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09 February 2016 - The Philippine Consulate General in New York hosted a Seminar on Franchising and Business Opportunities in the Philippines for Balikbayans on February 01 at the Kalayaan Hall of the New York Philippine Center. The seminar was led by Professor Enrique M. Soriano, a noted book author and columnist in the Philippines, whose varied past occupations have also included being the Chairman of Eastwood City, First President of Travelers International (Resorts World), Head of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Chairman of the Marketing Com Phil. Retirement Inc., Group CEO of Belo Medical Group and CEO of Medsonix Philippines.   

The evening’s program began with a short briefing presentation by Ms. Rowena Sy-Santos, Co-Executive Director of the Bagong Kulturang Pinoy (BKP), who explained to the audience her organization’s services and advocacy where Filipino immigrants sponsor and fund libraries and bring books from the U.S. to rural areas in the Philippines.

Deputy Consul General Kira Christianne Danganan-Azucena welcomed the participants and briefly spoke about the emergence of the Philippine economy in recent years due to a platform combining good governance and the institution of sound macroeconomic fundamentals. Then, as she introduced the program speaker, she pointed out the importance of the seminar for many “Overseas Filipinos who are ever so mindful of our country’s situation as not a few of us continue to support family members and friends back home.  There is wisdom in finding business opportunities for ourselves and our family members in our golden years.  As 2016 is a Presidential election year, Overseas Filipinos should take their duty to vote seriously and choose leaders who can continue reforms and provide a stable economic environment,” she added. 

In his presentation, Prof. Soriano stressed the importance of creating your own compelling story when it came to initiating successful and productive private businesses.  He discussed how knowledge was a valuable equalizer in all successful businesses and cited the examples of lucrative food/drug franchises based in the Philippines which have now expanded to different locations throughout the country and even to global locations in North America, Europe and the Middle East, including Jollibee, Julie’s Bakeshop, Mini-Stop, Generika Drugstore, and Mr. Softy, all of which are affordable and recognizable brands beginning at P500k investment. 


Prof. Soriano also shared his experiences working with some of the most prolific business tycoons in the Philippines, including Henry Sy, Sr., John Gokongwei, Jr., and Andrew Tan, and how he acquired much practical knowledge in business management from working with them. 

He further illustrated valuable lesson points in franchising, specifically the need for focus, hiring and paying the right people, efficient customer service, aggressive yet prudent financial discipline, brand investment, powerful value propositions, tenacity and executional excellence. 

Audience members were given a chance to share their views and to inquire more on franchising and business opportunities with Prof. Soriano during the program’s question-and-answer portion.  Consul Felipe Carino, director of the economic section, then awarded Prof. Soriano with a Certificate of Appreciation for serving as the evening’s resource speaker.

This seminar is one of the first public service events regularly conducted by the Consulate General throughout the year in cooperation with and for the benefit of the local community. END