Planters Development Bank, the multi-awarded bank for Small and Medium Enterprises has extended its SME Advocacy Program to the fastest growing region in the Philippines through its SME Speaker Series.
Plantersbank brought in Anthony Pangilinan, acclaimed management trainer, motivational speaker and productivity consultant to share with local entrepreneurs his winning management techniques and life skills Sept. 2, at a "by-invitation" only session at one of the city´s top hotels with the theme "Managing Through Difficult Times: Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive".
Attended by over 200 of the CEOs of Mindanao´s private companies coming from as far away as Sulu, Pangilinan found himself in esteemed company, many of those present coming from Northern Mindanao, the fastest growing regional economy in 2008.
Region 10 grew by 5.3 percent in 2008, thanks to the robust performance of the agriculture, fisheries and forestry (AFF) sector. This was faster than the national average of 3.8% and faster than all other regions from all over the country.
Northern Mindanao also sustained its status as Mindanao´s biggest regional economy, increasing its share of the island´s economy from 27.9 percent in 2007 to 28.3 percent in 2008.; 30.6 percent of service, 30.3 percent for industry and 24.5 percent for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Region 10 also sustained its growth in per capita GRDP, growing by 3.2 percent in 2008, the only region in Mindanao to record a per capita GRDP rate above the national average, one of only three regional economies to do so in 2008, ranking third nationwide.
In a previous visit, Ambassador Jesus P. Tambunting, chairman and chief executive officer of Planters Development Bank, cited Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao for its forward-looking SME sector .
"In Cagayan de Oro, we see a progressive, empowered SME sector," he said. "We have been enjoying strong gains in our loans in the past four years, with growth as much as 100% in the last two years." He said be believes that's the reason why it is a high growth area and they are establishing a new branch in the city soon.
"We share Cagayan de Oro's vision of a city that is progressive, prosperous and teeming with social and economic opportunities," Tambunting said in an earlier press statement. "We think this vision can be achieved by promoting entrepreneurship, which is the driver for creating new jobs, improving people's incomes and providing a better quality of life."
"Seventeen ago we saw a lot of opportunities here," Tambunting said, citing the time when Cagayan de Oro became Plantersbank's first branch in Mindanao in 1991. "As we go on, we see a lot those becoming reality. As I see development in Cagayan de Oro, it's something you must really be proud of."
Although the present performance of the global and Philippine economies is nothing to cheer about, Pangilinan urged the participants to look at the situation not merely to find ways to survive, but rather to thrive.
"Change your mindset from victim to victor," he said. "See the opportunity, not the crisis."
He cited how many Filipino-Chinese family businesses always seemed to rise about the crisis, even during the dark days of the previous Asian financial crisis of the mid-1990s.
"Companies fail because of a lack of focus," Pangilinan urged. He exhorted the many young entrepreneurs present to know what´s best for them. "Need and competence are the basis for any sale. If you have a passion for it, you won´t give up so easily."
He cited Andy Ferreira, dean of the Asian Institute of Management, who said: "Your top 10 interests are your top 10 options."
Bobby F. Banaag, first vice president of Plantersbank corporate communications, said Plantersbank is reinforcing its commitment to entrepreneurs through the SME Speaker Series, a component of its nationwide SME Advocacy program.
Now on its second year, the Plantersbank SME Speaker Series is just one of Plantersbank´s portfolio of innovations for enabling entrepreneurs, which also include the SME social networking site Bizster.com.ph and the SME Industrial Park, the country´s first industrial development solely focused on SMEs.
Plantersbank has been cited for its Double Bottomline Banking approach during the recent CSR Leadership Awards of the Management Association of the Philippines for its unique focus on Small and Medium Enterprises as lender, advocate and provider of enabling services, and successfully integrating corporate social responsibility into the core business. It also became the first-ever recipient of the President´s Citation for "Best Practice in Improving Access to Finance" during the launching ceremonies of National MSME Development Week on July 8.