what propelled the growth of Mercantile Insurance, combined with the strong entrepreneurial leadership style of the top executives.

We have always strived to provide relevant and high quality content to our customers and this has helped us acquire customers and gain their loyalty
Robert Galang
President, Cignal TV Inc.

Then for Cignal TV president Robert Galang, the company’s impressive growth was a result of its aggressive subscriber acquisition programs and ability to consistently deliver on its promise to provide the best possible TV viewing experience.

“We always strive to provide relevant and high-quality content to our customers and this has helped us acquire customers and gain their loyalty,” Galang said.

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Their mettle is now being tested by the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused an unprecedented health and economic crises, but these leaders are confident that they took the right steps in 2020 and that their growth streak will continue despite the massive disruptions caused by the varying lockdown imposed to stem the spread of the disease.

“At the start of the crisis, we made the safety of our employees our utmost priority. We ensured that strict safety protocols are implemented within our organization. We had to rethink our programs and plans. We had to pivot in order to quickly adapt. We focused on internal improvements, system development, organization development and quality of our products so that we can make our company stronger and more resilient amid the crisis,” Tiu Lim said.

Aidea made similar moves and is optimistic about its prospects more than a year into the pandemic.

“As a company that thrives on change, we can’t help but remain optimistic for a future with a better normal. The current situation compels us to recognize what can be done. It moves us to live up to the bravery that inspires us, to work harder and smarter to surmount challenges that we couldn’t have imagined a year ago,” Tolentino said.

He added: “This pandemic will not be here forever. We’ll see the horizon and adjust our business strategy to cope with the road ahead. More than ever, we are convinced that our direction to become not just a design but also a technology firm will open opportunities for our business. As a company that thrives on change, we can’t help but remain optimistic for a future with a better normal.”

To those companies that want to follow in these champions’ footsteps and make it to the list one day, they have advice to share.

“Be persistent at your core competency. Persevere through the ups and downs and be pioneering in everything. Preserve what is important and most of all, focus on your people,” Tiu Lim said.

Tolentino, meanwhile, advises companies to not look at their clients as mere financial transactions.

“Don’t market for projects. Market for clients. Don’t regard your work as a business transaction. Look for relationships and invest in them. If you want to succeed, do everything you can to help your client’s business succeed. However they define success, you help them reach that,” he said.

“The path to growth and excellence is fraught with danger. It demands that we take risks, that we learn and that we make a change. Most people hate change. But listen: Staying the same never makes progress,” he added.

Be aggressive in distribution and have the mindset of an entrepreneur. Make every centavo count in operations
Melecio Mallillin
President, Mercantile

For Mercantile, success lies in institutionalizing revenue streams and cost control tools. Be aggressive in distribution and have the mindset of an entrepreneur. Make every centavo count in operations, said Mercantile president Melecio C. Mallillin.

Galang likewise advises companies to constantly innovate lest they fall by the wayside.

“To survive today’s rapidly changing business landscape, you must be able to constantly innovate to stay relevant to your customers. Focus on delivering a unique offering or competitive advantage,” Galang said.

And more importantly, always behave as a challenger and be quick to seize opportunities when they arise. Changes in business conditions will either create problems or opportunities, but having a mindset of recognizing and seizing available opportunities is always essential to business success,” he added.

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