Friday, August 23, 2019

The low-key manager of Rustan's

JOSELITO “Pepet” D. Macachor is the low-key store manager of Rustan’s. In store events, he is always there but most of the time, he stays in the background, overseeing the event but without fanfare. He made the move to Rustan’s Cebu in 2008, after 25 years of working in Metro Manila, mostly in the advertising field.

Macachor was born in Cebu and earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing degree at the University of San Carlos. His first job was with J. Walter Thompson Company as account manager. He then moved to Bates-Alcantara, after which he decided to go into a family business, producing the first packaged coconut juice in the country, Buko Joe. After three years with the company, he decided to leave it to his siblings.

He then worked for Campaigns & Gray, and then moved to Olbes, Ogilvy & Mather (Phils.) where he was associate account manager. He moved again, this time to AB Communications (Phils.), as account manager. From there he moved to Digitel Telecommunications Phils. Inc. where he was manager/advertising section head for the market and communications department, business division.

Before he moved to Rustan’s, he was with Sun Cellular/Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. as regional head in the retail management and corporate sales division. To move to Rustan’s with this background, he said he needed to study luxury retailing, which he did briefly in Singapore.

To be where he is now, Macachor underwent training, among them: the Brand management program of Ateneo de Manila University, Basic Leadership, Starshooters & Heroic Seminars (principle-based, experiential leadership courses) at FSI Asia Inc., and Culture Building Program conducted by AB Communications. He is also a member of Toastmasters-Makati, the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, and a member (senator) of the Junior Chamber International (Philippines). Of his Jaycee experience, he fondly recalls being named outstanding Jaycee chapter (Makati) president in 2002, as well as these Jaycee mantras: “Service to humanity is the best work of life” and “Faith in God gives meaning and purpose.”

When Macachor moved back to Cebu nine years ago, it was like a homecoming. He said at that time, Cebu was still laid-back compared to Manila. The pace was slow, the people, passive in terms of work, which was a problem he had to address. He needed a better understanding of the market, of buying patterns. Fortunately, his background in advertising, which necessitated studying target markets, equipped him for this. The work, he describes, is “challenging, exciting, fun. The trend worldwide is to enhance customers’ experience. They eat, dine, shop (hence Abaca Baking Company’s presence within the Rustan’s premises). My task is to grow the business. And added to that, I have to find the right people, train them, give them the opportunity to move up wherever they may be: in the fashion department, in the home department, in the children’s department, in cosmetics and perfumery, or in fine jewelry.”

The big challenge with his job is managing people; there are 250 of them. They have to recognize their potential. They have to be trained for them to keep abreast with the trends, and they have to learn financial literacy, for their own good. He said he spends a lot of time on the internet learning more because “the world is changing so fast but in the end, what matters is being able to provide good service to people.”

For the holiday season, Rustan’s has already opened its Christmas shop (Macachor said they are almost running out of Christmas trees), and its outlets are all ready for the finest gifts to give others or oneself. The best thing about shopping in the store—aside from getting the best goods for one’s money—is the free gift wrapping, in Rustan’s distinctive gift wraps.

Asked if he has time for hobbies or travel, Macachor says he travels a lot—to the head office. But if he has to go away, his favorite spot will always be Hong Kong for its vibrancy. As for hobbies, he said as a child, he always loved motorized toys. So he now has a drone. Unfortunately, he has no time to find out how it works. And he listens to music, including the latest punk, rock or whatever modern music there is available, which he explained he does “to understand my kids better.” (He has three grownups and one teenager with wife Gigi).

As for his job, which is far from what he used to do, he says: “I like it a lot. Not just how the store has grown but also of being able to help people develop themselves; for them to grow, and to keep providing customers with ‘the best merchandise from all over the world.’”
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