Mr. Mang Inasal

Who is Injap? By now, the whole Philippines is getting to know the owner of this fast-growing Mang Inasal food chain –Edgar “Injap” Sia- who just sold 70 percent of his business to Jollibee for a whopping three billion pesos.

The first time I met Injap was in 2008 in Iloilo. The Go Negosyo Caravan awarded him as one of the Most Inspiring Ilonggo Entrepreneurs. At that time, there were just more or less a hundred branches of Mang Inasal. Now, there are 300 stores.

Injap’s story is really something. It can serve as an inspiration to a lot of young kids who are aspiring to start their own businesses. It was a husband and wife team, with the help of his parents, some capital and finding the right Inasal formula in his house. He almost gave up a number of times but he was determined to succeed. He mentioned to me that he wanted to be the first Inasal fast food chain, as most of the food stores that offered Inasal were restaurants. Both his parents live a simple life. They own a local supermarket in Iloilo.

Last Thursday at the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awarding ceremonies, I was the one who presented his award for the Small Entrepreneur category. As I awarded him, I kidded Injap that the category was not suitable for him anymore. I mentioned that my estimate of his market cap will be close to five billion pesos.

As days passed following the Ernst & Young Awards, after a day-long negotiation, the deal was closed. As the reports came out, the price is P3 Billion pesos for the 70 percent of the business. It’s coming out to be close to nine times EBITDA or what we refer to as cash flow income, and about two times sales.

In a conversation with him, I extended my congratulations. He said that while he had a difficult time in deciding, he felt that this was the best for Mang Inasal and the price is good. Well, ‘good’ is definitely an understatement. It is more than a great price. I told him that when I had to make the decision to sell Cosmos for close to 15 billion, the sales multiple was about the same. More or less, we both had the same high valuation.

Jollibee and Coke had to do what they had to do to protect their business from fast growing competition. I consider both situations as perfect situations. It was also a strategic buy for both deals. I guess, Jollibee would want to have a quick offering in the fast-emerging Inasal segment, just like Coke had to have a price-brand Pop Cola. In the end, it’s a win-win situation for both the buying and selling companies.

Actually, with this acquisition, Jollibee share prices soared from the 70’s level to 97, and maybe even touch the 100 pesos mark, which further pushed up its market cap and in then end could more-than-cover for the price it paid Mang Inasal.

What happened to Injap does not just happen every day. Some people may call it luck. I would call it a blessing and right timing. It is difficult to always make that decision whether to sell or not to sell. It took Injap only seven years to achieve a 4.5 billion market cap valuation. In our case in Cosmos, it took us 13 years to achieve 15 billion valuation. But in both cases, Jollibee and Coke knew that the competition was getting stronger and that they had to make the right decision at the right time to manage competition.

Injap is only 32 today. I was 42 when I sold cosmos. He is now a young billionaire and has a long way to go, as the entrepreneurship qualities will always be with him. Injap is a Go Negosyo trustee. He continuously commits to support the advocacy, as he has been able to achieve his dreams.

OTHERS MAY KEEP CALLING IT LUCK. BUT, I WOULD RATHER SAY THAT THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF INJAP ARE THE RESULT OF FINDING THE RIGHT MODEL, HAVING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE AND SKILL TO EXECUTE WELL. WE COULD SAY THAT THE CONFLUENCE OF ALL THESE, HAPPENING AT THE RIGHT TIME CAN BE LUCK. BUT, WITHOUT ALL THE EFFORTS, INITIATIVES AND HARD WORK, LUCK WILL NEVER EXIST.

Those who have experienced success in life now want to share with others how to achieve it. While some may envy others who have been successful, they should turn this negative emotion into inspiration.

Injap’s story reminds me of the many stories I keep encountering in our Go Negosyo advocacy. It reminds me of what I have experienced. As I see others go through the same experience, I also get inspired and feel happy for entrepreneurs who make it and who now want to see others make it. Many will not be as fortunate as Injap, but one will never know if he or she won’t even try.

Congratulations to Mr. Mang Inasal. More than the monetary reward, the best part is that a young man from the province of Iloilo has succeeded. Hopefully, this story will inspire more young kids out there. Dreams do become reality. You just have to want it and go for it.

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Congratulations to Go Negosyo trustee Ray Gapuz for being recognized as one of the Outstanding Thomasian Alumni Business Leaders. Congratulations also to the University of Sto. Tomas for the success of the Thomasian Global Trade Expo, which Go Negosyo was part of last week

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Go Negosyo also participated in the PCCI Phil Business Conference (PBC). Congratulations to the leadership of PCCI and the PBC 2010- Mr Francis Chua, Mike Varela, Jun Ortiz Luis, Donald Dee, Benjamin Romualdez. Thanks to Bing Limjoco for the continuous partnership with Go Negosyo.

We would also like to invite everyone to the Likha ng Central Luzon Trade Fair 2010 from Oct. 20-24 at the SM Megatrade Hall II, as Go Negosyo supports DTI’s One Town One Product (OTOP) programs. And, Go Negosyo is also looking forward to recognizing the winners of the PLDT SME Nation – Go Negosyo MVP Bossing Search on Oct. 28.


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