Lifestyle Business

Success secrets of Tambunting pawnshop chain since 1896

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

He conquers who endures.  â€” Roman poet Persius

Congratulations to the Tambunting family led by its respected eldest patriarch, 86-year-old Atty. Jose “Joseling” Tambunting. and his younger brother Ambassador Jesus Tambunting for their outstanding leadership of the P52.7 billion Planters Bank, making it the country’s largest private development bank, and especially for becoming the top  bank in supporting small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

Led by chairman Hans Sy of the Henry Sy family, vice-chairman Gilbert Dee and president Peter SyCip Dee, China Banking Corporation will be acquiring majority control of Planters Bank in a major consolidation move.

The Tambunting family was also partner with the Puyat family in the former Manila Bank. When the Tambuntings sold their shares in Manila Bank, Metrobank boss George S. K. Ty then asked Atty. Jose Tambunting why, and the latter replied: “It’s hard to have a partner.” Soon after, the Tambuntings founded Planters Bank.

One of the enduring family businesses in the country, the Philippines’ oldest Tambunting pawnshop chain with over 1,000 branches has flourished for over a century. The original surname of the clan was “Tan,” but the spelling became Tambunting when a forebear’s first name was combined.

The founder of the famous and respected pawnshop was the grandfather of Atty. Jose Tambunting and Ambassador Jesus Tambunting, the visionary entrepreneur and community leader Don Ildefonso Cosiam Tan Bunting. He was a son of a Chinese immigrant from Fujian, China.

Although the pawnshop’s website and outlets say the chain was established in 1906, Atty. Jose Tambunting said he saw some records showing that their grandfather had actually established their first pawnshop in Manila’s Divisoria area in 1896.

Asked about the Tambunting family’s business success secrets for over a century, Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Foundation, Inc. past president Atty. Jose Tambunting said in an exclusive interview: “No secrets there, just our family’s persistence, consistency, hard work and vision. You must have a vision, many people talk about those but without hard work, nothing…”

His late father Antonio L. Tambunting’s advice to him was: “Hard work, patience, be consistent, because when you go to the office every day, you will get bored, so the most important is persistence in this kind of business.”

His grandfather Don Ildefonso’s advice to the family was: “Love and remember our ancestors so you will be blessed. We should not forget our heritage.”

As former associate of the once prestigious and largest law firm headed by Senator Claro M. Recto, what advice does Jose Tambunting have for family inheritance planning? He said: “You must plan for the future. Don’t leave a will, the will is no good. In estate proceedings, the whole world can come in, your neighbors, creditors, people who claim to be illegitimate children, etc., often imbento lang (fictitious only). When I was young as a lawyer in the Recto law office, I handled two wills… Do estate planning ahead, even if you’re just in your 40s.”

The fourth-generation Tambuntings now helping run the pawnshops and other businesses are 45-year-old Miguel Tambunting, the 40-year-old Victor Tambunting and 30-year-old Jose “Joey” Tambunting, Jr. 

What are the longevity secrets of the billionaire Atty. Jose Tambunting? He smiled, saying: “Exercise regularly, no womanizing and God’s blessing because it all eventually depends on God. After all, we cannot do anything (unless) it is God’s will.”

Tips on how to save money

How can people save money, when incomes often do not seem enough? One of the biggest challenges of entrepreneurs, professionals and even for millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is how to save money — not just how to increase our incomes. This is one of the frequent questions people ask me via e-mail or social media, or when I am invited as a guest speaker. Let me share some tips on how to better save money, whatever is your income level.

Set aside first your target savings. Batangas Governor Vilma Santos Recto shared with me her successful strategy for saving money, which is to first set aside her target savings, then leave the rest of her income to be budgeted to cover her expenses. She pointed out the common mistake of many people, which is to spend first, and then to save only what is needed from monthly incomes.

Lessen unnecessary debts. One of the weaknesses of people in our society is the habit of borrowing money, often even ahead of paychecks or expected income. We should ideally borrow money only for essential expenditures, such as the education of kids, health care emergencies, building, repairing a home, or for good investments.

Do not borrow money for useless expenses, and especially avoid usurious loans at too-high interest rates. A loan should help and empower us, not enslave us financially!

List down and study expenses. Whenever I get to travel abroad, I realize that one way for me to lessen my expenses is to keep all the receipts and have a piece of folded paper in my pocket to list down every expense no matter how small. It is one interesting way to monitor and be conscious of one’s spending, whether it’s already too much or just plain unnecessary.

Cut down unnecessary costs. After listing down all our expenses and analyzing it, it will be easier for us to cut down or totally stop certain expenses. Do you spend too much on expensive coffee, or other luxuries?

In the Marcos era when I was a kid, I remember newspaper cartoons before about a character called Asiong Aksaya and his wasteful ways which were discouraged through a media campaign. Cut down expenses, cut away wastes — and save.

Invest in real estate. I learned one of the effective ways to force myself to save earnings and cash, instead of depleting them, is to invest in real estate. Buy a townhouse, a house, a condominium or vacant lot whether using cash, installment amortizations or through a bank loan; then one’s incomes now and in the future will be invested in property, which has proven to be a solid long-term investment.

Another advantage: it isn’t easy to just sell any real estate property, so we or our family members won’t be easily tempted to squander away money at will.

Seek advice from experts for tax planning. Take time to seek professional advice on how to wisely plan our taxes, whether as entrepreneurs or professionals, because there are legal ways to minimize taxes which are legal and ethical.

Compare before renewing insurance. It is ideal for us to ask around and compare insurance rates for our home, vehicles and business every year, in order to get the best deal in terms of good value as well as good reliability of insurers.

Change lights to LEDs. Philippine STAR reader and businesswoman Jane Ty said that Lemnis LED light bulbs developed by Dutch technology is one example of LED lights that can help us save energy and thus cut down on our electricity bills. She said even our government plans to install LED lights, which can also help save our world’s natural environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Do not buy in tingi or small volumes. One thing unique about the Philippines is our consumer phenomenon of buying tingi, literally meaning “retail” or in small quantities whether it’s the Philip Morris cigarettes sold per stick on the streets or grocery items.

Things bought in tingi or small volumes like sachets are actually much more expensive, so try to buy in larger quantities or volumes to save money. Government and mass media should help educate the public on this.

Pay with cash more. Do you feel it’s so much easier and tempting to spend with just the swipe of a credit card? It’s true. Studies abroad have shown that people tend to spend less if paying with cash, rather than credit cards. Make no mistake, I’m not against credit cards, in fact, I have several and am satisfied with the Philippines’ credit cards for my convenience.

Let us wisely use our credit cards. In some establishments, like restaurants or shops, paying them cash will often give us five to 10 percent discounts on our bills.

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










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