Can Government Employees Think Like Entrepreneurs?

If the CEO of the Philippines Inc has to have an entrepreneurial mindset, the COO’s which in this case of Phil Inc, are the Department Secretaries, have to be enterprising as well. They must have the same basic traits of an entrepreneur which are hardwork, passion and creativity. It is also essential for the managers, supervisors and employees of Philippines Inc to think like entrepreneurs. It would also help if the other government officials like the governors and mayors would look at their respective regions, cities and municipalities as subsidiaries of Phil Inc.

I got different reactions from what I wrote in last week’s column about PGMA the entrepreneur. An overwhelming majority was favorable on how I saw PGMA as an entrepreneur and of course others found me as being “sipsip”.

I chose to write about that topic because I think it is important for people to understand and liken the Philippines to a private corporation and that a certain kind of personality is needed in being a CEO of one.  If we call this corporation Philippines Inc., then the CEO, who is the President must possess an entrepreneurial mindset, someone who is passionate, hardworking and creative.

It is also important for the CEO to create the right macro environment for other stakeholders.  We achieve this with a good communication program to create confidence and trust with our consumers.  In the case of Philippines Inc., it is important that the other stakeholders like lenders and investors from other countries see the Philippines as a bright spot with high growth potential.  The ASEAN Summit in Cebu placed the Philippines at the center of awareness and showed that we are indeed a country with a very promising future.

Aside from the agreements forged during the summit, it is also important how the general investing community saw that Philippines Inc. is on the way to becoming a respectable economic tiger of Asia. My father, who is the 2006 Chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, was one of those who helped develop the theme “One Caring and Sharing Community”.  This is the same theme he uses in Forbes Park as the barangay captain and in essence that is what a community is supposed to be. 

When we think in global terms, this is how the more fortunate countries should extend help to countries whose resources and capabilities may not yet be as abundant as theirs.  Being spiritual about it, it is also what God wants to see this world of ours.

Philippines Inc.’s macro environment is very important as this would eventually lead to a Moody’s upgrade in rating which will hopefully happen soon. What is equally important is the holding of peaceful elections regardless of who wins and Namfrel which my father heads will hopefully be able to contribute to a peaceful election process. This is when the Negosyo mindset will start to happen as a greater sense of optimism spreads among the Filipinos.

On February 5, the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship thru GoNegosyo together with our partners from the private sector as well as the Executive Branch of Philippines Inc. will launch our Go Negosyo campaign for 2007.  Our theme for this year is “Teach our nation how to fish and we will feed our nation for many lifetimes”. This is the mission of our organization.

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Here are more views of entrepreneurs on the year 2007:

MYLA VILLANUEVA (Managing Director, MDI Group Holdings, Inc.)
I am very optimistic of continued progress towards economic growth and stability, and I would like to believe our political leaders know that responsible and stable governance is a requisite for this.  I am hopeful and have faith that our government can deliver finally on our constant potential, with the cooperation of economic leaders as well.

DOYEE TUMPALAN (President and CEO, First Quadrant Philippines Inc.)
The economy is moving towards a positive direction. There is renewed investment confidence among businessmen and the spending power of the common Filipino has strengthened. The key to sustainability lies mainly in improved perception. The Philippines needs a renewed image away from too much politicking which breeds an impression of instability.  We need a fresh start with the new global Pinoy at the center stage.

MR. ALOYSIUS “NONOY” COLAYCO (President and Chairman, Level Up International)
2007 is likely to continue with strong growth. Main drivers will be OFW remittances, BPO service exports, higher corporate profits generally, and middle income housing. It would certainly help if the government is able to launch infrastructure projects as planned and the agricultural development initiatives.

RICO HIZON (Business and Financial News Anchor, BBC World News)
Developments in the political and economic reform fronts will play a crucial role in further spurring growth in the economy and bullishness in the stock market in 2007. The country is in an election year, and according to many regional strategists I have interviewed, given the current economic fundamentals which are positive, they hope that the Philippine’s political leaders will understand that the market can sustain its growth in 2007 and going forward, only if we can keep in place correct, sober and stable political and economic policies.

RAM SITALDAS (President, Filipino-Indian Chamber of Commerce)
The market is positive to sustain, you need political stability.  To be honest a lot of investors are just waiting to invest in the Philippines.  Happy New Year!

I think business this year will be better but we need to reduce corruption, have an honest and clean election and get rid of bureaucracy.

BETTINA QUIMSON (President, Navigator Systems Inc.)
I feel that the economy has definitely turned upwards.  In order to sustain this, we need less politics and more investments from abroad thru promotion of business process outsourcing which is where our strength lies due to the knowledge skills of the Filipinos and our ability to communicate well in English.

ILLAC DIAZ (Founder, Centro Migrante & My Shelter Foundation) 

2007 is a promising year for entrepreneurs.  There’s a lot of money in the economy from infrastructure projects, early election campaigns, and of course the foreign remittances.  I think the long term gain is if these do not remain as consumption indexes but be converted into new businesses and small industries.  It builds a local competitive market for goods than going for imported and watching it flow back out as fast as it came in without a multiplier effect on the economy.  So buy Filipino.

VICTOR TAN (President, Crolific Garments Manufacturing, Corp. maker of Bobson Jeans) 
I’m positive on the momentum of our Philippine economy. We need political stability and lower deficits to sustain economic growth. We also need to focus on family planning as a means to regulate population growth. Let’s unite and move to the new era of the entrepreneur!

GLENN ANTHONY SOCO (President and Founder, Coffee Dream Company, Inc.)
All indicators are pointing at the right direction and as an entrepreneur, I have a very positive outlook for this year and I hope there is continued stability and improved confidence.  I believe that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) also should step-up and be given the much needed support as this is the backbone of our economy.

ARDY ROBERTO (Owner, Salt and Light Ventures)
No matter what condition the economy is, entrepreneurs always find a way to succeed and see opportunity. What’s more important is the condition of our attitudes, our minds, and our spirit.