I just received this from an email and really got inspired. So I decided to share it with you.
The founder of “Mang Inasal”, Edgar Injap Sia, is from Roxas City. His nickname INJAP means Intsik / Japon because his father is Chinese and his mother is Japanese. He opened his first store in December 2003. Mang Inasal now has over 500 stores in the Philippines. In October 2010, 70% of Mang Inasal was acquired by Jollibee Foods Corporation for P3 billion ($68.8 million). Injap continues to manage the chain of stores. He is in his 40′s.
Below is his story/commencement address:
WHEN YOU DREAM, DREAM BIG
It’s Free to Dream anyway!
You know weeks before we opened the very first Mang Inasal branch, my goal then was already to expand it nationwide. In fact I can recall in one of our lunches at home over 8 years ago, I passionately told my wife and my younger sister that one day, they will see a Mang Inasal everywhere they go in the Philippines!
But they just smiled at me, they thought I was just day dreaming!
They didn’t know I was dead serious!
THROW YOUR BIG DREAM FORWARD
Throw it forward, and make it your finish line, then leave it there. Don’t waste your time on always tinkering on your Big Dream; rather spend your time on finding ways how to equip yourself, with what is needed to reach that goal, as soon as possible.
When I was starting out, I have noticed that a lot of people have a very good plan, but they are quite busy just thinking of it, talking about it, and perfecting it, but they don’t act on it fast. So eventually someone else is ahead of them already.
SET YOUR CONTENTMENT LEVEL LOW
Despite setting your dream Big, one must keep his personal contentment level low, so that you may reach it, far earlier than your big dream, because contentment translates to inner happiness.
Some people make the mistake of aligning their Big Dreams with their personal contentment, thus ending up disappointed.
In my case, I can recall, even a year before the acquisition of Mang Inasal, I have already reached my personal contentment, but I continued to work, no longer for personal reasons, but because I wanted to continue to create positive impact on the lives of others.
Wear an imaginary telescope that is permanently zeroed-in to that Big Dream you have set out.
You know along the way you will be bombarded with too many distractions from all angles, but you have to maintain your discipline, to stay on track.
I can remember when I was starting out, after I got the space of the first Mang Inasal in the Carpark building of Robinsons Iloilo, people were already telling me “That is a lousy location!”
Then, when we started to announce that we will grow Mang Inasal to 100 stores in 5 years, and 300 stores in 7 years, people were telling me that it’s impossible.
I listen to them, I consider some, and apply in, but since I am wearing my imaginary telescope I was always still on track, I don’t get distracted.
KNOW THE TERRAIN
In whatever field you wanted to pursue, you must know the terrain, because familiarity of the subject builds up your confidence.
In my case, since I have decided to expand Mang Inasal nationwide, so starting on our 3rd year of operations, I personally travelled the whole Philippines by myself; at one point, for a few years, I travelled to 4 to 5 cities every week, just to be familiar with the Philippine market terrain.
WORK VERY HARD
This one I may say really has no substitute:
For you to excel you really have to work very hard. You have to work more than anybody else around you.
In our first few years, while other people are sipping coffee somewhere else, I was somewhere around the country working hard, doing several things altogether, to maximize my time.
Because in todays’ very mature business landscape, in the first few years of your business penetration you can’t just stay in your office and attend series of meetings to buid up the network, but you need to be in the battlefield yourself.
Then once you have already laid out the foundations around, then you can start hiring professionals to fertilize the network for the business to move up to the next level.
VALUE YOUR FAMILY
When you are so focused on your work, some people take the short cut, of just totally neglecting their family. Managing both is difficult, But it can be done.
So when some people say excuses that they can’t work hard because of their family that you either have to just choose between being successful with work or family that is not true. You can succeed in both if you manage it properly.
So let me take this opportunity to Thank my Parents who have been there to support all my endeavours, my Wife Shella who have been my partner in my early years in business, my younger brother Ferdinand who have always been there to be my sidekick, my younger sister Mariz who is our big baby and is now helping me in managing some of our business ventures.
To my parents-in-law who have been there always.
And my children who have been our stress-busters!
TREAT YOUR MONEY LIKE YOUR BLOOD
You know, money is like human blood; it is best when shared continually. Medical studies have proven that it is healthy to donate a certain quantity of your blood every year, so that your system can create new one.
That is exactly the same as money. You should not wait until you become very rich for you to start helping others.
And same as blood, you can only give a certain quantity, depending on your capacity.
And just like blood, sharing your blessings wisely is important, and you must be a responsible giver. Helping others is not necessarily physically giving that paper money to others, but in a more sustainable way.
I strongly believe in the popular saying, “Give a man a Fish and he eats for 1 Day, Teach a man how to Fish and he eats for the rest of his life.”
Let me share with you how a business can start helping from day 1.
If you go to any Mang Inasal store, the Drop lights that you see in all stores nationwide are made from hand-made paper and hand-made frame that are manufactured by members of a church in Leganes, Iloilo. The church members manufacture them on weekdays; and on weekends, the workplace becomes their place of worship.
To-date since 2003, the Mang Inasal system has already purchased over 9,000 hand-made droplights from them.
So, everybody, the next time you go to any Mang Inasal branch, I hope you will start noticing those hand-made drop lights and remember the story behind them.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW, ASK.
Don’t pretend that you know it even if you don’t.
When I started to do business in Makati talking to investment executives, underwriters, corporate lawyers, and financial advisors, I could not understand so many things; their business language is far more complicated.
So I told them point blank that I am from the province, I grew up in the province, educated in the province, so I don’t understand this and that.
Then I asked, and then I put things together.
Because if you don’t know and you just keep quiet, then you are already pretending as if you know it. And you will never know.
And I have proven, that once we mix together the corporate complexity with common sense that we learned from the streets, we can do a lot better!
DON’T BE AFRAID IF PEOPLE THINK YOUR IDEA IS CRAZY
Because that is where great things come from. In fact, if majority of the people think that your idea is good, that means there is nothing extraordinary in your idea!
To give you some examples:
- When Mr. Henry Sy, Sr. in 1985 decided to build SM City North Edsa at the height of political and economic crisis, people then said it was a crazy idea. But today, SM City North Edsa remains to be one of the top malls in the country!
- When Mr. Tony Tony Tancaktiong in the early 1980s decided to compete with the international fast food chain head-on, people then said it was a crazy idea. But today, Jollibee is one of the largest food companies in Asia!
- When MVP bought PLDT in 1998, assuming the over P34 billion debts of its subsidiary. PILTEL, people then said it was a crazy idea to buy it. But today, PLDT is the most profitable company in the country!
- When Mr. John Gokongwei built Sun cellular, and offered unli text and unli calls, people then said it was a crazy idea. But today, Sun cellular was just recently acquired for a whooping P74 billion!
And so many other stories like that.
But the common denominator is, all great extraordinary success stories today are at one point a crazy idea!
So again, if you have an idea or a plan and if everyone around you seems to agree with you, then it’s time for you to scrap that plan. You have to innovate; you have to think out of the box.
Number 11 ( This one is specifically for us Probinsyanos:)
WE HAVE TO START BREAKING OUR SELF-LIMITATIONS,
And start changing our mindset!
Some specific examples of our self-limitation mindset back here:
Way back in the 1980s when SM Delgado opened here, people were saying, “ahh 6 months lang yan, they can’t sustain it, there’s no market in Iloilo, Ilonggos will just try it, and won’t come back”. But today, after over 25 years, SM Delgado is still around doing great!
Another recent example: A few years ago, people here were saying, “There is no market for condominium in Iloilo”. But in 2009 we built the first condo in Iloilo, the Peoples Condominium, and it did very well! And now, after the completion of People’s Condo, Injap Land is building another Condo project in Gen. Luna Street called The Uptown Place. And we envision it to be one of the most liveable places here in the coming years!
Another example: For decades, people here were saying, “In Iloilo, you can only build up to a maximum of 12 storeys building, because the land is soft.” So it became our popular self-imposed limit here. But I noticed a lot of
hi-rise buildings around the world are built on reclamation areas; and more so in Dubai, they built a hi-rise building right in the middle of the sea!
So after a thorough structural study, Injap Land is now constructing the first ever 21-storey hi-rise building in Iloilo! Injap Tower is envisioned to become a significant landmark building in Iloilo, at the same time giving our fellow ilonggos a prime investment opportunity!
You see, it’s all a matter of Mindset!
We have to start breaking our self-limitations!
And you will discover that being a probinsyano is never a minus, but a plus!
And by the way, not every one of you is meant to be a businessman like me. Each of us has his own unique mission in this world. Some are born to be Leaders; some are born to be Followers. But what is important is that once you finally found it….
Do your Best!
Think differently! ,
And Go against the Tide!
So that you can make the most out of your mission!
And Thank you very much!