THE 2018 MVP BOSSINGS SPECIAL
There are no shortcuts when it comes to success—and these MVP Bossings are proof that grit, determination, and a tireless work ethic really do pay off.
Mary Grace Dimacali started out as a stay-at-home wife and mom.
Eventually, she developed her own recipe for a Filipino favorite—her version of the classic Ensaymada.
With five children and a very supportive husband, her modest venture continued to grow, bringing her into fairs and bazaars. And after taking a baking course in the U.S. and completing her Masters in Entrepreneurship at AIM, she finally opened her first kiosk in Glorietta in 2002.
In 2016, she opened the doors to her very first cafe in Serendra, right here in Bonifacio Global City where she continues to offer fresh-from-the-oven baked goods and hearty meals, prepared with excellent service and enjoyed within the walls of her cafe's magical ambience.
Today, with branches all over Metro Manila, she has become a household name, continuing to spread the "Goodness of Home" to many.
Her Ensaymadas and Cheese Rolls have become an iconic favorite of Filipinos (and even foreigners!) everywhere.
While her degree in accountancy took her to Hong Kong as a management trainee, Gaita Fores' passion for food eventually brought her to Italy.
Here, she developed and honed the skills that would later enable her to build her culinary empire.
Upon returning home from Italy, she would cook in people’s homes until her small operation grew into catering business, Cibo di M, Signature Caterer. That was her first business and has been operating for over 30 years.
Her inaugural brand and restaurant, Cibo, is known and loved by many Filipinos. It is a household name, having enjoyed steady success for over two decades, alongside several other restaurant concepts like Lusso, Cafe Bola, Grace Park, Las Casas Manila and Islas Pinas.
Today, she stands as one of the region’s most sought-after chefs—even being recognized as Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2016.
The success of Johnlu Koa began in 1979, with Honey Bread Bakeshop.
To be able to expand his business, Johnlu taught himself how to bake—eventually becoming a supplier for SM. From there, his hard work, determination and innovation enabled him to open his first brand in SM North EDSA in 1989—a brand we know today as the French Baker.
Johnlu is a dedicated entrepreneur who spends most of his time nurturing and growing his chain of food business concepts. He has established other reputable food ventures such as French boulangerie, L’artizan, and Taiwanese milk tea brand, Chatime.
He was a business administration professor in his alma mater, UP Diliman, from 1980 to 1995 and is among the founding members of PHILBAKING, an association of medium-to large bakeries that aimed to address the rising prices of flour.
Together, they created “Pinoy Tasty,” a generic brand of bread, which has been adopted by DTI and is enjoyed by Filipinos everywhere.
David Leechiu became widely recognized in the business community after his employer offered him a franchise which he took, together with two business partners.
That company became known as Leechiu and Associates and together with his partners, they would grow its revenues to an all-time high.
His efforts would not go unnoticed and eventually, a large real-estate group came knocking and absorbed his business.
While there, he helped grow their annual revenues from the millions to the billions.
However, despite his stellar success, he walked away ready for a new challenge.
He started a new company and today it has already established itself as the largest in revenues this year, with services that range from site selection, investment sales, and consultancy.
After a successful run in the corporate world, Richard Sanz followed his entrepreneurial aspirations, building his success on yet another beloved Filipino culinary classic—bibingka.
For 14 years, Richard's flagship brand Bibingkinitan, has served Filipinos across the nation and around the world with over 250 locations.
As Bibingkinitan flourished, he established the FoodAsia Group which today has interests in restaurant and café operations, franchising, manufacturing, logistics and has also ventured into real estate construction and technology.
Alongside Bibingkinitan, the FoodAsia Group is also known for Lava Cheese Tarts, WuffWich Gourmet Waffle Sandwich, Papas Fresh Potato Chips, The BBQ Shack and operates the Magnum Cafe—all of which comprise a store network of over 450 locations in the Philippines, and the Middle East—with locations in Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman, Cambodia and Malaysia soon to open.
He is the President of the Philippine Franchise Association and the Co-Chairman of the SME Committee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Starting out in 1985, Benjie and Maan Lolim began their entrepreneurial journey franchising Mister Donut and Cindy’s locations in Dagupan, Urdaneta and San Fernando, La Union.
But in 1992, they decided to leave the restaurant industry behind and ventured into contract growing and dressing, producing whole, chilled-chicken and processed chicken products.
Today that business, LDP Farms, produces over four million hatched chicks a month and processes and dresses 80,000 chickens every day. They are one of San Miguel Food Corporation’s top suppliers and export internationally.
Millions of Filipinos enjoy their chicken at some of the country’s most beloved restaurants.
Dioceldo Sy began his career working for his grandfather, manufacturing and selling pomade.
He also ventured into clothing but finally, in 1983, he established his very own cosmetics company—Ever Bilena. The company’s first product was nail polish which he sold to Hortaleza and Divisoria wholesalers.
Throughout its growth and expansion, his business has slowly diversified its selection of personal care products, offering a total of over a thousand different cosmetics, skin care and perfumes.
Today, Ever Bilena has risen to become the most top-of-mind local cosmetics brand in the Philippines, offering prices at 50 percent less than international brands.
Raj Uttamchandani believes in empowering others and helping small and medium enterprises achieve their aspirations.
He is the Chairman and CEO of Esquire Financing Inc., a leading financial company operating in the Philippines. With the company specializing in lending non-collateral business loans to small and medium enterprises who need the extra cash flow, it has served as a driving force for many successful business ventures.
He is a great advocate of empowerment through multiple CSR activities, led by his non-government organization, the HELP Foundation. He likewise supports causes on education, community building and development. He’s received numerous awards and recognitions from all over the world and his work in financing continues to contribute to the growth and prosperity of our local economy.
In 1964, Delfin Wenceslao Jr.'s father started what today is D. M. Wenceslao & Associates Incorporated.
15 years later, Delfin took over the business and grew it to what it is today. DMWAI has over 100 construction and infrastructure projects to its name, it is perhaps best known as the developer of Aseana City, a 200- hectare mixed-use development located in both Pasay and Parañaque cities. This project has attracted a large number of foreign investors to the country.
He served as the former president of the Philippine Constructor’s Association, past director of International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors' Associations (IFAWPCA) and is an incumbent board member of the Philconstruct Events, Exhibition and Conferences Corporation (PEECC) - the organizers of PHILCONSTRUCT.