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Business As Usual

Who is SCPA’s ‘1.5 Boss’ Venjosef Sio?

Euden Valdez - Philstar.com
Who is SCPAâs â1.5 Bossâ Venjosef Sio?
The younger Sio, also called as Sir Ven or VMS, joined SCPA as early as 2001, giving him the chance to drive growth and make an impact, and not just inherit a top position later in his career. He became president in January 2005, and finally, president and CEO this 2021.
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Meet the new gen leader who is charging the company forward into a global future

MANILA, Philippines — For many family-owned businesses, management goes through succession from first generation owners to the next. While this is true for Venjosef Sio, president and CEO of Sanitary Care Products Asia Inc. (SCPA), he did not immediately consider himself as a second-generation leader.

For years, he was what he dubbed as the company’s “1.5 Boss.”

Established in 1996, SCPA is the country’s leading maker of quality paper products and hygiene solutions. Its roster of top-selling brands includes Sanicare, Femme, Cheers, Tisyu and Naturale.

The younger Sio, or Ven, joined the company as early as 2001, giving him the chance to drive growth and make an impact, and not just inherit the top position later in his career.

He became president in January 2005, and finally, president and CEO this 2021.

Rising through the ranks

Reminiscing his journey, Ven Sio shared that the very first major decision he had to make was to join SCPA straight out of college and forego a management training offer at a prestigious bank.

“For me it was luxury because I had the option to join my dad as the founder. I joined in early on so I could make a difference while in other families, the luxury was you could join later (on),” Ven told Philstar.com in an online interview.

His father and SCPA founder Renato Sio immediately saw where Ven could fully utilize his talent. This was to setup SCPA’s first office outside of Metro Manila. Within months after starting as management trainee, he became branch manager at SCPA’s Davao office.

“It felt like a startup to me,” he recounted. “I made analyses and reports. I had a small team but I had to do everything myself and even make sales calls and deliveries.”

Gaining momentum from this experience, Ven became Regional Manager for Visayas and Mindanao. During this period, he was able to further expand SCPA in the regions, opening its offices in Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo City in 2022, in Bacolod City in 2003, and in Cebu in 2004. 

Ven Sio identifies very strongly with the founder experience without taking credit away from his father, SCPA founder Renato Sio, who was both hands-on guiding and training him, as well as running the whole business.
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“I kind of identify as the founder since I joined early enough. The risks that the founder faced, I was also there,” Ven said.

Because of this, he identifies very strongly with the founder experience without taking credit away from his father who was both hands-on guiding and training him, as well as running the whole business.

It was this unique experience that the term Generation 1.5 came to Ven in labeling his beginning at SCPA.

Steering the ship

Indeed, being a 1.5 Boss provided a lot of opportunities to Ven. Not only has it allowed him to contribute greatly in business expansion, it also prepared him for time he finally became a second-generation leader.

But not long after taking the company’s top post in 2005, Ven was faced with a big challenge. In the very same year, their main warehouse and office at Taguig City caught fire from an adjacent explosion in a paint company.

“Unfortunately, the wind was blowing the wrong way, towards our warehouse. It all burned down—our servers, our important documents, our backup files, the machines and raw materials. Thankfully no one got hurt but the warehouse was gutted,” he recalled.

But while it was an unfortunate event, Ven believed it to be a blessing in disguise, leading to many innovations in the company—even the ones he wanted to implement such as Cloud-based servers and automation.

This made SCPA one of the first adapters of Cloud technology in their books and emails. Today, the company has already reached 65%-70% automation in terms of packaging.

The SCPA CEO and president always goes back to the values of the company, which enable them to remain grounded and strong despite everything tragedies such as fire and flood, and even the ongoing global health crisis.
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The tragedy rebuilt the company to be even better than before—and all thanks to the people. “That fire brought out the best in my people. We saw their love,” he said.

This only shows how SCPA continues to be guided by the values that Ven’s parents formed and inculcated in the last two decades: heart for service, Christ-centered principles, passion and accountability.

The present and the future

This year, SCPA marked its 25th year in business, surviving not just the 2005 fire along with other trials, but also the pandemic.

Always, Ven goes back to the values of the company, which enable them to remain grounded and strong despite everything that has happened. In his first address to the company when the global health crisis struck in 2020, he gave a very simple message and mantra, “Don’t let your team down.”

He continued telling them: “We need to have each other, we need to make sure that we are looking out for each other.”

This included even customers and suppliers amid all the supply and delivery issues they faced.

SCPA also made sure that employees were well taken care of, not just in terms of salaries but also through health supplements and protocols, ayuda, transportation services for field workers, and of course, vaccines.

He also noted that their office was already equipped for remote work, since their servers had been on Cloud since the fire. Their automation also ensured production even when the workforce halted.

Through SCPA’s leadership and through the dedication and hard work of the people, Ven is proud and humbled to report that their business will record back-to-back growth—even if small—two years in this pandemic.

“In that respect, I feel blessed but I also feel lucky that I’m in the right business,” he said.

Now, there’s no stopping Ven in dreaming a bigger and better future for SCPA, which is to become a multinational company that is local and homegrown—with brands that are truly innovative and of service to Filipino people.

“It’s a big task, it’s a challenge. This future that we are envisioning, it will require courage. I tell my people, ‘Get ready. It’s an adventure we have to take on,’” he said.

SANICARE

SANITARY CARE PRODUCTS OF ASIA

SCPA

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