URC coping with new normal

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Gokongwei-owned Universal Robina Corp. (URC) has adjusted to the new normal as it has minimized disruptions in its operations abroad.

URC president and CEO Irwin Lee said that while the past year had been challenging because of COVID-19, the company had been able to adjust and cope with the new normal.

“We’ve minimized both disruptions to our operations and the impact the restrictions and the ensuing downturn have had on our workforce,” Lee said.

URC is now a major multinational company, with its consumer products now on shelves in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, among others.

Among the company’s market leaders abroad are its Fun-O biscuits and Tivoli wafers in Thailand.  Its C2 ready-to-drink brewed tea also remains a top seller in Vietnam.

Lee attributed URC’s strong performance overseas  to distribution networks anchored on their strong ties with retailers.

In Thailand, URC’s subsidiaries directly service 7-Eleven outlets, as well as supermarkets operated by Makro, Tesco Lotus and Big C. The company’s products are also sold by wholesalers and roving sales staff.

URC first ventured abroad in the ‘70s, making its first foray in Hong Kong.

It then opened a factory in Malaysia in the 1980s, the same decade it entered Singapore.

In 1992, the company set foot in Thailand where it now has six production plants and research facilities to sell biscuits, wafers, candies and snacks, both domestically and for export.

In 2002, URC  made its foray in Indonesia where it now has two factories and over 700 employees. In 2004, it expanded to Vietnam, where it now runs five manufacturing facilities with over 1,500 employees.

The company also expanded in Myanmar in 2015, where it produces and sells cookies, crackers and wafers.  URC is also present in China.

“We capitalized on lifted trade barriers to realign capabilities and manufacture products where economies exist,” said Lee.

URC’s products are also exported to the Americas, the European Union, and the Middle East. The company has also extended to Mongolia, East Africa and the Pacific Islands.

The company remains focused on maintaining product quality, even as it ensures ample supply for its customers, wherever they may


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