Friday, June 02, 2006

A Success Story from PBSP-CVED Visayas


"Unsa'y muagi (na pagkaon) sa kamot ni Lola, molami jud na; unsa'y moagi sa kamot ni Mama, lami jud na." says Hedelisa Bautista-Ares, proprietor of TIENDA BOHOLANA based in Totolan, Dauis, Bohol. From the name itself, one can deduce that the business produces genuine Bohol-made products, and that is 18 kinds of baked products in Tienda Boholana's case. It ranges from pasalubong varieties to Bohol-made delicacies. Tienda Boholana, is a label coined by her father in 1988, back whenthe business had been managed by her mother, Estella. One of their products, the famous Peanut Crunch, was even named after her in 1977.

The business had been passed through generations of a food-loving family. Hedelisa herself inherited the business when her mother died in 1992. It had woven not only the Bautista's family's penchant for cooking but also the lives of those who had sustained it, back when cooking was simply a hobby, which later evolved as a business. Cooking served as a quilt that pieced together the lives of the people who had been part of Tienda Boholana for the last 16 years, bearing witness to marriages, births and significant events of those who had worked with them. It encompasses the history and lives of the Bautista's family as well as the love and hopes of the people that surrounds it.

In 1995, Hedelisa would have given all that up at a time when the market went down and her passion for cooking had faded, to the point that she cannot even stand the sight of flour. For her, continuing the business when she had no reason became a dilemma. But the long line of their family's penchant for cooking won out. With so many families working most of their lives living off Tienda Boholana's productivity, giving up due to lack of passion for cooking was too lame an excuse, even for Hedelisa. It was like putting off the embers of hope of those working withTienda Boholana just because she lost the fire herself.

Slowly, she wormed herway through a solution. Opportunity came. She was on the right track, it seems. Through a two-day entrepreneurship seminar spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry in Tagbilaran City in November 2004, Hedelisa was informed about CVED (Corporate Volunteers for Enterprise Development), an enterprise development program of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP). There she learned about the ways of how small and medium scaleindustries can be assisted through the CVED program. Ways that ranged from developing market and some strategies, improving organization and its operations and strengthening financial management so business becomes ready and competitive.

It was a perfect timing. Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) , a private institution which aims to promote business sector commitment to social development partnered with the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) and the Canadian International for Development Agency (CIDA), established CVED in 2002 and thereon has been helping micro and small enterprises by engaging the skills and expertise of a Filipino Volunteer Adviser (VA).

PBSP undertook the task of helping Hedelisa's sleepy business when shecame to them, sending her a Volunteer Adviser (VA) who later taught her the dynamics of effectively managing and marketing her business.For Hedelisa, working with Margaret Gravador, the Volunteer Adviser assigned to her, was like going back to school. Being taught about the aspects of marketing the product, packaging, pricing, dressing up their display area made her realize that there are indeed innovative and creative ways in bringing her product to the market. Re-packaging her business was one factor in the rebirth of Tienda Boholana.

As she later learned from her continuous advises with Marge, these were some component that she needed in order to successfully compete in the market. They also utilized advertising to improve their product's marketability, such as putting up one page advertisements in the Bohol Daily Chronicle.

In the end of it all, Hedelisa was able to bring back most ofher grandmother and parents' regular customers who had slowly trickled in number a few years back, and in the process had bridged one generation to another. This time she is confident that she is bridging the yesteryears humble effort and the hope that the future brings into the business which she understand depends on her passion and determination to carry on.

With PBSP-CVED advisory assistance, not only had she continued theirfamily's tradition for cooking which had passed on from generation to generation, but it had improved their business literally, increasing their sales by 300%. For what it's worth, Hedelisa Ares is one proprietor in whom the CVED program of PBSP had definitely left its mark of excellence for generations to come.

Interviewed by: Dianne Rallon
Edited by: Lady Nice Taneo

( For information on CVED, contact: PBSP Visayas Regional Office, 4th floor PLDT building Juan Luna Avenue, Mabolo, Cebu City. Tel nos.: 231 9426, 232 5270 (look for Malu) Fax 232 5286 or email to mrampiloquio@pbsp.org.ph )


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