MANILA - The Pinoy Star, a community magazine in Singapore, recently published its list of 10 Top Filipino Entrepreneurs in the country.
One of the winners is Ernesto 'Jun' Flores, a proprietor of Mang Kiko's Lechon.
The Pinoy Star has given ABS-CBNnews.com permission to republish the interviews with the winners.
ERNESTO 'JUN' FLORES, Proprietor, Mang Kiko's Lechon
Finally, we meet the enigmatic 'Mang Kiko'. Often, Pinoys queing to enjoy lechon manok (chicken) or grilled pork belly would pester the guy behind the counter: "Where's Mang Kiko?" Truth is, there's no Mang Kiko.
But ere is Jun Flores, the ex-IT guy who introduced quality lechon to Filipinos badly missing a taste of real Pinoy inihaw.
Noting the considerable size of the Filipino community, Jun, or as he is more popularly known, Mang Kiko opened the first-ever Pinoy inihaw food stall in Singapore.
Less tha two years old, Mang Kiko (the brand) has four branches that are now top meeting places for Pinoys from all walks of life.
Even locals are now familiar with lechon and Filipino food, thanks to Mang Kiko. And Jun Flores.
You had no background in business. What pushed you to venture "into the unknown?"
I wanted financial freedom and to be able to afford what I want. To mot regre taling a cab when you're really tired...
Because Pinoy love inihaw.
Mang Kiko almost never happened...
I made a feasibility study supposedly for investors. Then I asked my friends if they want to invest, but they weren't confident lending me money. Luckily, some banks called and offered loans for my capital.
What's your most winning Pinoy marketing strategy?
Friendliness and good PR skills. Ngayon nga, Pinoys call me Mang Kiko, not Jun.
Why did you call it Mang Kiko?
In high school, classmates teased me and called me Kiko, as in Kiko Matsing from Batibot. kaya ayun, I thought of using it. I added 'mang' so it sounds more Pinoy.
Suddenly, aspiring Pinoy entreps are consulting you for business advice. What do you tell them?
Just try and try until you succeed. Don't allocate all your funds for one business. Most importantly, trust your employees. They're also our business partners. I don't need a very hardworking employee, I need a trustworthy one.