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Philippine Marketing Association 2006 Agora Youth Awards

From dog food to sugarcane juice 'Average student' who prefers getting clients than job offers
is RP's top young marketing whiz.


AT 21, Roslyn Chua confesses she has "not won anything" in her life, not even a raffle prize. She also has a habit of dousing every hot praise. "I'm just an average student from an average family."
The graduating student of Ateneo de Manila University, however, is big on hot ideas. And these ideas are what made her stand out among more than 100 other students all over the country who vied for the recently held 2006 Agora Youth Awards mounted by the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA), the umbrella organization of marketing practitioners in the country. The awards, which recognizes the best and the brightest marketing students and organizations today, was held at the Crowne Plaza in Ortigas Center, Pasig City last March 3.
Roslyn, a BS Management major with a minor on Entrepreneurship, was named Valedictorian among seven national winners for breezing her way through case studies-from dog food to a local portal. Her income-generating marketing strategy for Yehey.com to facilitate online payment transactions for government agencies clinched her the title.


Quizzed by one of the judges if dealing with government is such a bad idea considering the bureaucracy and corruption, Roslyn says she replied: "But somebody's got to do it anyway."
Not like the "average student" who constantly tugs at daddy's purse strings for baon, Roslyn knows this early how to make one's own money and be at the mercy of bureaucracy. Like many young people who have chosen the path of the self-employed, she had suffered the long wait and the long walks back and forth government office buildings to set up a company she can call her own.
At 21, Roslyn single-handedly negotiated with a group of Singaporeans for the buyout of a million-peso sugarcane juice producer, later incorporated as Healthlifestyle, Inc. Barely two months old, her company now leases machines and supplies sugarcane juice straight out of farms in Pampanga and Batangas to nine big restaurants.


"I am the company's entire value chain-from the farm, to delivery, to marketing and PR," Roslyn says. "I befriend all the waiters and provide marketing collateral support to my clients." And in between juggling work and school, she hones her marketing skills by attending workshops and joining competitions such as the Agora Youth Awards.


When Awards guest speaker Butch Jimenez, head of media and strategic communications of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, spoke of having a strong work ethic, Roslyn nodded in full agreement. "I am no stranger to hard work, having a dad who started his office and school supplies business when he was still a working student." She considers her father, Rosendo Chua, as her role model and "my financier," while mother Edilyn is her biggest fan.


Winning the plum title in the Agora Youth Awards "meant we are being recognized, not for the good things we did, but for our potential to do great," Roslyn says in her acceptance speech. At this point, she says she would prefer "getting customers than job offers" as she plans to focus on growing her start-up beverage company after graduation.


Roslyn now joins a long roster of winners since the Agora Youth Awards began in 1991. The awards, formerly called the TOMAS-TOSMA (Ten Outstanding Marketing Students and Three Outstanding Students Marketing Association), was inspired by the prestigious Agora Awards that select the best among marketing professionals and academes. To date, the Agora Youth Awards has already recognized over 100 outstanding marketing students nationwide.


Jojo Ajero, PMA vice-president for youth and academe and marketing manager of Chowking Foods Corp., the "Marketing Company of the Year" in last year's Agora Award for Marketing Excellence, says the competition "challenged young marketing students to become world-class marketers."


Aside from Roslyn, other national winners were: Reynaldo P. Gabunada Jr. and Maria Kris Ann A. Llanes, both from Ateneo; Joseph Albert R. Buddahim from the University of the Philippines-Diliman; Ysabella P. Cainglet and Michelle V. Grejaldo from the University of the Philippines-Visayas; and AR B. Polinar from New Era University. National finalists were: Jocno V. Nabor from Central Luzon State University, Stephen V. Fajardo from Mindanao State University-IIT, Vivien Betsy B. Fuentebella from Southville Foreign Colleges, and Nathaniel K. Sy from Chiang Kai Shek College.


Recognized as having the best student marketing organizations were: the Ateneo de Manila University, UP-Diliman, San Beda College, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, and the Marketing Society, Inc. of UP Visayas.


This year's judges were: Emerico de Guzman, president of Personnel Management Association of the Philippines; Tomas Banguis, president of the Philippine Marketing Association; Donald Lim, president and CEO of Yehey.com; Jade Tulio, vice-president for marketing of HBC; Wennifer Chan, VP for marketing of Nestle Ice Cream; and Cindy Banaria, assistant vice-president for sales of Nestle Ice Cream. National winners received cash prizes and trophies.

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