By Alex Chung
We have been in good business relationship with Mama Josephina, the owner of a grocery store. We have been observing her operation and logistic of good purchases and were so fascinated at how a mother could solely supported the entire business.
The way local Filipinos do business is very much the same with Hong Kong sole enterprise. Their family members are the core staff in the business. They maintain good relationship with customers and suppliers. Although they do not keep a clear financial record, most of them do roughly remember the cost and income. But one of the thing I found worth appreciating is that Mama Josefina told me that she would sometimes give out food to those in need for free. She said this was how she could help the others. This is how Filipinos display their love towards the others or even strangers.
On top of that, their business skills should not be underestimated, which of course I didn’t. Mama Josefina could understand how market mechanism works, how the change in supply affects the price;how leftovers vegetables could be cut and packed into small bags so that it could still be sold at a good price. It is fair to say that only those who get their hands dirty in the market are true economists.
When asked about her long term goal, she said she wanted to make a profit to support her kids’ education and for her retired parents’ life. It seems that no matter which part of the world we are, it is common for family business to pursue the best and the welfare for its family.