Reader extols Uratex
Tito Aliga of the University of the Philippines (UP) Engineering Research and Development Foundation responded after my three-part series on Uratex (Aug. 31, Sept .7 and Sept. 14, 2023). First, he talked about their quality service and product:
“I have first-hand experience with a Uratex mattress, as I got to know their plant manager, then Peachy Cheng, in the early 1990s. We always bought our mattresses from them for off-the-shelf beds. In 2017, we had a made-to-order wooden bed which needed a mattress. After a discussion with their sales staff, they told me to order the supposed right mattress. [Peachy’s husband] Dindo Medina must have taught them well, because they asked questions related to what I do, what sports I play, what my physical build is, etc. They asked the same questions about my wife’s circumstances.
“We got the mattress, and with that first night, it was the first time I missed waking up to see my grandson off to school. I overslept!”
Second, Aliga described the generosity of the family business:
“Since the school year 2010 to 2011, the RGC-Uratex Group has been sponsoring scholars in the UP College of Engineering. At any time, they support four scholars. For school year 2013 to 2014, they also set up three professorial chairs for engineering faculty. They are a very supportive company! We are grateful to [founder] Natividad ‘Naty’ Cheng for providing continuing inspiration, and we congratulate them for celebrating their 55th year last month.”
Third, Aliga discussed the professionals working in the company:
“Executive vice president Ed Gallor and I worked together in the Production Management Association of the Philippines and in the Philippine Productivity Movement from 1987 onwards, preaching and doing productivity engineering, quality management, cost control, continuous improvement. That’s also the time I became a Uratex mattress devotee. I may not be a productive customer though, as the mattress I got in 2017 feels as good as new up to now.
“Ed must be in his early 80s now, but he continues to be the inspiration of the professional managers that form the brain-and-hands trust of Uratex. [Kudos to founder] Robert Cheng, whose sense of sustainability [enabled] him to get professionals to run the business. Ed’s son also joined the company, and is blazing his own trail of performance.”
Thank you, Tito, for sharing your experiences and insights on Uratex. May other family businesses emulate their best practices.
Months ago, I got this letter from reader TS: “I am an athlete who leads our family business, which is not related to sport. Are there female athletes who are managing family companies that are not their specialty?”
My reply: Check out my series on Uratex, whose managing director is Peachy Cheng-Medina, Ateneo’s first female athlete inducted into their sports hall of fame.
Tennis star Serena Williams famously runs an investment fund that creates opportunities for people of color.
Akiko Amano, a member of Japan’s national judo team, is on Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list. She is the 15th-generation—and the first female—head of their family’s fireworks enterprise, Souke Hanabi Kagiya, founded in 1659.
In 2000, her father handed over the reins to her. Later she finished a doctorate degree, where she studied how the visual and sound effects of fireworks can positively affect spectators.
“To prepare herself for the role she took at age 29,” says Forbes, “she reportedly insisted on learning her craft at other fireworks makers so she would not receive any preferential treatment from working at her family’s firm.” This jibes with what Dindo Medina hopes their son will learn, as he works for other companies before joining the family firm.
Amano, too, hopes that her daughter, now in college, will succeed her one day. “Fireworks are a symbol of peace,” she told Forbes.
Queena N. Lee-Chua is with the board of directors of Ateneo’s Family Business Center. Get her book “All in the Family Business” at Lazada or Shopee, or the ebook at Amazon, Google Play, Apple iBooks. Contact the author at [email protected].