The high profile thinking of being rich is associated with Overseas Foreign Workers in their own community, this belief will only be true when one invests and benefits from these investments.
For years, continued government assisted trainings through OFW related government agencies such as the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA on-line program), Commission on Filipino Overseas and the Philippine Embassies abroad with the active participation of various Filipino community organizations have been offering trainings purposely meant for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families. Topics usually discussed include insights and tips on basic entrepreneurship including business planning, financing procedures, franchising, stock acquisitions, and Real Estate Investing.
“How many times have we heard sad stories of OFWs who returned to the country without any savings?” Hard-earned money sometimes sadly amounts to nothing in the end. Training modules and financial literacy programs will have no bearing unless OFWs are willing to equip themselves with knowhow, skills and act decisively so they can use or invest their hard-earned money wisely.
However, not all OFW stories end up miserably, participants from the latest business forum the author attended a few days ago shared their entrepreneurial stories and kept him and all the attendees stay-put in their seats.
The business forum was attended by his Excellency the Philippine Ambassador of Qatar, Cresente Relacion who gave his congratulatory message and commendations to the member of the group behind the organizing of the Philippine Business Council. It was held at the Crown Plaza Business Park & Hotel on February 09, 2015. The good Ambassador gave an inside scoop about the Philippine economy and how it would stand-high amongst Southeast Asian countries in the near future. Despite the fact that the good Ambassador would be leaving the country at the end of his term, his service to his fellow countrymen especially the help and benefits he extended to the Filipino community in Qatar will always be remembered.
|Photo credit to Balitang Q|
One advantage of doing business in the Philippines is that it gives OFWs a buffer to any uncertainty in their place of work abroad. However, the author thinks that budding entrepreneurs have to consider the present outlook of the prime movers and shakers of the economy such as the present decline of prices of oil & gas derivatives worldwide which has quite an enormous effect on the financial operations of the oil & gas sectors (producers, operators, engineering service providers, materials & equipment suppliers, shipping & land transport industries, and the banking sector who finance their projects). With all these uncertain developments, the job security of OFWs worldwide will surely have a domino effect if worst comes to worst. This particular input thrown by the author received mixed reactions from the panelist as well as from the audience but the situation feel like it is a worthwhile point to consider when doing business.
The council's Attorney General, Atty. Cheryl Grace Montealegre was tasked to moderate the panel discussion which was composed of the council's Chairman, Mr. Gregorio Loayan, the council's Director of Finance, Mr. Derrick Tusi, the President of PICPA Qatar and the council's Vice Chairman, Mr. Lyndon Magsino. Mr. Magsino guided attendees on how to do business in the Philippines and talked about the operations of his clothing and accessories business. He gave tips on how to run a profitable real estate business, the likes of his Bakasyonista Hostel which offers accommodation to foreigners as well as local tourists.
During the Q&A, Qatar-based OFW, Engineer Fidel Escurel asked about the possibility of franchising a business in the Philippines. Mr. Derrick Tusi responded by giving attendees an idea about how it works, adding that it is more affordable and buyable because of the fact that the operational procedures are already in place, modules are already tested and proven and it gives revenue to the franchisee over time. The franchisee will run the business on a day-to-day operation while the franchisor supplies all the materials such as products, produce, etc. whilst monitoring procedures and the quality of the services offered.
Engineer Escurel who invested his hard-earned money into the hospitality industry of Boracay Island also shared about his business operations. His business venture, one of the leading accommodation providers in Boracay Island, Escurel Inn, offers affordable rates but their services offered can rival that of big and well known hotel brands situated in the island. Moreover, his condo-rental business in Metro Manila equally gives him decent revenues and unlimited source of passive income for his family in the Philippines.
|Photo credit to Balitang Q|
The network tables were abuzz when participants grouped themselves in order to discuss their own upcoming business and plans on how to upgrade their current business ventures into the next level. Some newbie participants ventured from one table to another to get ideas about their subject projects and collated various ideas to serve as guides to what business is suited for them.
One highlighted topic during the network table discussions is when Ms. Jehan Daud Gandamra, an employee of one of the healthcare providers in Qatar shared her own study about her plans of putting up a legit “halal” compliant business in the Philippines. Her research on the business already took her to Malaysia in search of suited technologies and procedures associated to the business she envisioned, accordingly she already discussed her plan to some Qatari business persons whom she said that a possible partnership is now underway.
A lot of people were probably thinking “How come it took so long for someone to organize something like this (Philippine Business Council?)”. But in the end, the business forum went well as planned and as a parting note, the organizing team said: “This forum was really conceptualized for our OFWs compatriots and their families. So we really ensured that every aspect of the event - from the program to the network table, is focused on them. We want the forum to be really worthwhile, educational and inspirational for all of us,” said Mr. Gregorio Loayan, the Chairman of the Philippine Business Council, who is also an OFW himself and a staunch supporter of the program.