Eng Bee Tin Success Story

Winning by innovating, this is, I think is one of the most important prerequisite of success in business. There is a company I know that “broadcast” the word ” innovative “ but do not actually do it. For instance, the former company I’m working with have a quality policy phrase of “to be innovative” posted everywhere even in the back of the employees ID card, but up to now they are doing the same thing over and over again. I’m also asking myself – why is this happening? Being a European based company with all the resources and technology but very slow in progress. “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result” was defined by Albert Einstein as “Insanity”. Funny, because it was now being beaten by a Filipino competitor who was a former employee of that company who now supplies the same semiconductor bonding tools to semicon companies like Amkor and TI. So it’s obvious that the management has a big responsibility of a business success. Instead of thinking how to innovate and improve their product and sales, they always resort to retrenching and denying quality training to their employees. And when I ask the plant manager why? The reason is the employees will leave anyway so it’s better to train the managers instead of the employees. I can say these things because I also came from that company. So where is leadership? Where is innovation? ( Helloooooo!!!)

So much for that, now back to main issue. Many Filipinos are fond of eating hopia. It’s a Chinese delicacy introduced by the Chinese. And the prominent one is Eng Bee Tin which is now owned and managed by Gerry Chua. Little did we know how it became successful despite the many trials and hardships that Eng Bee Tin went through. It was started 80 years ago by Chua Chiu Hong on Ongpin Street in Chinatown. It became popular for it’s hopia although most of its competitor are slowing down. But despite of that, the business went down in the long run being quality as the main problem. Gerry was a third generation Filipino Chinese which took over the business in 1980 after his father Benito. Along with the problems and debt which he inherited he strived to make their business to survive. Up to the point that he was unable to loan a longer credit terms from banks and friends and cannot pay for additional workers.

But luckily, a friend gave him a needed shot on his business by giving him loan which helped him just to survive. And you know what catapulted his business? An Idea! There was a saying that ‘being in a right place at the right time’. One day when he was in a grocery store he asks the sales lady what ice cream flavor was selling well. The answer was ube flavor. Then suddenly he got this idea in introducing ube flavored hopia. Although his idea is great, it was ignored by the customers because mongo and hopiang baboy were the ones usually bought. Until it was featured in a Cory Quirino TV show which then gave it a boom! Sales went up after that. So now we know the importance of advertising and marketing. I believe in this saying “if nobody sees you, you don’t exist”.

Now Eng Bee Tin manufactures thousands of hopia everyday distributed nationwide and exported to Japan, Hong kong, U.S.A., Australia, France, England, Malaysia, Korea and Saudi Arabia. For a long time, Gerry Chua’s family business was burdened with debts and losing out to competition. Instead of giving up, his innovative thinking by introducing unique flavors took Eng Bee Tin out of the despair.

And finally the bottom line. Every entrepreneur should not be afraid to make mistakes because it’s part of learning. The more mistakes, the more we learn by avoiding it but one should keep learning to reduce those chances of creating mistakes. There is no “free-size” solutions to all problems in business and should be dealt with differently from each other.

[tag]hopia,eng bee tin,ube[/tag]