The 2022 Philippines Entrepreneur of the Year has concluded its search for the country’s most fearless and unstoppable entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines is a program of the SGV Foundation, Inc., with the participation of co-presenters from the Asian Institute of Management, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Business for Social Progress and the Philippine Stock Exchange. Business world will feature each finalist for the Philippines 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year ahead of the awards ceremony on November 21.
Owner and Chief Operating Officer
Ana’s Breeders Farms, Inc.
FOR Aileen Suy, Owner and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ana’s Breeders Farms, Inc. (ABFI), entrepreneurship has always been her dream.
Born to entrepreneurial parents, Ms. Suy was exposed to the nuances of running a business from an early age. She spent her summers behind boxes, tending to her parents’ grocery store in Mati City, Davao Oriental.
Ms. Suy studied to become a medical professional at Davao Doctors College, hoping to one day raise enough capital for her own business. She saw education as a means to an end, a fallback if things went wrong. But going into business has always been the end goal. Even as Ms. Suy was revising for her licensing exams, she practiced her entrepreneurial skills by helping a friend run an electrical and lighting store. It was something that came naturally to her and something she really enjoyed doing.
To this day, she channels her enthusiasm for business by being a hands-on leader, overseeing ABFI’s operations as COO. When she and her husband Jonathan took over Ana’s Poultry Farm from her husband’s parents in 2004, it was primarily a contract breeder for large food producers. However, realizing that the contracts were unfavorable due to difficult conditions and deadlines, she and her husband decided to reorganize the business into an independent broiler farm.
Ms. Suy led the establishment of the company’s organizational structure to ensure that the business would continue to operate with the proper guidance from qualified professionals. She expanded the size of operations, which ultimately allowed ABFI to become the only fully integrated poultry operation in Davao City – from its breeding farms, hatchery and broiler farms, up to its operation as a clothing factory.
ABFI is now a billion peso company that produces about 12 million eggs and 8.5 million chicks a year. It also regularly meets food safety certifications which ensure that its products are consistently produced and controlled to quality standards.
Ms. Suy always sees opportunities in times of crisis. In the face of problems, she always finds solutions, many of which have led ABFI to branch out into new interrelated businesses. Her sister companies were all born out of Ms. Suy’s innovative approaches to tackling challenges. Through ABFI’s integrated and efficient operations, Ms. Suy ensures that the company continues to add value to its products and operations. “Nothing is lost,” she said.
ABFI relies on Subzero for cold storage. The company uses excess meat to make processed foods such as sausages, hot dogs, bacon, longanisa, and chicken nuggets. Animal waste is also used efficiently. For example, feathers are processed into nutritious animal feed, animal by-products are used to power a biogas plant, which in turn provides electricity and energy to farms. The company also converts animal manure into organic fertilizer used for its dragon fruit farms.
Another highlight of Ms. Suy’s story is how she has kept the business afloat even in difficult financial times. She avoided laying off employees who had been loyal to the company despite slow production due to farm capacity limitations, and again during the pandemic when sales dropped drastically due to economic conditions and problems. of logistics. To continue operations during the pandemic, ABFI provided employees with food and accommodation. While other companies were making layoffs, ABFI was hiring new workers. Despite the challenges and sometimes even operating at a loss during the pandemic, Ms. Suy has been able to maintain her operations in order to save jobs.
Now that the economy is reopening, ABFI has scaled up its operations and used its workforce to ensure its effectiveness. Ms. Suy said that ABFI is always able to overcome challenges thanks to the very good team that embodies the company’s core values of adaptability, boldness, focus and innovation.
Regarding her vision for the future, Ms. Suy said that as a food supplier, she wanted to ensure that ABFI meets the growing demand for food products in the country while helping to create a quality of life for Filipinos. She said the company continues to prioritize distributing products to wet markets and grocery stores where ABFI products are readily available. Ms. Suy also plans to develop more food products and expand her business in the Visayas region. She noted the importance of price stability and adequate supply in the market to protect consumers against price volatility and possible shortages.
Food security, Ms. Suy said, should be at the top of the government’s priority list to ensure that Filipinos have an adequate food supply and access to quality produce at a fair price.
Ms. Suy believes in making a difference in the community. In addition to providing enough food, it also ensures the availability of jobs, provides drinking water sources in areas where public services are scarce, and participates in social projects, such as the annual Brigada Eskuwela programs where the ABFI distributes bags with school supplies. She uses her abilities and resources as an entrepreneur to uplift people in the community and support their dreams as well.
Ms. Suy defines success not by the absence of failure, but by her ability to overcome challenges along the way. She believes failures are simply challenges that build character and are the key to growth. Just because you fail doesn’t mean you have to lose all hope, she says. Rather, one should use these experiences as stepping stones to fuel one’s passion on the journey to becoming the best version of oneself.
The media sponsors of the Philippines 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year are Business world and the ABS-CBN news channel. Gold sponsors are SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., Uratex and Navegar. Silver sponsors are Intellicare, OneWorld Alliance Logistics Corp. and Regan Industrial Sales, Inc. Banquet co-presenter is PMFTC, Inc. Banquet sponsors are Uratex, MerryMart Consumer Corp., Robert Blancaflor Group, Inc., International Container Terminal Services, Inc., Joy~Nostalg and Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc.
The winners of Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2022 will be announced on November 21 at an awards banquet at the Grand Hyatt Manila. The Philippines Entrepreneur of the Year will represent the country at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2023. The Entrepreneur Of The Year program is produced globally by Ernst & Young (EY).
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