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Who will be the next Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines?

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2022 has concluded its search for the country’s most successful and inspiring entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines is a program of the SGV Foundation, Inc. with the participation of co-presenters the Asian Institute of Management, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, and the Philippine Stock Exchange.    

THE SEARCH for the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2022 will conclude with a much-awaited award gala at the Grand Hyatt Manila on Nov. 21.    

This year’s search has identified 18 outstanding entrepreneurs from diverse industries. SGV Foundation President Wilson Tan emphasized the importance of resilience in the face of disruption.    

“The business environment today is filled with immense challenges and opportunities. We have seen new business models, products, processes and services enter the market and become instant sensations. At the same time, we have also seen many businesses and industries struggle to evolve and survive. Yet, in the face of enormous adversity, we believe that the fundamental spirit of Filipino entrepreneurship remains as strong and dynamic as ever,” he said.

Ricardo Abelardo, Jr. took over a small canteen concessionaire with a vision of professionalizing the canteen business in the Philippines. Artemisplus Express, Inc. (Kitchen City) is now a professional food concessionaire business with P1.5 billion in revenue and more than 100 outlets. During the pandemic, he successfully launched Kitchen City Frozen Meals with its own digital platform and delivery fleet. He is now looking to expand into food express and branded food kiosks and extend their geographic reach.

Roberto Chan started trading hardware materials in Binondo, and later took over a PVC pipe manufacturing company that became Atlanta Industries, Inc. Despite many challenges, the company is now one of the country’s leading manufacturers of high-grade PVC/CPVC/HDPE/PPR pipes, fittings and profiles. A prolific inventor, he holds 41 patents for various products.

Allyxon Cua joined Accent Micro Technologies, Inc. (AMTI) as general manager and led its transformation from a single-brand personal computer business into a company offering various international brands and network solutions. Today, AMTI is one of the most dynamic and diverse companies in the local technology landscape and a digital transformation enabler. He is aiming to make AMTI the country’s go-to company for innovative technological solutions.   

Ana de Ocampo sought to fulfill a dream, as a food lover and culinary arts degree holder, when she set up a single corner bakery and café called Wildflour. Now a restaurant group, Wild Flour Bakery + Café Corp. boasts of a roster of successful restaurant concepts. She expanded into delivery options and retail products, resulting in many awards for Wildflour and for herself.    

Jacqueline Jade Gutierrez created and launched BLK Cosmetics, together with Anne Curtis, under Beauty Refinery, Inc. with the goal of providing Filipinos with affordable yet premium-quality makeup products. Despite the challenges during the pandemic, BLK continued to innovate and launch new products. BLK is now among the top five cosmetic brands in online retail and is ranked the 7th biggest cosmetics brand for a nationwide health and beauty chain.    

Raymond Jarina, together with his father and predecessor, expanded INTECO Isuzu Group of Dealerships — the pioneer Isuzu dealer in the Philippines — from a single to six dealerships in northwest Luzon. Now president and chief executive officer (CEO), he has improved the company’s systems with a focus on employees’ professional growth and customer satisfaction. He continues to build the organization into a “family that cares” for all its stakeholders.    

Lisset Laus-Velasco became chairman and CEO of Global Cars Philippines, Inc. (GCPI), the family business, after her father passed away in 2019. She started in sales, and was later involved in finance, operations, servicing and after-sales. Today, she upholds her father’s legacy and measures the success of GCPI by the happiness of its customers and its people.    

Leandro Antonio Leviste set up Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc. to bring solar energy to the country and generate cheaper, more reliable electricity. It has built solar farms in Batangas, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac and is building the world’s first large-scale solar-battery baseload project. He has been recognized as one of Asia’s bright young entrepreneurs by Forbes magazine and is one of the youngest business founders to bring a Philippine company public.   

Robert Lo grew RDF Feed, Livestock & Foods, Inc. from a single poultry farm into a major agri-food enterprise, with modern poultry and swine farms in Pampanga and Tarlac and a chain of meat shops. Learning hard lessons from economic and environmental challenges, as well as past business failures, he is driven by a personal commitment to help sustain food security, support local communities and improve the domestic agriculture sector.   

Francisco Magsaysay started making and selling homemade ice cream from his garage to avoid wasting the oversupply of milk produced by his family’s dairy farm. Since then, Carmen’s Best has become the first artisanal ice cream brand to become a household name and is now distributed through 400 channels and served on multiple airlines.    

Jeffrey Ng started Cathay Land, Inc. with a desire to convert underutilized land into modern suburban communities. Focusing first on developments in Cavite to make it a viable alternative to Manila, he is now looking to replicate this success in Central Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, while advocating laws and measures that help Filipinos own homes and create a conducive business environment for industry players.    

Ibrahim Nuño drew on years of experience as a project manager abroad and a civil engineer at a local bank when he used his retirement pay to start his own construction company, Metro Stonerich Corp. Now, the company is a multibillion-peso business, with a reputation for quality and affordable end-to-end construction solutions.   

George Royeca co-founded DBDOYC, Inc. (Angkas), the Philippines’ first app-based motorcycle ride-hailing platform, in response to the need for public transportation solutions and to legitimize and professionalize motorcycle taxi services. Despite multiple shutdowns, he made Angkas the vehicle for his advocacy for proper laws and regulation, while giving motorcylists a good livelihood. Angkas has received awards for service excellence and digital disruption.   

Aileen Suy and her husband took over a single poultry farm and, through business transformation and expansion, turned Ana’s Breeders Farms, Inc. into a billion-peso business. It is the only fully integrated poultry operation in Davao City. She uses the business to make a difference in the community, contributing to food supply, providing jobs and participating in social projects.     

Steve Sy jumped into e-commerce during its infancy in the Philippines, starting Great Deals E-Commerce Corp. His company is now the leading e-distributor in the Philippines, carrying multinational brands and providing services such as digital content production, customer support, warehousing and fulfillment. Great Deals has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country and in the Asia-Pacific region.     

Maria Francesca Tan, who grew up with a knack for doing business, set up MFT Group of Companies, which provides long-term capital and transformative solutions to promising businesses. It enables businesses through shared services focused on finance, marketing, operations, and business development, among other things. 

Dennis Anthony Uy developed a keen interest in electronics and computer programming while growing up. He started a cable TV company, and later an internet service provider that would become Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. He had the foresight to jump ahead of the competition by being the first in the country to install fiber optic cable lines and offer fiber-to-the-home fixed broadband services to consumers. Converge is now recognized as the fastest-growing fiber internet service provider in the Philippines.   

Antonio Ynoc rose from humble beginnings to open a logistics business, Prime Movers Total Logistics, Inc. The company became a total logistics solution company offering full supply chain services, receiving multiple awards as an outstanding logistics vendor and entrepreneur.

From among these 18 finalists, winners will be recognized for each of these categories: Master Entrepreneur, Emerging Entrepreneur, Small Business Entrepreneur, Woman Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur and Technology Entrepreneur.

From among these winners, one will be named the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2022 and will represent the country at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2023. 

In 2003, the very first Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines award was accorded to Jollibee Foods Corp. President and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong, who went on to become the World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2004.   

Socorro Cancio-Ramos, founder of National Book Store, was named Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines the year after and, followed subsequently by Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Air, Inc.; Senen Bacani, chairman and president of La Frutera, Inc.; Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr., president and CEO of Alaska Milk Corp.; Ambassador Jesus Tambunting, chairman and president of Planters Development Bank; Tennyson Chen, president of Bounty Fresh Foods, Inc.; Erramon I. Aboitiz, president and CEO of Aboitiz Power Corp.; Jaime I. Ayala, founder and CEO, Hybrid Social Solutions, Inc. in 2012; Ben Chan, chairman of the board of Suyen Corp. in 2013; Nix Nolledo, chairman and CEO of Xurpas, Inc. in 2015; Natividad Cheng, chairperson and CEO of Multiflex RNC Philippines, Inc. in 2017; and Benjamin O. Yao, chairman, president and CEO of SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp. in 2019.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year was founded in the United States by professional services firm Ernst & Young in 1986 to recognize the achievements of the most successful and innovative entrepreneurs worldwide.    

In 2001, Ernst & Young expanded the program and launched the World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.  The SGV Foundation, Inc. established the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines program in 2003.     

Media sponsors of the Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2022 are BusinessWorld and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Gold Sponsors are SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., Uratex, and Navegar. Silver Sponsors are Intellicare, OneWorld Alliance Logistics Corp., and Regan Industrial Sales, Inc. Banquet Co-Presenter is PMFTC, Inc. Banquet Sponsors are Uratex, MerryMart Consumer Corp., Robert Blancaflor Group, Inc., International Container Terminal Services, Inc., Joy-Nostalg, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., and Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc.