Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Exchange Forum with Tony Moncupa

East West Bank President Tony Moncupa joins Anvil Business Club's roster of speakers for its monthly exchange forum for 2017 last March 22. A single number such as the interest rate can tell about the growth confidence of a country, both short and long term, the career banker of 31 years explained. An avid reader - he is well versed with prominent socialists such as Mao Ze Dong and compares more successful communist economies that have adopted free market principles such as China and Vietnam versus those in Eastern Europe. Tony is credited with growing East West Bank into more than 400 branches aggressively in the last 5 years, a size that is necessary for the bank's business model: scale. He balanced short and long term growth that will unlock bigger growth in the future. His success beliefs include starting with one's personal values of hard work. An excellent reminder for everyone who attended Anvil Business Club's 3rd Exchange forum for 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Dawn of a New Era in Philippines-China Relations

"We will see a new beginning of Philippine-China relations.......millions of Chinese tourists will be visiting the Philippines beginning this year."  -Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua At the entrance of Makati Shangri la's Isabel ballroom are dozens of reporters and journalists angling to get a statement from the evening's celebrity, China's Ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua. Anvil Business Club officers together with the country's business leaders, prominent government officials and leaders of various business and social organizations all came to celebrate Chinese New Year or Spring Festival with the Chinese ambassador. The annual event was organized by the Chinese embassy to celebrate not only the most important traditional event in China but also to celebrate the long standing friendship between the Philippines and China. Ambassador Zhao Jianhua in his usual sparkling red Chinese national attire, was beaming with joy and confidence throughout the night as guests warmly approached and greeted him. In his speech, he was ecstatic about the prospects of a firm and warm relationship between the Philippines and China. Golden Age of Infrastructure Due to the renewed friendship ties between the Philippines and China which was initiated by President Duterte, the Chinese government has openly affirmed their commitment to extend economic support and assist the Philippine government with $3.7 billion worth of funding for infrastructure projects. Some of the projects include massive railway system The investment in infrastructure will spur rapid economic growth in the next 10 years. Tourism Boom China has lifted travel advisory cautioning its citizens traveling to the Philippines when President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed bilateral talks and diplomatic ties. Ambassador Zhao Jianhua confidently assured the guests that millions of Chinese tourists will visit the country. We are witnessing a new era in Philippines-China relations and Anvil Business Club is firmly committed to be a positive agent in nation building through economic development.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Anvil Joins WJYA's Anniversary and Induction Ceremony

“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a book without a source, a tree without a root." Chinese Proverb The World Jinjiang Youth Association (WJYA) recently celebrated its 9th year Anniversary and Induction Ceremony held at Jinjiang, a county level city of Quanzhou City in Fujian Province, China. The three day celebration saw more than 600 members from 28 countries coming over to reconnect with its hometown roots as well as their fellow members.

A twenty-two member delegates from Anvil, all tracing its roots in Jinjiang, flew in to engage in the festivities. Jinjiang: An Economic Powerhouse of Fujian Province Jinjiang has been consistently ranked No. 1 county with the highest GDP in Fujian province for fifteen years and ranked top 10 richest county in China. It is home to many factories engaged in apparel, shoes, food, etc. Many companies have been listed in the stock exchange, some of the notable ones are ANTA, biggest sports apparel brand and Powerlong, real estate developer of commercial properties.

Friendship and Reconnection The three day celebration began with the welcome reception of around 600 delegates from 28 countries and the commemorative celebration of outgoing WJYA President Xu Qing Liu three year term, who vigorously spearheaded the reconnection of overseas Jinjiang Chinese in various countries. Philippines in the past had the least members, it is now one of the bigger contingent with twenty-nine participants, twenty-two from Anvil and seven from Philippine Jinjiang Youth Association. The highlights of the event featured the turnover ceremony and welcoming the new president, Mr. Xu Hua Fang, CEO of Powerlong Real Estate Holding Co. Ltd. Mr. Hua Fang, in his mid 30’s, Mr. Hua Fang is leading one of the biggest real estate development company in China. Powerlong is into the development of large scale, premium commercial complexes across mainland China. The company was honoured as one of the top 50 real estate developers and top 10 real estate commercial developers in China. The trip included business tours to ANTA and A&Z Capital whose founders are both from Jinjiang. ANTA, a publicly listed sports apparel company, is now the largest sports apparel company in Asia. The company considers itself a sports science laboratory, focusing on innovative ways of producing sports apparel that will aid in improving the athlete’s performance. Among its endorsers are NBA players like Klay Thompson and Rajon Rondo and Philippine’s boxing legend Manny Paquiao. A&Z Capital is one of the fastest growing venture capitalist companies in China. Located in Xiamen, it has now successfully invested and launched 46 start up companies with 6 of them publicly listed in the stock exchange. The founders of ANTA and A&Z Capital both started in their early 20’s and have successfully catapulted their companies in the 30’s. The amazing speed of success is certainly worthy of emulation. Anvil is about forging ties and friendships. With the establishment of relations with WJYA, the members have not only established friendships with successful young entrepreneurs all over the world but also reconnected with their ancestral roots.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The 8990 Story: Building A Nation, One House At A Time

The story of JJ Atencio and 8990 is a very compelling one. Founded by three friends in 2005, 8990 holdings is a low cost housing company that started out with Php 189M in earnings. With reported earnings of Php 9.7B in 2015, it has since then grown in business by forty two times in the last ten years and a reported 253% in the last four. The question then is how were they able to do this? An Underserved Market in the Philippines’ Affordable Housing Sector As of today, there is a backlog of 5.8M units in the Philippine affordable housing sector and only 250,000 units are made available annually. From here, we can see that the demand highly exceeds the supply.

The challenge to the company then is how to increase the supply of affordable housing units while convincing their target customer base that they should invest in 8990 homes. Knowing Your Customer To be able to address the needs of your customer, you need to know and understand them first. This is precisely what 8990 did. As per their data, the current local population is at 104 million of which 12 million are currently residing in Manila. Most of these people are in their mid-20s with estimated monthly incomes of roughly Php 14,500. Eighty two percent of these are first time buyers of which more than 50 percent are millennials with estimated gross monthly family incomes of Php 35,000 per month. 8990 knew that their customers were young.

They had no experience with home ownership but they were willing to be educated. The company had to show their target customer base that owning a house was not only a form of shelter but also a form of protection and investment for the future. They launched marketing campaigns that showed their target customer base that it was actually feasible for them to own their own homes if they would cut back on other unnecessary expenses. The Business Model: Fast, Cheap and Good The next issue was how to provide low cost, quality housing fast in order to serve the massive backlog in supply. To answer this need, 8990 turned to innovation and technology. They implemented the use of high impact, pre-cast panel walls in the construction of their homes. Think of high impact, pre-cast walls like you would think of really strong but standard puzzle pieces. 8990 made it so that building a house for them was like assembling the same puzzle over and over again. It made for less mistakes, lower material as well as operational costs and faster production time. Currently, the company has the capacity to build 25,000 houses in only 8 days. Building A Profitable Business That Lasts One of the major concerns in affordable housing is the capacity and willingness of the customer to pay. While demand may be high, the risk of payment default is equally as high because of the lower purchasing power of the intended target market. In order to answer this concern, 8990 launched their own financial literacy program where they taught their buyers what, why and how to pay. In conjunction with this, they have their own in house financing that offers buyers longer and sustainable payment terms thereby decreasing chances of payment default. They didn’t stop there. 8990 also implemented behavioural economic tactics where customers who are up to date with their monthly amortizations are rewarded with added benefits such as the use of more amenities. All these efforts combined led to a 96% collection efficiency rating. Looking To The Future, Guided By Vision Today, 8990 is expanding it’s reach by going into projects beyond the traditional, affordable housing business model. They’re building high rise buildings near urban business hubs that serve as “weekday homes” to their clients. They’re also in the process of bundling their clients’ amortizations into bonds and offering it to the public. All these actions are guided by the company’s vision – To make mass housing not about the houses but about the people. 8990 Holdings’ dream is to add value to society by providing low cost, high quality homes as a means to add value to society and, as a result, transform people’s lives for the better. This is definitely a company that proves that as long as you serve your customers well, you will be rewarded.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Anvil Participates in the Joint Meeting of Business Councils

The current Taiwanese government’s Southbound policy greatly coincides and matches with the current Philippine government’s foreign policy of friendlier and closer economic cooperation with its Asian neighbours.
Last October 28, 2016, Anvil Business Club participated in the 23rd Joint Meeting of the Chinese-Philippine Business Council (CPBC) and the Philippine-Chinese Business Council (PCBC) in Taipei, Taiwan. The joint meeting included the participation of various business organisations namely: Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association (CIECA), Makati Business Club (MBC), Taiwan Economic Cultural Office (TECO), Chinese Filipino Business Club (CFBC), New Taipei City Industrial Association, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Taiwan Chamber of Commerce & Industry in the Philippines, Inc.
The meeting was the climax of the four day event which featured visits and plenary sessions on renewable energy, E-commerce and new energy technology. Leading the way was CPBC and CIECA Chairman, Clement Yang, Ambassador Dr. Gary Song-Huannn Lin, Philippines’ Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, PCBC Chairman George Siy and PCCI President George Barcelon. The momentous event was aimed at promoting more active economic cooperation between Taiwan and the Philippines. Numerous companies from both countries arrived and attended the event, mostly from the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector.
Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s push to pivot to south was aimed at expanding its investment opportunities to its Asian neighbours. Visa application to several ASEAN countries has been simplified, requirements and fees have been waived, encouraging more tourists to explore Taiwan. The trade ministry of Taiwan has encouraged trade associations to actively organise joint meetings with its ASEAN neighbours particularly the Philippines.
Taiwan’s E Commerce and Energy Technology
Taiwan’s strength lies in its advancement in technology in information, agriculture and renewable energy particularly for the SME sector. The plenary sessions featured extensive discussions on the development of E-commerce, new energy saving technology adopted by Sharp Solar Solution, technology sophistication in agriculture and fishery by Grobest Group.
The Philippines as Investment Destination
The Philippines on the other hand, led by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and PCCI President George Barcelon, showcased why investors should consider the Philippines. With an average GDP growth of 5.5 to 6.6% for the past 8 years, the rising tiger in Southeast Asia is just about to enter its golden age of infrastructure development. The Duterte administration is firmly resolved in restoring peace and order in the country, increase spending on infrastructures and streamline the cost and process of doing business in the country.
Infrastructure, Tourism and Investment Incentives
The Duterte government is set on increasing the budget for infrastructure spending from 5% to 7% of GDP or about 7 trillion for the next 6 years. Railroads, bridges, airport upgrades and major roads will be developed all over the country that will alleviate the worsening traffic situation and speed up transport of goods and services. The implementation and completion of the projects will encourage tourism development nationwide.
Aside from the focus on eradicating criminality and developing infrastructure, the government has taken bold steps in improving investment climate by reducing corporate income tax and streamlining bureaucracy in business processing for investors. The Philippines can become a solid alternative for industrial locators.
The joint meeting of business councils from both nations provided opportunities for SMEs of both nations to consider expanding trade relations and business partnership with companies in their neighbouring country.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


The Anvil Business Club, represented by its officers, turned over cash donation to the Cagayan Valley government for the immediate rehabilitation of Cagayan which was badly hit by Super Typhoon Lawin (International Name: Typhoon Haima). The typhoon caused massive disruption of electricity and more than one billion pesos damage in agriculture. The Club's donation was formally received by Ms. Mabel Mamba on behalf of his husband, Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba. Special thanks to the Socio-civic Director Henry Kho for spearheading the project, Honorary Chairman Reginald Yu who helped intermediate with the Cagayan government and the members who generously donated to the noble cause.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Market Your Business Like a Pro: Lessons from the Philippines’ Top Marketing Gurus

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It was an exciting evening of learning as more than 100 of Anvil’s members and their guests poured into the Astoria Plaza’s Hampton Room to listen to husband and wife duo, Josiah and Chiqui Go, discuss various topics on marketing. Chiqui, author and co-author of 5 books herself and President of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines, opened the floor for her husband. She presented marketing as the execution of strategy: it is what is put into motion when the gears of value proposition, profit proposition, value chain, and resources and processes are turned. She also offered a framework for execution which dissects a company into 5 parts: structure, system, people, rewards, and leadership. She emphasized the role of HR as the “chief execution officer” when delivering value in terms of coordination, competencies, and commitment. Josiah, the Philippines’ most awarded business educator and sought-after speaker in the areas of marketing and strategy, took the floor. Josiah offered some valuable insights to our members on how to navigate the competitive marketplace:
- Focus on brand relevance before brand differentiation. Brand relevance can be achieved by ensuring that you are satisfying the pain points of existing customers and, more importantly, knowing the pain points of your non-customers.
- Do not think about marketing. Think about value proposition instead: what does your product mean to your consumer?
- Even if you lack the budget, you need to invest in two things: a very compelling value proposition and a very creative campaign. On the latter, you must remember that if the bullet does not kill, save it instead!
- Follow the Logic of Strategy or finding ways to do things differently instead of the Logic of Industry in order to stand out in the marketplace when everyone else is killing each other.
- Once you have a very compelling value proposition, you just need to communicate it. You cannot sell if you do not have awareness.

We are said to be in the Knowledge Age where knowledge and ideas are the main sources of our economic growth; being able to apply knowledge is said to be at the crux of success. This night was indeed an opportunity for Anvil members to obtain that knowledge and be able to apply it to their respective industries and companies. Thank you Josiah and Chiqui for making us all the richer for imparting your wisdom in marketing and business!