By Young Foung.
Theme: Business Consulting Work.
After 15 minutes of walk and 10minutes by tricycle, Zishi, Juno and I finally reached our business. Basically, groups of 2-4 students are assigned to local businesses which vary from small fruit seller in the market to bigger businesses like resorts. Our team is responsible for helping the Paseo del Mar resort and Drfit Divers shop, they are 2 separate entities but located on the same platform.
Paseo del Mar resort.
On our first day in the resort, we met the owner of Drift Divers- Silvio, an italian who has been living in the Phillipines for many years. He explained to us what his business is about and showed us his facebook page, where a panoply of diving photos can be found. He then proceeded by describing to us his strategy to improve the financial situation of Drift Divers. Basically, his vision is to promote tourism in Jagna by proposing to people various activities which can be conducted in the region, for instance mountain hiking and caves exploring. The result would be therefore increased in the number of tourists for Drift Divers. My first intuition was telling me that this Silvio person knows exactly what he was doing and that he definitely was a business-minded individual. This was before I found out about his messy book-keeping system, because I was in charge of the accounting part for the report writing. Long story short, I discovered that he forgot to input a certain number of costs in the accounts, which therefore did not reflect the business performance.
Silvio showing us the Facebook page of Drift Divers.
Silvio’s collection of shells.
The second day of work, we met Jesse- the owner of Paseo del Mar resort. Our first impression of him was really good. He came to us as a friendly and cool person, well the ideal boss I would say. He gave us a tour of the resort, showing us the inside of the houses and bungalows and at the same time expressing to us his concerns and future plans for the resort. One of his biggest problems at the moment is that the resort needs another water tank so that the customers do not run out of water during the peak-season, however for the time being he does not have the necessary funds. Moreover, unlike other typical businessmen of nowadays he does not only aim for profits, but tries to promote conservation of the environment. For example, one of his future projects is about building an eco-friendly house, whereby the energy will strictly be provided by sloar panels. One afternoon, Jesse told us something that I will never forget, and I quote “ Don’t do a job for the money, but do a job that you like. Life will be much easier.”
From left to right: Zishi, Jesse, Me and Juno.
The next few days were just about brainstorming sessions and constructing our action plan. We also went to the Tourism Office, which is located in the Municipality of Jagna, to discuss about the flow of tourists in the region and their objectives, if any, to promote tourism in Jagna. Our team came to the conclusion that by promoting tourism in the area, this will help the resort and the diving shop to attract more customers. This will consequently not only help our business but also increase the welfare in the community.
Tousim Office. Left to Right: Teresa, Zishi, Juno, Me and Sweet (back).
Like any other businesses, competitors on the market should be strongly considered. We went to several other resorts and hotels, which consolidated our research but also to come up with some strategies. Zishi and I took photos of the rooms and the surroundings and one factor which caught our eye was that a lot of these hotels or pension houses are better located than Paseo del Mar, which is a big disadvantage for us.
One of the competitors- photo taken from the balcony.
Having worked alongside these two men, Jesse and Silvio for the past few weeks now. I noticed that they are both friendly businessmen, yet with two different mindsets. Silvio is more about the survival of his commerce, whereas Jesse is a more ambitious man, who aims not only to grow his resort but also to promote the preservation of the marine environment. Throughout this collaboration, I learnt that the way of thinking and character of a person; these two factors influence greatly the type of businessman one will become in the future.