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Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) 2016 Philippines

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Twenty of Philippines finest entrepreneurs and business leaders were awarded at the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2016 at an auspicious gala dinner in Dusit Thani Manila, Philippines. Over 300 attendees were present at the by-invitation only event, comprising of industry leaders, leading entrepreneurs, dignitaries and the who’s who of the business world, including, Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn, Chairman of Enterprise Asia, Honorable Congresswoman Gwendolyn F. Gracia, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines and Advisor to Enterprise Asia, and Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia.

The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards also known as APEA, is a regional recognition program organized by Enterprise Asia, the region’s foremost association and think-tank for entrepreneurship. The Awards are presented to a handful of entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific each year, with award ceremonies held in over thirteen countries every year.

The Awards is often compared to the Olympics for the stringent entry criteria and highly competitive judging parameters. The Nominations of the Awards includes a series of selections by-invitation, past and current awardees, supporting trade association or the organizing committee of Enterprise Asia. Nominees are then subjected to a sequence of rigorous tests, including financial verification through an appointed audit firm and a mandatory physical site audit and interview, culminating in a confidential balloting process by Enterprise Asia’s organizing committee.

Awardees are expected to be torchbearers of entrepreneurship and business leaders in their respective countries, and adhere to a strict standard of personal and business ethics.

“We can say with certainty that the recipients of the APEA are like none others. Not only do they have to prove their entrepreneurial skills and experience in one of the toughest contests in the world, they also subject themselves to a pledge to uphold the highest standards of entrepreneurship, which includes allegiance to the two founding pillars of Enterprise Asia, namely Investment in People and Responsible Entrepreneurship”, says Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia.

The final twenty were announced by Enterprise Asia at the awards ceremony in Philippines at the Dusit Thani Manila. Among the recipients were Three outstanding individuals who were the highlight of the night, Mr Henry Sy, Sr, Chairman of SM Investment Corporation who received the iconic Life Time Achievement Award. Mr Edgar Injap Sia II, Chairman and CEO of Doubledragon Properties Corporation and Dr Milagros O. How, Executive Vice President of Universal Harvester, Inc were respectively honoured with the APEA 2016 Philippines Entrepreneur of The Year for their remarkable achievements in their respective industries.

For its 3rd year, the APEA has recognized business leaders of Philippines as the drivers and backbone of Philippines’s economy. The recipients were selected from among 80 shortlisted candidates, ranging from talented young entrepreneurs to experienced industrialists. It is through this recognition program that Enterprise Asia hopes to continue and encourage to stimulate economic growth throughout the region.

Mr Ng explained, “The APEA is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship. Beyond recognizing the efforts of these entrepreneurs, we hope to encourage them to continue taking their businesses to the next level, and in the process, providing more job opportunities to the people in the region, and help to drive the economy forward”.

The twenty deserving individuals were awarded under the APEA 2016 Winners and Special Categories representing various Enterprises and focus areas.

RECIPIENT LIST OF ASIA PACIFIC ENTREPRNEURSHIP AWARDS 2016 PHILIPPINES

Special Category – Lifetime Achievement Award

Henry Sy, Sr., Chairman – SM Investment Corporation

Special Category – Entrepreneur of the Year

Edgar Injap Sia II, Chairman & CEO – Doubledragon Properties Corporation
Property Development Industry

Special Category – Entrepreneur of the Year

Dr. Milagros O. How, Executive Vice President – Universal Harvester, Inc.
Agriculture Industry

APEA 2016 Winners

Takashi Sumi, President & CEO – Atlas Fertilizer Corporation
Agriculture Industry

Maria Estela O. Nievera, President and CEO –  Cabalen Management Co., Inc
Hospitality, Food Service & Tourism Industry

Lim Kok Hin, President & CEO – Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc
Industrial & Commercial Products Industry

Ricardo R. Chua, President & CEO – China Bank Corporation
Financial Services Industry

Aftab Ahmed, CEO – Citibank.
Financial Services Industry

Harold Thomas Pernikar, Jr, Group Director- Concepcion Industrial Corporation
Industrial & Commercial Products Industry

Beverly Morales Dayanan, Founder, CEO & President – Contempo Property Holdings Inc.
Property Development Industry

Nikki Tang, CEO – DMark Corporation
Trading & Wholesaling Industry

Jing S. Lagandaon, COO – Globallink MP Events International Inc.
Professional & Business Services Industry

Robert G. Hayes, Country Manager, Philippines – LizardBear Tasking Inc.
Professional & Business Services Industry

Dante M. Abando, President – Makati Development Corporation
Construction Industry

Joseph Elton T. Salimbangon, President & Co-Founder – Organique Inc
Food & Beverage Inustry

Eulalio B.Austin Jr, President & CEO – Philex Mining Corporation
Mining Industry

Roland C. Delantar, President & CEO – RCD Land Inc.
Property Devepolment Industry

Roman Felipe S. Reyes, Chairman – Reyes Tacandong & Co.
Profssional & Business Service Industry

Dr Henry Lim Bon Liong, Chairman & CEO – SL Agritech Corporation
Agriculture Industry

Rizalina G. Mantaring, President & CEO – Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc.
Financial Services Industry

Callum Connects

Trung Nguyen, Founder & Managing Director of Advertising Vietnam

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Having initial success with his first start up in the ad industry, Trung Nguyen went on to start other ventures in the ad world in Vietnam. He now has the largest agency community in Vietnam.

What’s your story?
Three years ago I got my first job in the advertising industry. I worked for a local agency in town, and I fell in love with the creative industry. In June 2015, I founded Agency Life Community in Vietnam. It quickly became the most engaging community in the ad industry. The main content focuses on entertainment. After six months we had over 30,000 organic followers, now we have 120,000 followers.

Because the industry had been good to me, I decided I had to something for the industry to help the industry be better. So, I opened http://AdvertisingVietnam.com – a creative industry ad site which keeps advertising informative, creative and inspiring.

After more than a year in the ads industry in Vietnam, I figured the industry needed a better solution for the recruitment of good staff. Given I own the largest advertising community platform, why don’t I utilise Agency Life to help connect talent with ad agencies. So, I founded job site, AdJob.Asia in January 2017.

What excites you most about your industry?
The ad industry is a creative one with very passionate people who are always challenging themselves. The exciting part for creatives, in the morning they might be working on a baby brand and in the afternoon they are answering a beer brief. There is so much diversity. Every day is the new journey.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I am Vietnamese.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Thailand. The Thais are the kings of the creative industry in SEA. Thai ads are very smart and creative.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Do what you love.

Who inspires you?
My friend, mentor and partner Mr Nghi Nguyen, founder of BrandsVietnam.com. We started our businesses at a similar time. He doesn’t see us as a competitor but rather, he believes that we share the same passion and we are working to provide better knowledge for the ad community.
Mr Nghi also guided me a lot when I first opened the business. I am inspired by his vision to make our marketing industry better.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Our business is a startup company and as a founder I do everything from operations, business development, planning and strategy. However, this is not the good way grow our business. You have to share the workload – find a co-founder or hire a great employee to help share the workload. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Quit my full time job sooner.
During the first year of running my business, I was still working as an ad manager for an agency. However I lacked focus at work due to the overload of work and it affected the company I used to work for. I strongly recommend people who have an idea to start their own business, quit their job early on and focus 100% on it from the get go!

How do you unwind?
Play with my cat.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love to travel throughout all of Asia. I enjoy new places and meeting new people.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Carpenter: A story about the greatest success strategies of all.

Shameless plug for your business:
AdvertisingVietnam.com is a site where you can quickly update yourself on the advertising news in Vietnam. We have 15,000 unique monthly readers who are professional people in the advertising and communications industries.

The Agency Life, https://www.facebook.com/agencylife is largest agency community in Vietnam. This is the right place for ad agencies to share their creative work.

AdJob.Asia now has more than 160 agencies in Vietnam who use our services. We are a leading recruitment service for the advertising industry in Vietnam.

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trungnx26
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trungnx26/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Entrepreneurship

Women on Top in Tech – Minette Navarrete, Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, and President of Kickstart Ventures

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Here is our interview with Minette Navarrete, Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman, and President of Kickstart Ventures. Kickstart is an investment firm that funds early-stage digital startups, providing capital, incubation and mentoring, and market access.  Minette has held CEO/COO positions in various industries, ranging from Philippine startups to iconic multinationals.

What makes you do what you do?
I’m keenly interested in innovation and ecosystem development, and committed to contributing to nation-building. I love that my job combines all of that, and allows me to leverage all my past experiences into a new role that creates value for founders and fund-providers alike.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?
Counter-intuitively! I don’t have a background in tech; nor do I have a long history of venture investing. My skill sets are in strategy, general management, and marketing; and my experience has largely been in innovation and business turnaround. But I have a broad range of work experience (FMCG, apparel, property, and online game publishing in a startup), and that has helped inform my views. More than anything, though, Kickstart has made this progress because of the trust of our principals, and the initiative of a wonderful team. Truly, people make the difference.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
All throughout my career, I’ve only taken on difficult roles. There’s little growth in a role that is easy; and the challenges are what makes a role worth doing.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?
I’ve had the benefit of a number of good mentors through my career.

How did you make a match if you and how did you end up being mentored by him/her?
First off: I have had both male and female mentors. Generally, I’ve met mentors in work situations: i.e. they started out being an immediate superior, or being on my Board of Directors. The close work association evolved as both sides found the experience productive, intellectually satisfying, and fun.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?
Mostly through the same process: nothing compares to actually working together. That said, with more and more experience, I think people develop a sharper instinct about talent, and the potential for development. It’s also important to build the relationship over time, and to invest in actively supporting talent by both seeing things through their eyes as well as helping them find other lenses with which to view the situation they find themselves in.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?
Yes, we care about diversity, although the primary filter for Kickstart is always ability and performance. Many studies have shown that diverse teams are closely correlated to better results; and given the kind of work we do, it’s important that we all sharpen our ability to deal with varied types of people and situations.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
It’s important to be trustworthy, especially given that venture investing deals with the highest-risk asset class. Trust is earned through competence, diligence, honesty, clarity, and courage.

Advice for others?
I say this a lot: Build strong foundations. Be clear about your values, principles, and priorities. Volunteer for the toughest jobs. Do the unsexy stuff. And work with conviction, commitment, courage, and honour. None of this is particularly glamorous, and they don’t deliver instantaneous results, but the value-creation is real, authentic, and sustainable over a longer period.


If you’d like to get in touch with Minette Navarrete, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/minettenavarrete/

To learn more about Kickstart Ventures , please click here.

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