President and Chief Operating Officer Richard B. TantocoAs Energy Development Corporation (EDC) celebrated its 40th anniversary in March, president and chief operating officer Richard B. Tantoco acknowledged the pillars and pioneers responsible for the company’s leadership in geothermal. At the same time, he took the opportunity to call for innovation and reinvention now that the industry has taken some unfavorable twistsand turns that are affectingthe company’s profitability.
A veteran of many challenges ranging from starting up billion-dollar gas plantsto turning around tollway finances and operations, Tantoco again finds himself burdened with the herculean task of ensuring the viabilityof a company amidst escalating threats from competitors.
Like he has always done when faced with the obstacles in the past, he outlined a strategic work plan that he and his executives and all EDC employees should stick to anduse as a guide.
Disciplined project development
“The times call for disciplined project development and prudent spending. We will continue to develop growth projects until they are shovel ready, but in a more disciplined and careful manner by undertaking only those activities that are not cash heavy. Notices to proceed willbe awarded when market and regulatory forces have shifted toour favor,” he told participants of EDC’s 40th Anniversary Leaders Assembly on March 4.
Learning from the experiences of top global companies and imbibing as much as he can from iconic corporate leaders, Tantoco has urged employees to adopt the owner entrepreneurn mind-set, treat EDC as their own household and increase their concern and malasakit for the company.
“When you start treatingthe company as your own, that’s when employees become more innovative and cost-conscious because you will do everything to protect the company and make it flourish,” he explained.
Despite the challenges, Tantoco believes that EDC will notonly preserve its eminent stature in the industry, but emerge a stronger and better company.
“Challenging times can bringout the best or worst in people; itcan either toughen or weaken an institution. But for us in EDC,as we have proven many times in the past, we have taken crises head-on and these have made us more creative, more innovative and ultimately more resilient.”
Instead of waiting for the situation to normalize and the market to correct, Tantoco istaking calculated and strategic steps to ensure that business targets are achieved. Recognizing that innovation is critical to the growth and success of acompany, he has also been pushing for the use of data-driven analytics to change the game.
“EDC will increasingly leverage appropriate technologies on our most important problems, pressing opportunities and significant risks.”
Tantoco has also been actively championing renewable energy (RE) by participating in important business and environment fora. In February, he was one of the guest speakers in the first Philippine Environment Summit wherehe expounded on the benefits of environment-friendly energy sources versus the disadvantages of fossil-based power plants. This April, he will be the speaker advocating for RE at the CreditSuisse 19th Annual Asian Investment Conference.
He is confident that with the global push for clean energy, the historic COP21 pact and Al Gore’s recent visit tothe country, the call to shift to RE will grow louder and come to fruition sooner than later. (Story/Photos by: Carla Paras-Sison)