Finding success in Filipino endearment

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Filipinos enjoying one another’s company over food and Pepsi-Cola products

“The kind of success I’m looking for is when someone says ‘Pepsi’, it comes with a bright smile,” said Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) Independent Director Rafael Moreno Alunan III.

Asked in 2007 by then Chairman Micky Yong to join the PCPPI Board, Mr. Alunan accepted the invitation because of its global reputation and fond memories he had of the brand when he was young.

“I accepted Micky’s invitation to join the PCPPI board as an independent director because it was a prestigious company known for good corporate governance worldwide and producer of quality products, from beverages to snacks,” he said. “Moreover, I had a personal affinity for Pepsi.”

“First, from a personal it was already my favorite drink in my younger years when I lived in Bacolod. There, the brand was number one. Second, my son and I were in a Pepsi Christmas TV ad that was chosen as the best Christmas ad in the late ‘70s. It was directed by Jun Urbano who later became a famous comedian on TV known as Mr. Shooli.”

“As PCPPI endeavored to get itself publicly listed, the board set the tone for management to improve its bottling and distribution operations, expand the company’s non-carbonated beverage lineup and strove to transform our company culture,” he said.

It was clear early on to Mr. Alunan that the success Pepsi aspired for rested on two arms: a strong company culture based on clearly defined values and persistent improvement across the entire business chain. PCPPI upholds important values that guides the company and its employees — passion, excellence, professionalism, service and integrity.

Company culture steers everyone onward

Rafael Moreno Alunan III

“It’s about unity of purpose, solidarity with corporate goals and targets, all-around teamwork, and professionalism. The board sets the tone for professional conduct and provides clear business directions while management executes policies and plans to build the business and constantly improve shareholder and stakeholder value.”

Mr. Alunan noted that transforming the company’s competitiveness requires taking care of its employees’ growth and development to instill a culture of performance excellence and teamwork.

A desirable culture, according to him, is a mindset that strives to achieve the company’s productivity, quality, integrity, compliance and competitiveness targets year-on-year.

“There has been a big change since I came to the company — our employees are now more cohesive and mission-focused. They routinely surpass their annual operating targets. We’ve been able to overcome challenges to our business by moving as one. Consequently, their morale and fighting spirit steadily produced profitable outcomes at the end of each fiscal year,” he said.

Public service is serving the public quality products as good corporate citizens

Although the primary benchmark of success for any company is profitability, Mr. Alunan maintains that there are other yardsticks that measure an organization’s progress and development such as: measures of time, quality, cost and effectiveness and customer satisfaction.

“We derive financial, operational, and governance standards from our principal shareholders, Lotte and Pepsi International, as well as from the beverage industry,” he stressed. “For example: just in time inventory, cost control, distribution, target market penetration, market share, fiduciary responsibility, transparency, accountability and regulatory compliance.”

Apart from producing and delivering excellent quality products to the public, Mr. Alunan says that PCPPI must be a good corporate citizen, too. “Giving back to the community is crucial because they take care of us. For example, we draw our employee force from our communities and our customers’ loyalty keeps us competitive. That’s why we reciprocate by looking after their needs. An example is providing potable or purified water to poor communities because water is life and life depends on good health.”

Through the years PCPPI has undertaken social responsibility projects that are integral to their operations — e.g., school feeding programs and water supply projects for indigent communities — apart from ensuring consistent product quality and affordable products.

“We want our customers to see that we’re doing everything within our power to constantly build our value chain,” Mr. Alunan said. “Ultimately, Pepsi’s brands should be endearing to the public, brands closest to their hearts that bring a smile to their faces as they line up for more. That’s the ultimate benchmark.”