We are printing here the Ernst and Young 2013 search questions and answers. Goshen land CEO-President Alexander Bangsoy, an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist shares his answers.
(First in a series)
What are the major challenges in your business and how did you overcome them?
Of all your successes what have been the most rewarding?
The two most challenging problems that we encountered had something to do with resources, FINANCIAL and HUMAN RESOURCE .
1. Financial Resources
A lot of people started with big capital. Some with small capital. But for me, I started with a negative capital because when we started the business I was still paying off the hospital debt that I incurred when my father died. I started with virtually nothing plus I was in debt. But I was able to overcome this by undertaking innovative real estate deals that did not entail money upfront. I used my skills as a lawyer to engage in junkyard deals or properties that are involved in litigation and bought and sold them for a profit. Eventually, as the business grew bigger, bigger capital was needed. Again, we encountered financial difficulties as no bank would give us a loan because we do not have yet a track record. We have lost count of the banks that rejected us. There were times when in order to finance our operations we have to access short-term high-interest loans but we persevered. Eventually, in 2010, a big bank, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), granted us a loan and we faithfully paid it. Borrowing became substantially easier.
2. Human Resources
Another great challenge is human resourse or getting and training good people. Being a new company, it was hard to get good real estate specific people because most of them are hired already by big name companies so we have to grow our people from the ground up. We hired mostly fresh graduates and young people and inspired them with our weekly VMV or vision, mission, and values where we pour our heart and our dreams for them and the company. We also painstakingly trained them giving them the basics and eventually they became dedicated and highly trained partners. Now we are doing our quality management systems in order to apply for ISO certification a year from now.
The most rewarding is viewing the success of my family and the family of our partners and customers. I have five children and because of the business we now live in a decent home and we could provide them the best education that we could afford. I and my wife could give them a better start and at least I am sure that they will not get ejected because we own our home. Also, our partners like Sheryl, our Chief Financial Officer who started with us as a fresh graduate, was able to send her siblings to school and provide a decent life, a home for her family, through Goshen Land. Roman, our sales referrer, who after a year without any sales persevered. Now, he is our top seller and owns a condo unit in our project where he stays with his parents, a car which was an incentive of the company and several other investments which are benefiting his family. It is also rewarding to see our numerous customers who now have a home of their own which they were able to afford through Goshen Land’s affordable monthly investments.*** (to be continued)