Cebu businessmen opt to go against ‘coopetition’ trend
While many businesses are keeping up with the trend of “coopetition,” a couple of businessmen have chosen to swim against the tide and strike out on their own.
“Coopetition,” coined from cooperative competition, refers to collaboration between competing businesses in the light of the integration of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) economies.
Due to the increased competitiveness in the Asean market, a general sentiment among local businessmen is to partner with international brands.
However, some companies across several business sectors also see the advantage of going solo, at least for the meantime.
Jose Soberano III, chief executive officer of property developer Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI), said that while the company is open to talks with international developers or brands, it is more keen on strengthening its presence and name in the domestic market.
“We’re not yet happy where we are. We’d like to grow first,” Soberano said during the recent groundbreaking of its Base Line Center in midtown, Cebu city.
“We’re only going to resort to partnerships if there is value-added,” Soberano said. “At present, there is enough on my plate that can be handled by my organization.”
At present, CLI has over 10 ongoing projects in Cebu and in nearby regions, as well as several more in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, Islands Group founder and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Jay Aldeguer said he preferred to keep expansions within the Philippines in the meantime, as opposed to bringing the Islands brand into the international market.
“We’ve slowly been positioning ourselves in key areas in the Philippines. We’ve identified tourism-strong areas,” he said.
Last year, the company opened 12 new Islands Souvenir outlets across the country, bringing the total number of outlets up to 108.
“The momentum is here. Cebu’s taking the lead in tourism in the Philippines… all we need to do is prepare for this influx,” he added.
Due to the potential in growth still being exhibited by the province, the company would prefer to expand instead into other industries.
“Growth in the Philippines is strong. There’s nothing like playing in your own home court. The action is here,” Aldeguer said.
Both entrepreneurs said they would rather exploit further the growth potentials of Cebu and the Philippines.
“These are exciting times for Cebu and the Philippines,” said Aldeguer.
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