Saturday, January 31, 2015


As Club president, I was absolutely delighted to be invited to represent the Association of Young Filipino-Chinese Entrepreneurs (Anvil Business Club) in ANC's "Shoptalk" to discuss the "Characteristics of Filipino-Chinese Entrepreneurs and What Can We Learn From Them."
Hosted by the lovely and engaging Ms. Ria Tanjuatco-Trillo, my segment addressed long-standing public notions about Chinese-Filipinos and how they do business. I opined that many of these so-called "habits" are actually grounded on time-honored Confucian values – goodness, benevolence, harmony and respect for tradition – that have largely defined Tsinoy ethics, which in turn, play an important part of business decisions. Spiritual values and the good of the group outweighed the needs of the individual and his material desires.
I was asked how important is being nurtured in an entrepreneurial environment to the growth of the entrepreneur? I acknowledged that traditionally, Chinese family life and business were intertwined. With the high respect for senior family members, the father headed the business with other relatives filling key management positions. Decision-making was – and still is – centralized, with others following directions to promote the good of the organization. There was little corporate structure since most businesses were small and all family.
Other values I mentioned included the virtue of "saving face" (留面子), which metaphorically means "prestige; honor; reputation;" as well as, "guanxi" (關係), a system of reciprocal relationships with friends and others who become trusted business associates. Filial relationships were respected even if they resulted in lost profits or opportunities.
And while newer generations of Tsinoys are largely Western-educated, it bears repeating that centuries of tradition do not vanish overnight. For Tsinoys, Confucian values blended with Western capitalism have created a business culture that favors a true entrepreneurial spirit, capturing the best of both worlds.
"ShopTalk" is an ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) Current Affair’s show that addresses the concerns of those who want to succeed in business, gain knowledge on real estate, insurance, careers and other money issues. It features budding and established entrepreneurs in and out of the Metro.
My segment is part of the program's overarching theme, "Celebrating the Chinese New Year" episode, which will first air on February 17 at 7:00 p.m. on ANC. Do watch for it!

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