Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The ‘Wil’ to win

Ask Go Negosyo - Column by Joey Concepcion (Philippine Star Business Section)

If you are not careful in the negosyo world, a smaller player, who is hungrier and more passionate with an improved business model and better product or service, can change the game. Before you know it, you have just lost the market.

There are stories of underdogs beating market leaders. We mentioned in earlier columns the story of Mang Inasal eating into the market of Jollibee, forcing them to buy Mang Inasal. Our very own Cosmos and Selecta brands are clear examples of underdogs who beat market leaders in the soft drinks and ice cream industry. Similarly, brands like Mekeni and CDO hotdogs, Champion detergent and so many others tell the same story.

Competition does bring out the best in people. It helps us strive to always find ways to reinvent ourselves. Keeping the fire and passion is the key.

Even in the entertainment world, the story of Willie Revillame is quite interesting. It has been about a year now since we met. He invested in a venture I started with my friend Boy Reyno. It was initially challenging to introduce him to groups that come from different social backgrounds. In the end, it turned out quite well. In fact, his introduction to Boy Reyno, who is also a top lawyer who provides legal guidance, eventually came in handy. I remember mentioning to Willie, as I invited him to the group, that you will never know when one of your partners will come to your rescue. At that time, he still had a perfect relationship with ABS-CBN.

Months after, his relationship with ABS started to deteriorate. I just read in the papers that Boy Reyno became Willie’s lawyer and successfully negotiated a deal with TV5. I personally thought that it was a risky move. But, I guess he had no choice, as his future was at stake. The longer he was out of TV, the faster people will forget about him.

From the short time that I got to know Willie, I can say that he is a survivor. Coming from a difficult background, he has a high adversity quotient who knows how to bounce back. He knows his business. Willie clearly has the passion, perseverance and persistence to succeed. He understands his market quite well.

Willie’s show challenges the high-rating shows of ABS-CBN and GMA7. The news programs during primetime are one of the highest rating shows on television. Placing a game show up against news programs is definitely a game changer. Atty. Gozon, who is a trustee and a good friend of Go Negosyo and who propelled the growth of GMA7 when he took over, will definitely not just sit down and watch.

But, I have to say -- Willie knows and understands his market well. He has the passion to be the best in his skills. He also has the strength in building his own brand, which is his name. These are the factors that determine the success and failure of many entrepreneurs. Yes, Willie is an entrepreneur. He also negotiated to be a co-producer of his own show in TV5.

Another game changer is the entry of his new co-host Shalani Soledad, who is of course the former girlfriend of PNoy. What a marketing coup! From nowhere, that “Aha!” idea comes at the best timing. It draws national attention, because everyone wants to know who she is as she has been a mystery to many. For that alone, the ratings will hit the roof. I congratulated Willie for an excellent choice.

I share this story, as the advocacy of Go Negosyo has shown me how many entrepreneurs in this country succeed. Sheer passion, determination and hard work are critical. But, then again, it is always important to strive to be the best in what you do. Always want to do better. This is what we call “reinvention and improvement of business model”. Keep having those “Aha!” moments. Think of new ideas to improve your business model.

The underdog Willie reminds me of other countless entrepreneurs who share the same triumphant experience. The next weeks will be interesting, as the battle of the networks keeps on getting more exciting.

* * * * * * *

Congratulations to our Go Negosyo trustee Myla Villanueva for being recognized as one of “The Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service”. Myla, who is also the Managing Director of MDI Group of Holdings, represented the information and communications technology industry. Congratulations Myla and your Go Negosyo family is proud of you.

We would also like to congratulate Cathy and Mike Turvill. Their Nurture Spa Village in Tagaytay was recently nominated at the Asia Spa Baccarat Awards as Destination Spa of the Year and Spa Retreat of the Year. Your Go Negosyo family wishes you luck. The Turvills would also like to invite everyone to vote for the Philippine Entry to the BBC World Challenge 2010. Our country’s entry is AIDFO – a social enterprise based in Bacolod that shares a technology that brings water to communities. Let us show our support by voting online and sharing this link to our family and friends (http://www.theworldchallenge.co.uk/2010-finalists-project08.php).

The rest of the year is also a very busy time for more of our Go Negosyo entrepreneurs. Tintin Babao will be opening “The Grand Global Exporters and Importers Advanced Christmas Bazaar” on Nov. 17-21 in the World Trade Center. On Nov. 20 at 2-6pm, Go Negosyo will be presenting a live talk show on how to find the right negosyo opportunity. Other Go Negosyo entreps will be there to share their stories and tips.

The husband-and-wife teams of RJ & Vanessa Ledesma, Anton & Rache Diaz, and Gary & Janice Villanueva will also be launching “Mercato Centrale” on Nov. 21. It will be an ongoing weekend lifestyle market at Bonifacio Global City that will provide unique food and an extensive selection of healthy and organic options. It will also serve as an “Entrepreneurship Incubator” for food entrepreneurs, culinary students and student entrepreneurs. The incubator program will include a lecture series, group and/or one-on-one mentorship programs and similar mentor-related activities. Student groups who apply with the approval of their school will get stalls at a discounted rate. For those who are interested to reserve a stall at MERCATO CENTRALE, contact Rache at 09175318949 or rachediaz@gmail.com.

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