Friday, June 1, 2007

Business break in

When heavy rains come in the afternoons, traffic becomes surreal. Last Tuesday, it took us two hours to drive from Pacific Star Building in Makati Avenue to Greenhills Malls along Ortigas Avenue, a mere five kilometer stretch, because of stalled cars, road accidents and flash floods along the way.

My son didn't want to be late for his flight to Singapore so we decided to leave Sta. Mesa early and be somewhere near the airport. We found ourselves in Greenbelt. We were in our Singapore smart casual (read flipflops, shorts and t-shirt). We noticed that even at three-thirty in the afternoon, Greenbelt 3 is teeming with people, mostly from nearby offices. One thing that struck me is that Filipinos really love to dress up. It was steaming hot, yet people wore their Sunday best or, in office parlance, meeting-with-a-client attire. A lot of the guys wore long-sleeve shirt or barong. The ladies had their blazer on with matching bag and high-heels.

No wonder those stores and eating places were doing brisk business. Location. Location. Location. There are the same business establishments in several other malls, but at Ayala Malls, business is always good.

One of our favorite stores is Hobbes because they sell all these exciting board games like Dirty Minds, Poker, Upwords, Pictionary, Cranium and Scene-it among others. During heavy traffic situations, family or friends get-together or during lunch breaks at work, these games help pep up the atmosphere.

To my pleasant surprise, I noticed that not all those beautifully packaged board games are imported. Some are made here, particularly the ones with Eureka brand. My son, Ronjie, led me to their website and I found the following information.

13 P.M. Enterprises owns the Eureka brand and is into manufacturing and selling of quality leisure, educational, and learning toys and games to export agents, import representatives, wholesalers and retailers who cater to the leisure, educational, and learning toys and games needs of their young and adult clients/customers. They have been in business for 25 years now.

Some of their products are Chess Set, Chess Set Deluxe, Chessmen and Brain Twister, all fun and educational games for the young and the young once. These products came from the innovative and resourceful minds of husband-and-wife team of Pacito "Chito" and Zenaida MadroƱo.

These games are not original ideas, as in never seen before. The creative couple simply tweaked popular games like Scrabble and Bogle, added a different component here and there, and voila! we now have Crossword Game Plus and Word Factory. They have patented their products so copycats need to be even more creative.

Very interesting. As soon as I am back from the ASTD Conference & Expo in Atlanta, GeorgiaLas Vegas, Nevada, I would interview the couple and visit their factory or the mini factories of their subcontractors. and the SHRM Conference in This is another tweak of their original business model. Instead of them manufacturing, they have subcontracted production of parts of their products to other mom-and-pop SMEs to spread the good word of private enterprise and also to spread the wealth around. Good business sense.

BTW, what has happened to the Game of the Generals?

SHRM 2007. The Society for Human Resource Management is holding their 59th Annual Conference and Exposition on June 24-27, 2007 in Las Vegas. It presents a very comprehensive and relevant professional development programs and guarantees to improve knowledge, skills and abilities of HR professionals. One of the four keynote speakers is Lance Armstrong. There is a new educational track—Innovation, which will focus on new and inventive ways of thinking. For details, go to

Indeed, we need innovation in order to break in to the challenging world of enterprise and be globally competitive. Innovation doesn't mean inventing a new wheel; it is reinventing the wheel.


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