The Philippine tobacco industry is not a place for companies who lack strategy and a competitive drive. Many have tried, many have failed. Mostly due to family or financial problems.
Today, the Philippine tobacco industry amass up to P150 Billion per year. It serves as the top source of national government taxes for Philhealth, education and other social services. However, only a few companies are part of the industry’s success and only a few enjoys its perks and privileges.
One of these firm companies is Mighty Corp, the country’s oldest Filipino-owned cigarette manufacturer. The company has been rising in the local market, increasing its market share from 3 percent in 2012 to nearly 20 percent in 2013.
So what made Mighty Corp. the cigarette-manufacturer monster it is today? The company finally shares the secrets behind their overflowing success.
- Anticipate future trends and adjust. Wongchuking said that when he was an assistant sales manager of their company from 1983 to 1985, he noticed the changing fashion in local smoking, as well as how the new tax system was killing the local cigarette segment. So the company decided to adjust to these factors. They developed Virginia-tobacco type cigarettes in 1985,and changed the company and brand name to “Mighty.”
- Preservation is basically harmony. Wongchuking stated that a little harmony between the families in a family business wouldn’t hurt. “If you have family harmony and you can work well together with family members and other people.”
- Succession should be based on meritocracy. Selecting the successor should be based on who is the most qualified. Same with the selection of executives and managers.
- Perseverance. Wongchuking stated that perseverance and a high-degree of patience is needed to attain success. “There should be a high degree of patience and perseverance. It is like courting a girl, a lot of patience is required.”
- Faith. As a devotee of Our Lady of Piat, the Virgin Mary shrine in Cagayan province, Wongchuking said that faith is needed in order to run a company with a proper mindset. “Faith is important to business or the profession, because faith gives you spiritual development and direction. Meaning, faith keeps you cool all the time, whatever happens to our business, profession or life.”
- People. Wongchuking praises the people behind Mighty Corp.’s success, which he describes as “very prudent and very dedicated.” He touched on the importance of taking care of your people in order to strengthen teamwork.
- Filial piety. The Wongchuking family believes in total obedience to parents and family elders. Alex Wongchuking said that one factor behind the company’s success is their firm belief in their 87-year-old mother, Nelia Dy Wongchuking.
- Hard work. Alex said that there is no substitute for hard work. According to him, he and his siblings go beyond the normal eight-hour shift per day. Even spending their weekends on work.
- Innovation. The company always seek to innovate. They modernized their manufacturing equipment for improved quality and increased yield production. Their father also bought a bigger factory in Malolos, Bulacan.
- Philanthropy. The company has always given something to the people as a way of remembering their hardworking, simple-living father, Wong Chu King. Their patriarch had no chance to finish high school or college. As a way of honoring him, the company’s foundation supports educational scholarships for three sets of beneficiaries: the kids of company employees, the kids of non-employees who are deserving students and need help, and also for children of rural tobacco farmers who want to study agriculture in college.
- Humility. Alex believes that humility is one factor to achieve success. “There should be an element of self-denial,” he said.
- Focus. He also believes on the importance of “concentrating on your core business.”
- Have only one family. Alex believes that being loyal and faithful to your spouse is also a factor to achieving success. “Having only one family is crucial for genuine success, because if one has too many families, that is a sure recipe for chaos and for nonstop family quarrels, “he said.
- Destiny. Alex explains his take on “destiny.” He responded, “Destiny is key to success, just like in the Bible. When God called Jeremiah to become a prophet, he said ‘No, I’m a shy person.’ But God said to him, ‘Before you were born, you were already destined to become a prophet.’ It became true, Jeremiah became a good prophet, naging madaldal (he became eloquent). Read the Bible, Jeremiah Chapter 1:4.”