MANY business owners want to make a positive difference in their community. Edward Hayco is one of them.
After graduating from the Ateneo de Manila University in the late 1970s, the economics graduate joined his father in running the family’s feed ingredient business.
But joining wasn’t an easy thing for Hayco, whose father challenged him to locally produce the products they sold to substitute a lot of their imports.
“I was given a photocopy of the product we used to sell and my father asked me to produce them locally,” he said, adding that this was his initiation into the business.
With that piece of instruction, Hayco worked hard to realize his father’s idea and eventually put up a factory for local production.
From steel engineering, Hayco’s family diversified into feeds and food ingredients. These businesses served as his training ground to master his skills in business and people management with the guidance of his parents.
In 1998, Hayco’s own family bumped into another opportunity—a restaurant business.
The family partnered with a friend to open Port Restaurant located in the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
“There is no formula in business. It can happen anytime. You just have to open your eyes to see these opportunities,” he said.
From there, the family grew their restaurant.
With the help of his wife Eleanor and four children, they were able to set up other food brands—container-themed food parks called Tambayan sa Consolacion and Tambayan sa Bulacao and The Grid Pad and Creative Campus, an integrated lifestyle destination in Talamban.
They also ventured into events through Paradise Garden and Beverly View Events Pavilion, as well as furniture.
Like any other business that has gone through some ups and downs, Hayco said what helped them stand the test of time is the family’s belief to “always do business with a heart.”
“If you want to make a sale, sell something from the heart. Be sincere and mean it because people would feel it,” he said. “And if you want to forge a partnership to start a business, be sure that there is synergy. Both sides have to have an advantage.”
Besides providing jobs through their businesses, the couple have also turned their love for dancing into a social commitment.
A courtesy visit with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña some years ago opened the couple’s eyes to a much bigger opportunity that changed the lives of Cebuanos who were in need of help.
Quoting Osmeña, Edward shared that the gold medal won in competition would have been more valuable if it was won by someone from the grassroots.
Inspired by this, the couple used dance sport as a transformational tool to change the lives of youth.
“We are privileged to have something we can share. This has become our advocacy and I believe everyone can contribute to the society in their own little ways,” he said, adding that this is also their way of thanking God for the blessings they receive.
Hayco, who serves as chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission, said they’ve already produced more than 30,000 dance sport scholars since 2000, which translates to some P300 million worth of training.
“We are happy to see how this program changed the lives of the youth. Things like this have kept us grounded,” he said.
Truly, money is not everything. It’s the heart, he says.
What was your first job?
I was a salesman for a product that was entirely new and untested. It was a big challenge for a fresh graduate at 20 years old.
Who inspired you to get into business?
My father. He was very entrepreneurial and told me business is a 24/7 affair. But, of course, he had a good sense of balance about family and business.
When did you realize this was what you were meant to do?
In grade school, I was selling spiders, marbles, and Matchbox toy cars to my classmates. Up to now, I can still remember who of my Grade 3 classmates still have not paid me.
In college, I sold T-shirts, sandwiches, key chains, and stationery.
Why did you pick this type of business or industry?
It was a blue ocean type (referring to the feed ingredient business). We were substituting an imported product with a locally manufactured one.
Where did you get the training you needed to succeed?
My father mentored me. I also read a lot of business books and attended workshops and seminars.
How many times did you fail before you succeeded?
I had a handful of falls but these are all soft falls.