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Lifestyle Business

8 success secrets from Jollibee, which aims to be in world’s top 3

BULL MARKET, BULL SHEET - Wilson Lee Flores - The Philippine Star

The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success.  â€” Irving Berlin

Change your thoughts and you change your world.   —Norman Vincent Peale

Jollibee Group is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and targeting opening its historic 800th Jollibee store in the second half of 2013, Jollibee chief operating officer Ernesto “Ato” Tanmantiong said in an exclusive interview with The Philippine STAR. The Burger King chain in the Philippines is also now 54-percent owned by Jollibee, with 29 outlets that will also expand and focus on the more premium market.

If you combined all of the Jollibee group’s other brands such as Chowking, Greenwich and others, at present the company has 2,060 stores throughout the Philippines and they’re planning to hit 2,100 in total by the end of 2013.

Overseas, the Jollibee group has 600 stores and they’re targeting expanding to 150 new stores this year, mostly in the booming China market. Jollibee has acquired two brands in Vietnam: Pho 24 noodles (opening this year in the Philippines) and Highlands Coffee.

What are Jollibee’s success secrets, which even small and medium-sized firms or non-business organizations can learn from? Ato Tanmantiong shared the following:

1. Customer focus — “The market is so dynamic and fast-changing, so we do a lot of research. When Jollibee was small and we had little research funds, we directly asked customers their needs and wants.”

2. Vision — Tanmantiong said, “When we started in 1978, people asked why we didn’t get a US franchise. We already wanted to create our own brand because we didn’t want to be limited to the Philippine market. Since the start, our vision was, first, to become No. 1 in the Philippines; second, to eventually expand overseas. Now our vision is we want to be one of the top three largest and among the most profitable restaurant companies in the world. Again, this is a big dream.”

3. Spirit of family and fun — “Among the Jollibee core values are unity and team work. We have less than 10 family members working at Jollibee group. We now have over 40,000 employees, roughly 4,000 of whom are managers. If you include the other brands, we have maybe more than 60,000 employees.”

4. Good quality — Tanmantiong said that the consistently “superior taste” of Jollibee foods is one success secret of their business. The family’s eldest sister Virgie Tan Chua was the one who started Jollibee spaghetti. When I asked if they had paid her for this recipe, Ato Tanmantiong laughed, saying, “Don’t give her the idea!”

5. Location — Jollibee makes sure that its stores and affiliates are conveniently located.

6. Good partners — Jollibee group has grown phenomenally due to good business partners through its franchising system. Today, 50 percent of Jollibee stores are owned by franchisees. Each franchise now costs about P25 million.

7. Culture — “We make sure the whole organization shares our vision and values, meaning they’re all part of that,” Tanmantiong said. “Our corporate values are excellence, spirit of family and fun, humility to learn and listen, integrity, frugality, respect for the individual, and teamwork. Anybody who is not a fit to all that, we remove from the organization. Our people are more engaged and committed.”

8. Marketing — The overall marketing programs and efforts have contributed to the success of Jollibee, from the brand name, logo, the popular mascot, TV commercials and print ads, to their very own TV show. Their top celebrity endorsers include Aga Muhlach, Sarah Geronimo, Gerald Anderson, Enchong Dee, Kim Chiu, international brand ambassador Jessica Sanchez and the very first endorser of the early 1980s, singer Gary Valenciano.

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Camille Villar studying in Spain

I recently chanced upon self-made realty billionaire Senator Manny Villar and his family having their weekly Sunday lunch at a top Chinese restaurant. More than the recent disclosure of their Vista Land’s record P4.4 billion 2012 net income, he and wife Cynthia Villar told me they were more excited about their only daughter Camille Villar now studying at the prestigious IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Barcelona, Spain. Villar said they’re no longer interested in going back into the banking business, because it’s too long-term to build up a bank.

The Villars said that from January 2013 to Camille’s graduation in May 2014, their daughter is attending business classes at IESE mainly in Spain, but also in New York, Shanghai and Silicon Valley, California. Cynthia, herself a master’s in business administration graduate of New York University’s Stern Business School, said: “A good education is far more valuable than wealth.”

The two other Villar children, Vista Land CEO Manuel Paolo Villar and Las Piñas Congressman Mark Villar, both studied at the University of Pennsylvania.

The couple said that giving children the best education is one way to help ensure that family businesses can last more than three generations. They discovered IESE for Camille a couple of years ago, when their family was invited for one weekend with the world’s other top business families for a seminar. Some of the European families were seven generations already, with the oldest being the C&A retail conglomerate’s Dutch Brenninkmeijer family, which started their business in 1841.  

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BIR to publish top taxpayers, urges more honest payments

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Kim Jacinto-Henares are honest and earnest in helping the government increase tax revenue collections. Henares revealed that the BIR will publish a top taxpayers list in the first week of April.

When asked about the total number of taxpayers out of our 100-million population, Henares said it’s now 11 million individuals paying taxes, but this number should ideally be 20 million, based on their estimates of working-age people here.

To a Western multinational executive’s comment about our high business taxes, Henares responded: “Singapore has a 17 percent gross tax rate, while in the Philippines the gross tax rate is not yet 17 percent. The effective rate is only three to four percent, if based on gross revenues.”

Are the more strict tax collections favoring the biggest firms, especially publicly listed corporations? Henares said, “The biggest firms should not be too aggressive in interpreting the tax laws, because they might be committing tax evasion already.”

When I conveyed the complaint of a famous TV and movie star that the government runs after mostly showbiz celebrities and businessmen, but not generals or top politicos, Henares replied, “We’re going after General Garcia and General Ligot.” When I said those cases were precipitated by their troubles in the US, she responded, “For actresses and actors, they’re easier to catch, because we just watch them on TV, see their billboards, their radio and print ads, we’ll already know their incomes.”

Henares shared that the BIR now has a staff of 12,000, of whom only over 2,000 are auditors. She believes the ideal situation is auditors comprising 80 percent of the BIR staff.

What if businessmen and ordinary citizens have complaints against any erring BIR personnel? Henares said, “Please call my office at 981-8880 to 82.”

* * *

After 12 years as an outstanding principal of Xavier School, the Jesuit Fr. Johnny Go, SJ will next take his doctorate studies at the University of London. He told me this at the blessing of the new Xavier athletics performance center donated by the family of the late Hermogenes Mangasing (Go Dien Huat) of Unicon Wires.

Apart from improving Chinese language education and helping Xavier school Nuvali with the support of the Ayala Group, Fr. Go and other officials successfully solicited donations from some of the Philippines’ top business leaders, who themselves didn’t study at Xavier: Henry Sy Sr., John Gokongwei Jr. and Ramon Ang of San Miguel. Other top donors are car distributor Richard Lee and steelmaker Ben Tiu.

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Thanks for your feedback! E-mail [email protected] or follow WilsonLeeFlores on Twitter, Facebook and http://willsoonflourish.blogspot.com/.

ATO TANMANTIONG

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