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NCR MSME Success Stories

Aging's Food Delight Brings Kakanin To Life

Kakanin, is derived from the word kanin, and means prepared rice is one of the most beloved and cultural desserts of the Filipinos and Aging’s Food Delights brings these kakanins to life through their unique and tasty products.

Aging's Food Delight 1

Aging’s Food Delights started in 2013, where only the entrepreneur Ms. Agapita Mercado and her husband Gregorio Mercado worked for the business. “Nagsimula kami ng kaming dalawa lang ng asawa ko na gumagawa ng kakanin doon sa lamesang yun.” (We started with just the two us making kakanin on that table), say Ms. Mercado while pointing to a corner with a small table. Now the business employs 4-8 workers and has over 15 different types of kakanin products.

Ms. Agapita is thankful for the assistance of DTI and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) which helped her business grow. Through their offered seminars and consultations she was able to learn proper food handling and safety. She also learned simple cooking techniques which extend the shelf-life of her products through their assistance.

The DTI and CITEM also helped her business grow by inviting Agapita’s Food Delights to participate in trade fairs. Ms. Agapita was able to significantly expand her market by participating in the International Food Exhibit (IFEX) and National Food Fair.

With her success, Ms. Agapita is also trying to share her blessing from the success of her business by employing single moms and unemployed housewives. “Masarap sa pakiramdam na nakakatulong ka sa tao, lalo na kung nakikita mong may determinasyon at pagsisikap sa buhay.” (It feels great to help people who are determined and make an effort in life) says Ms. Agapito.

Aging's Food Delight 2

She also keeps up with recent times and tries to expand her line of products while not going far away from her source of success which are kakanins. She now offers a new line of products called Tastes of Summer which are shakes with topped or hint of kakanins.

Now she is currently trying to expand her business by looking into putting up branches in other locations. “Tumitingin kami ngayon sa mga ibang lugar na pwedeng pagtayuan namin ng branch. Gusto ko rin na involved talaga ako dahil importante sakin na mapanatili ang kalidad ng produkto. Yun kasi ang binabalik-balikan sa amin.” (We are now looking into other places where we can put our branch. I really want that I’m involved because it’s important that we maintain the quality. That’s the reason why are customers keep coming back) says Ms. Agapito when asked for her future plans.

 

Handmade PVC Molded Success

John Carlo Creations 1 John Carlo Creations 2
John Carlo Creations 3 John Carlo Creations 4

Back in 2003, Mr. Carlos Yu established John Carlo Creations, a bag manufacturing business which specializes in using PVC (polyvinyl chloride) molds to produce their famous molded bags. They are the sole and pioneer manufacturer of PVC molds in the country.

Mr. Yu an entrepreneur with 30 years of experience first started to go in business when a friend has given him an idea to produce thermoplastic molds to improve the quality of molded bags instead of using the traditional paper-mâché molds with wire at the edges. “I was given an opportunity to go into business and saw the potential of thermoplastic molds. With continuous innovation we were able to develop our current PVC molds”, says Mr. Yu when asked on his beginnings.

In his business journey of ups and downs, he is grateful to the assistance of DTI and of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). “I am thankful for the efforts of DTI on encouraging and helping our business and our fellow small entrepreneurs”, comments Mr. Yu. They were assisted on product promotion through free participation to trade fairs. They were also exposed to international market through international fairs.

Now the business is able to produce around 50-60 bags a day and employs 20-25 workers during off and peak season respectively. They have also accumulated more than 500 shapes of PVC molds in their course of business. “Mabilis kami magproduce ng sample. Bukod sa kalidad ng mga produkto namin, isa yun sa gusto sa amin ng mga kliyente.” (“We are fast in producing samples. Aside from the quality of our products, this is one trait that is liked by our customers”), says Mr. Yu. They are regular suppliers in malls and boutique stores while their international markets include USA, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific.

Mr. Yu envisions his company to be stable and prosperous in the future. He plans to continue to share his success to others. As an entrepreneur Mr. Yu believes in doing his share of social responsibility to give back. Mr. Yu also advices future entrepreneurs that there is importance to have no fear in exploring and being a risk taker, coupled with faith in God who is the source of everything and shared this proverb, “In everything you do, put God first. He will direct your path and crown your effort with success. –Proverbs 3:6”.

Triumph Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TEMCO)

The Triumph Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TEMCO), a cooperative with more than a hundred members, merely owned 13 sewing facilities way back in 2009. But it was in the year 2011 when they started to sew goods such as undergarments (panties and bras) and scrub suit uniforms as additional to their existing water refilling station business enterprise.

Triumph Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative 1

In 2012, they ventured in producing eco bags, baby dresses and bags and in 2013 and 2014, they expanded their bag designs that range from bag packs, sling bags, and lady bags. But with only 13 machines for sewing, TEMCO was having a hard time in complying with bulk orders. At one time they were forced to decline two consecutive orders—(1) 17,000 eco bag orders and (2) 48,000 tote bags given that they have many operators yet few sewing machines which cannot meet that kind of large demand.

TEMCO has diverse products yet can only produce limited volume of each provided the production capacity of their 13 aged sewing machines within 12 hours of operation. With their aspiration to enhance their business enterprise, they opt to seek assistance through the Shared Service Facilities (SSFs) project of the DTI. With the help of DTI the Cooperative was granted on July 2, 2015 a total of eleven machines specialized in sewing and aiding in their operations.

Due to the assistance they were able to further expand their product lines on t-shirt making and made to order logo for these shirts. They are also able to cater diverse designs based on customers’ demand. It also made them possible to reduce operating expense since the new facilities/equipment does not yet require technician fee to repair broken machine while having an increase in volume of production. With these additional machines, their production output increased. Now, they already have 20 hi-speed machines: 10 machines are used for operation while the remaining is used for finished products.

Triumph Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative 2

Nevertheless, workers and volunteers of TEMCO described the benefit they received from the SSF. Ms. Carmencita Batcho, a Board of Director and volunteer worker, expressed how the SSF improved their production output for creating patterns and design on textiles. In terms of expertise and exposures, SSF allowed workers of TEMCO to increase their knowledge and skills in the production of bags, garments and undergarments since new machines implies newer specifications and a different way of equipment operation.

Triumph Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative 3

TEMCO did not fail to remember the socio-economic objective as they continue to cater entrepreneurs of adjacent barangays and nearby cities of Taguig City and help out-of-school-youths (OSY) of the community by giving them the opportunity to generate their own income by sewing TEMCO’s products.

Bamboo Can Do

Triumph Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative 4

One day, while browsing the internet for answers, he came across the Cottage Industry Technology Center (CITC) after following links from several write-ups, blogs and the DTI website. This unknown office, situated in an unfamiliar place and providing unusual services soon became his second home.

There is a place like home

Dondi Fajardo is an engineer who worked with the Energy Development Corporation. When he retired early in 2005, he spent his separation pay to buy a sugarcane farm in Tuy, Batangas. Together with his wife, Jeanne, they established Escovado Trading. They sell their harvest to millers who turned them to sugar. Escovado itself also processed some of their sugarcane into juice. Their business was doing well but Dondi never stops spotting for opportunities. He was aware of the bamboo which also grows in abundance in their farm. Like an inventor whose motto is “Problem leads to invention”, the question, “What can be done with these bamboos?” lingered in his mind and waited for a solution.

One day, while browsing the internet for answers, he came across the Cottage Industry Technology Center (CITC) after following links from several write-ups, blogs and the DTI website. This unknown office, situated in an unfamiliar place and providing unusual services soon became his second home.

Bamboo101. The beginning

Wasting no time, he visited CITC where he learned about the many potentials of bamboo. He also learned about the Center’s MSME development services particularly its SSF program. SSF, which stands for Shared Service Facilities, provides start-up and existing MSMEs with well-equipped production venues. CITC supports this with the necessary capability building and technical assistance, if necessary. Dondi knew that Escovado Trading, the engineered bamboo (e-bamboo) producer, was born the moment he left CITC that day.

Escovado acquired CITC designed and fabricated primary bamboo processing equipment such as a pole cutter and a twin rip saw. It was installed in his farm in Batangas where four CITC-trained workers and Dondi himself, processed bamboo slats. These slats were delivered and processed further to planks in a workshop in Marikina which he uses under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with CITC. They then sold the planks to Trojan Marketing, a supplier of writing tablets to the LGU of Muntinlupa for their DepEd-designed armchairs.

But Dondi wanted to do more. He envisioned his company to be known in the industry as the leading producer of quality e-bamboo products. He attended the DTI-organized Bamboo Congress 2012 which expanded his network and opened his eyes to more opportunities in the world of bamboo. A few months later, he put-up All aBout Kawayan 101 (ABK 101) Corporation after closing down Escovado to concentrate on bamboo. ABK 101, according to Dondi represents “the beginning”.

As sweet as sugar

Guided by CITC experts, ABK 101 was able to prototype their own product designs. One of these, a chair with a high backrest, was judged as the Most Innovative Product in the 2013 Sikap Pinoy

National Handicraft Fair. Impressed Miles Ahead Corporation, a handicraft manufacturer/exporter offered to bring some of ABK’s new prototypes to Manila Furnishings and Apparel Manufacturers' Exchange (F.A.M.E). Dondi agreed despite the short notice.

The project consumed huge quantity of slats but the company’s stock was ready. Earlier, Dondi acquired a 3-in-1 machine (jointer/thicknesser/circular saw) and a jointer planer following CITC specifications to beef up his slats production. He knew that it takes time to process or source slats, the main raw materials for most e-bamboo products. He must have a head start in case big or rush orders come in. His instinct was right and the Manila F.A.M.E. exposure resulted to orders.

His initial successes in the design and manufacturing field convinced Dondi that bamboo is really the grass of hope. The fame and fortune that it can bring him is as sweet as or maybe even sweeter than sugar.

Success is in the eye of the beholder

Dondi’s company is on the right track. He already had invested on machineries, product design / prototyping, training of workers, and a bamboo nursery using his earnings from his young business. And with CITC on his side, ABK 101 is certainly ready for the bigger fight ahead.

In 2014, CITC was abolished and transferred its functions and assets to the DTI. From then on DTI-NCRO continues to provide assistance to the company.

The company now provides direct employment to six workers and a handful of farmers. It will give more jobs once its bamboo cultivars are ready to be planted in many areas in Batangas. Even more jobs will be created when its new products are ready for the production line. In 2015, ABK 101’s value of goods processed using DTI’s SSF was estimated at PHP 500,000,00. It is not an impressive figure to many. But Dondi has an on-going battle against global warming by using and planting bamboo. It provides jobs that feed the families of his employees at least 3 times a day. These are enough reasons to make him feel like the most successful entrepreneur in the world.

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