At the forefront: 8990’s President and Coach

- Ardelle T. Merton () - May 5, 2008 - 12:00am

With developments at strategic locations such as Minglanilla, Mactan, Mandaue and Danao, dynamic real esate company 8990 Housing Development Corporation is stretching its boundaries across Cebu by providing homes for the happy Juan de la Cruz through affordable but good-quality Deca Homes.

At the forefront of 8990’s brilliant success is corporate president Januario Jesus Gregorio “JJ” B. Atencio, a real estate dynamo who is naturally - in his words- a builder. His previous career as the chairman of a booming Manila-based company and his position as president and managing partner of 8990 Housing Development Corporation, JJ has clearly found his home in the real estate industry.

That’s quite ironic for this intellectual who had once set his sights on becoming a lawyer. His father was a judge and during the darkest days of martial law, it seemed like the law profession was his calling. After EDSA I, JJ had the opportunity to work in the Senate for six years, which was a fulfilling experience, he tells The FREEMAN, but one that also led him to realize that government work wasn’t truly for him.

Then, by chance, opportunity knocked on JJ’s door. So, armed with his degree in Psychology, which helped him learn to manage people, and his penchant for building things, JJ entered the real estate industry. He started as an executive assistant in a multi-project company in Manila. Then, as with most outstanding, assertive employees, JJ rose the ranks to eventually become the company chairman. But after over a decade with the firm, JJ suddenly felt like he hit a midlife crisis. After bringing the company to success, he felt as though he had already done all he could for the firm, as though there was simply nothing left to overhaul. He decided that it could be time for an early retirement.

But fate intervened again, and another opportunity in real estate came knocking. A Cebu-based fellow member of the Subdivision and Housing Development Association was seeking a competent partner to run a housing and development firm called 8990. With his expertise and work background, JJ aptly eased into the position of corporate president and moved to Cebu.

With the 8990 Housing Development Corporation team, JJ’s leadership philosophy is based on empowering managers, on “letting managers manage”. As the head honcho, he intervenes at strategic points only, though his intervention should not be necessary, he tells us, if all decisions are kept within well-laid policies and SOPs. He believes that his leadership success is based on the amount of time that he is not required to intervene with the managers.

Intervention, however, surely isn’t too often, with a young, energetic and industrious team such as that of 8990. JJ strongly believes in teamwork. More than a president, he is also a coach - he doesn’t play the game, doesn’t do the work but he is responsible for ensuring winning results. And he delivers such results, without fail.

Besides developing organization in the corporate team, JJ shares that another fulfilling part of his job is making the community vibrant and changing people’s lives through quality housing. That is also the most challenging aspect: satisfying the Cebuano’s discriminating taste for good quality housing at an accessible location and at a price that’s value-for-one’s-money. As the Filipino home buyer increasingly demands a secure vision of the future, he or she is certainly getting more quality-conscious, since a house is typically a lifetime proposition.

JJ describes Cebu as a vibrant place, where the housing demand is great but also where the competition is steep for raw lots. Still, together with Pag-Ibig’s steady interest rates, Cebu’s lucrative infrastructure developments and affordable housing such as that of 8990, JJ is optimistic in seeing a continuing boom in Cebu real estate. What does he foresee five years from now in Cebu? He hints at residential condominiums to serve as more mass housing for society.

We can certainly expect that with such a determined corporate team and with a competent president such as JJ, 8990’s success in serving the Cebu society through affordable housing won’t crawl to a halt anytime soon. Luckily for the average Juan, the company shares the similar vision with him: to provide a comfortable home that he can call his very own.

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