Hope you don’t mind the cutesy title. I just wanted to share with you about a small entrepreneur who made it big in shoe business. I mean small because he is literally “small” as in midget ( no pun intended ). His name is Aurelio Dagdag and he is the general manager (I think he is also one of the owner because based on the story I read it was a family business) of J.A.C. footwear located in Marikina City. He was also featured by Mel and Joey show in GMA network but you will know more about him if you read the Entrepreneur magazine. Despite of his limitations he made it big in this industry with many challenges. To tell more about him, I’ll just make a summary of his life based on what I read.
When he was still in his school years, his father was selling sweepstakes ticket in Pasay City along Libertad. I remember that place because I used to buy shoes in Cartimar. Maybe I saw his father’s sweepstakes store then but didn’t bother much because I don’t buy sweepstakes tickets. It’s a good thing that his father have saved some money because when lotto was introduced here in the Philippines, the business of selling sweepstakes ticket came to an end. It looks like an I’ll luck but it was more of a blessing in disguise because they decided to became a supplier of slippers because the place where they formerly sell tickets are surrounded by stalls that sells slippers which paved the way for the shoe manufacturing business for his family. They started with 100,000 pesos capital which her mother diligently saved over the years.
It wasn’t easy and have accoutered many rough roads, so to speak. But they were still lucky to continue in that business. Because based on statistics, starting entrepreneurs or those who started business have only 18% survival. Meaning only 18 out of 100 survived or are surviving. A sad fact indeed. And maybe his limitation helped him in his entrepreneurial mission because his appearance will definitely have a hard time seeking employment specially in the kind of society we lived in. You know, like age discrimination and appearance. When you read some job posting it is normal when you see such as: age should not be more than 25 years old with pleasing personality etc. etc.
Like for example, when the flooding if china made shoes which occurs in early year 2000, many factories in Marikina closed shop and it was so bad that business owners and their family seeked employment to other shoe manufacturers. There were 100 out of 2,000 business that only exist at present and don’t know if it will continue to decrease. I guess he have no choice but to stick with his business and make the best out of it. Despite of his limitations, obstacles like working hard to earn respect from his colleagues and managing a highly competitive business, he made it big. I just remembered what a german cyclist said and I hope I remember it right: “It’s only us who limits ourselves, we create our own limitations.”